WASHINGTON -- Make it six straight losing seasons.
Gio Gonzalez surrendered one hit in seven scoreless innings and the Washington Nationals beat the Mets 3-0 in the nightcap of Thursday's split doubleheader to hand the Amazin’s their 82nd loss. The Mets match the Houston Astros for the longest active streak of consecutive sub-.500 seasons in the majors.
Here are the longest streaks of consecutive losing seasons in franchise history:
Zack Wheeler took a scoreless effort into the fourth. His pitch count then soared in a frame in which the three runs scored on a fielder’s choice, passed ball and hit batter.
Wheeler’s final line in a 107-pitch effort: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 HBP.
He finished the season 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA, and had a particularly strong second half. He had opened the season with a 3-8 record.
Wheeler logged 185 1/3 innings, a jump of 16 2/3 innings over last season. That should set him up for no restrictions in 2015.
Wheeler’s undoing was his high pitch counts. His 4.17 pitches per plate appearance were the most in the National League this season.
The Mets went 4-15 against Washington in 2014.
Gonzalez struck out a career-high 12 batters -- the most by a pitcher against the Mets since Scott Kazmir also reached that total Sept. 6, 2013, at Cleveland.
What’s next: The Mets return home to close out the season with a weekend series against the Astros. Jonathon Niese (9-11, 3.50 ERA) opposes right-hander Brad Peacock (4-9, 4.82) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener.