NEW YORK -- The wild-card dreaming probably can stop now.
Bartolo Colon had an early shower and the Washington Nationals continued their dominance at Citi Field with a 6-2 win against the Mets in Thursday’s series opener. The Amazin’s dropped 6½ games behind the victorious Pittsburgh Pirates for the second wild-card spot with 15 games remaining.
The Nats have won 12 straight at Citi Field -- the longest winning streak ever by a visiting team in Queens. The Atlanta Braves won 10 straight at Shea Stadium in 1990 and ’91.
Washington is 26-4 at Citi Field since September 2011.
The teams participated in a pregame remembrance ceremony marking the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Jefferson Crowther threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Crowther’s son Welles saved countless lives in the World Trade Center’s South Tower, including by carrying one woman down 17 flights. He died attempting more rescues.
Uh-oh: The Mets potentially lost two players to injuries during Thursday's game.
Recker produced a solo homer in the bottom of that frame to pull the Mets within 6-1, but struck out to leave the bases loaded in the eighth.
Yer out! Colon was ejected in the fourth inning by plate umpire John Tumpane after drilling Jayson Werth in the left side with the first pitch after Anthony Rendon had homered to give the Nats a 6-0 lead. In the first inning, Colon had surrendered a two-run homer to Adam LaRoche, then also hit the ensuing batter, Ian Desmond.
Colon entered the game with three hit batters in 27 starts this season.
Terry Collins also was ejected after confronting Tumpane.
Colon became the first Mets pitcher ejected for what was deemed intentionally hitting a batter since D.J. Carrasco on May 15, 2012 against Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun. It was in that game that Collins pulled David Wright for fear of retribution. Carrasco made an appearance the following day, served up a homer to Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier and was released. He never pitched in the majors again.
Colon’s final line: 3+ IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR. His ERA swelled to 4.14.
Hello again: Daisuke Matsuzaka, who received a cortisone injection in his right elbow nine days ago, entered after Colon’s ejection and contributed three scoreless innings. It marked Matsuzaka’s first appearance since Aug. 30. He allowed one hit and three walks in a 44-pitch effort.
Not him again: Maybe the Mets should pitch around LaRoche. In addition to the two-run homer in the first, LaRoche also had an RBI single in the third. He finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
LaRoche is hitting .361 (13-for-36) with five homers and 14 RBIs in 10 games against the Mets this season. He is fourth among active players in homers against the Mets with 28, trailing only a trio of Phillies -- Ryan Howard (41), Chase Utley (33) and Jimmy Rollins (30).
Brain locks: The Mets had at least three gaffes during the ugly game.
With the lead just 2-0 in the bottom of the second, the Mets placed runners on the corners with none out against Tanner Roark. They came up empty, thanks in part to a mental lapse by d’Arnaud.
First, Curtis Granderson popped out in foul territory to Rendon at third base. Then, Dilson Herrera popped out to second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera. Apparently having lost track of the outs, d’Arnaud broke for second on the pop fly. He was doubled off first base.
A half-inning later, Colon fielded a comebacker off the bat of Desmond and threw to second base to try to get the lead runner. Wilmer Flores and Herrera had some confusion, no one was stationed at the bag and Colon was charged with an errant throw. That led to an unearned run.
Eric Young Jr. was thrown out attempting to go first to third on an errant pickoff throw by Roark in the sixth with the Mets trailing by five runs.
Snapped! Bobby Abreu, in his first at-bat since rejoining the Mets, pinch hit in the eighth and singled up the middle. That snapped an 0-for-22 drought as a pinch hitter in the majors.
Damn that HBP left a mark on Daniel Murphy's wrist pic.twitter.com/7xlK99AiHx
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) September 12, 2014