Rapid Reaction: Nationals 2, Mets 0

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WHAT IT MEANS: It means something we've already known for weeks: the Mets won't make the playoffs this season. They were mathematically eliminated from contention when wild-card leading Atlanta beat Florida on Wednesday afternoon.

Terry Collins' crew then took the field on Wednesday night and lost, 2-0, to the Washington Nationals.

The Mets have now missed the playoffs for five straight seasons. They've also finished below .500 the past two years. It seems like it's only a matter of time before it's three straight. After Wednesday's loss, they are seven games under with 13 to play.

PELF PRIDE: Mike Pelfrey has won just three times since July 5. He pitched well enough to pick up his fourth win over that span on Wednesday night. But he was hurt in the third inning by a David Wright error (see below). Pelfrey gave up six hits and no earned runs in seven innings, walking two and striking out six.

IT AIN'T WRIGHT: Wright committed his seventh error in nine games on Wednesday -- and it cost the Mets dearly. Ian Desmond reached safely on a ground ball to third booted by Wright. He came around to score on a Michael Morse single. In all, Washington plated two in the inning, neither of which were earned because of Wright's error. Wright also had an error on Saturday that played a role in the Cubs getting a win.

NO-HAN: Instead of making another rehab start Thursday in Savannah in the South Atlantic League playoffs, Johan Santana will pitch Sunday in Fort Myers, Fla., as he continues to rehab from shoulder surgery. All of which means you won't see Santana in Queens this season. It had been previously thought that Santana would pitch for the Mets at some point in September, but Collins ruled that out on Wednesday.

WHAT'S NEXT: Rookie Chris Schwinden will make his second major league start on Thursday afternoon in the finale of the four-game series. Schwinden lost, 6-5, in his major league debut against Atlanta on Sept. 8. He tossed five innings and allowed five earned runs on eight hits and a walk. He'll face Nationals lefty Tom Milone (0-0, 6.30).

Collins said before the game that Schwinden will get another start, meaning he's likely to remain in the rotation for the remainder of the season.