Rapid Reaction: Nationals 5, Mets 2

WHAT IT MEANS: Where is Little Jerry Seinfeld when you need him?

Lacking a good luck charm, the Mets have all but squandered what was once a very promising season.

Stephen Strasburg struck out 11 in seven dominant innings, and the Mets capped off their first winless homestand of six or more games since 2002 with a 5-2 loss to the Nationals on Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field.

The Mets have now lost six games in a row, 12 of their last 13 and are 1-11 since the All-Star break. They dropped to a season-low four games under .500 (47-51).

NICE, HEF: Jeremy Hefner was extremely effective in his first start for the Mets since June 6, but ended up on the losing end.

His line: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 7 SO (career high)

Hefner (1-4) gave up back-to-back homers to Mike Morse and Danny Espinosa in the second inning. He shouldn’t have given up a run in the fifth, but Josh Thole dropped Ike Davis’ throw to the plate, allowing Sandy Leon to score.

Hefner started in place of Johan Santana, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right ankle. Santana is slated to come back and pitch on Aug. 8 or 9, meaning Hefner would likely have to make two more starts.

WE LIKE IKE: Davis hit his team-leading 16th homer in the second, and made a sparking defensive play at first for the last out of the eighth.

GOOD EFFORT: The Mets loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth, but only got one run courtesy of Jordany Valdespin’s RBI groundout.

UP NEXT: A daunting 11-game West Coast road trip, which begins on Thursday night when the Mets travel to Arizona. Matt Harvey (7-5, 3.68 ERA at Triple-A, will make his MLB debut against Wade Miley (11-5, 3.02).