WHAT IT MEANS: Jeremy Hefner’s reintroduction to the rotation for the first time in 15 days as the Mets now go with a six-man rotation got off to a rough start.
New York Mets
After a two-hour, 26-minute rain delay before the opening pitch, Hefner surrendered five runs on eight hits and hit a batter in five innings. He allowed homers to Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper.
The Mets ultimately lost to Washington, 5-2, in Sunday's rubber game. They have won only one of 11 series since the All-Star break. The Mets went 2-4 against a pair of division leaders, at Cincinnati and then at Nationals Park, during the road trip.
Gio Gonzalez blanked the Mets into the sixth inning and matched Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto for the NL wins lead with No. 16, one ahead of R.A. Dickey and Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett.
Hefner surrendered a two-run homer to Espinosa in the second, run-scoring triple to Harper and RBI single to Ryan Zimmerman in the third, then a solo homer to Harper in the fifth.
The Mets stranded two baserunners apiece in the first and third innings when Ike Davis was retired for the final out. They also wasted a leadoff triple by Ronny Cedeño in the fourth. They finally got on the board when Davis doubled to open the sixth, tagged up on Cedeño's fly out and scored on Jason Bay's groundout to shortstop.
New York Mets
YER OUT: Daniel Murphy was ejected by plate umpire Jordan Baker after being called out on strikes to end the top of the eighth inning and flipping his bat. He became the fourth Mets player to be tossed from a game this season, joining Frank Francisco, D.J. Carrasco and Davis.
WHAT'S NEXT: After the trip to face the pair of division leaders, the Mets now oppose a pair of doormats at Citi Field. They open a four-game series against NL West cellar-dweller Colorado on Monday. The Mets then face the Astros, who have MLB's worst record, next weekend.
Dickey bids for his 16th win Monday when he opposes Rockies right-hander Alex White (2-6, 5.74 ERA) at 7:10 p.m.
Earlier Monday, Terry Collins plans to meet with Sandy Alderson to discuss Johan Santana's use for the remainder of the season. Santana remains listed as the starter for Thursday's matinee finale against the Rockies.