By Mike Steffanos
Mets 13 - Nationals 4
As happy as you as a Mets fan with these last 3 days, you have to empathize with Nationals fans. We know how a beating like this feels -- we have lived through enough of them these past few years. As for the Mets, things are just clicking right now. The offense, defense and pitching are all working well. Guess we'll enjoy this ride for as long as it lasts.
Victor Zambrano started for the Mets and looked pretty good for 3 innings, then really labored through 2 more. The final line was 5IP, 3ER, 6H, 3K, 4BB. I know some will jump on this, I'm inclined to give him a couple more starts to get it together. We can argue this at a later date. Darren Oliver followed with a pair of impressive innings, then Jorge Julio followed and looked rather Jorge Julio-like: another home run, a couple of strikeouts, and a sigh of relief when Duaner Sanchez pitched the ninth. Unless you're convinced the Mets are going to keep scoring runs at their current pace, I just don't see them having enough opportunities for Julio to struggle his way through to even have a chance to get it turned around. This is a guy that had no business pitching in the WBC this spring.
As for the offense, first inning home runs by Beltran (another tape measure job), Wright and Floyd took a lot of suspense out of the game early. Delgado added a 2-run shot in the third to put them up 6-0. Even when Zambrano struggled through the fourth and fifth innings, you never had the feeling the Nats were going to get back in the game.
Carlos Delgado and David Wright finished with 3-hit games. Cliff Floyd added an RBI double to his solo home run, and looked like he's ready to snap out of it. Xavier Nady struggled through a 1-5, and looked a little lost again. He has awesome power when he gets a mistake, but looks like a guy that can be pitched to. Hitting in front of Anderson Hernandez is probably going to preclude him from seeing many fastballs. It will be interesting to see if he can make the adjustment. He's one streaky bastard.
The Mets return to Shea tomorrow night to face the 6-3 Brewers, a team that has given them trouble in previous years, and seems poised to contend for a playoff spot this season. Tom Glavine takes the mound for the Mets, opposed by fellow southpaw Chris Capuano.