Another average outing for Wang (Nats manage five hits in 3-1 loss)

Since getting inserted into the Nationals’ starting rotation, Chien-Ming Wang has made two starts.

Neither have been awful. Neither have been that good, either.

Wang went 5 1/3 innings today against the Mets, allowing two runs on eight hits. The veteran righty walked three and struck out one, throwing 81 pitches, 54 for strikes.

He tossed a 1-2-3 first inning, but things slowly went downhill from there. Wang loaded the bases in both the second and third innings, and was able to get out of trouble both times. But in the fifth, the Mets finally capitalized on their numerous baserunners.

Lucas Duda took a hanging Wang slider and smacked a two-run homer to right-center, giving New York a 2-0 lead.

Wang’s season ERA went down today (from 6.43 to 5.11) and he kept the Nats in the game, but he didn’t have great stuff. Same goes for his last start, when he allowed four runs, seven hits and three walks in four innings.

Mets starter R.A. Dickey has, however, and the knuckleballer works with a 3-0 lead as we go to the eighth.

Dickey has allowed just three hits through seven scoreless frames, and has completely kept Nats hitters off-guard. Only three balls have been hit out of the infield off Dickey all day.

Update: Outside of a Ryan Zimmerman solo home run leading off the ninth, the Nats managed very little offense this afternoon. They put up just five hits on the ballgame and dropped the series finale to the Mets 3-1.

Dickey went 7 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out eight Nats hitters in an incredibly sharp effort which made Wang’s outing look sloppy by comparison.

The Nats fail to record the series sweep and end the short five-game homestand with a 3-2 record.

Davey Johnson’s ball club will now head up to Boston and Toronto to start round two of interleague play.

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