Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Misery Loves Company

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Misery Loves Company

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- As the Mets readied for another game that meant little, being 20 1/2 games out of first place with a clubhouse filled mostly with minor leaguers, castoffs and players clinging to the majors, David Wright arrived.

Wright still wasn't ready to play, just relocating his rehabilitation north with his Grade 2 right hamstring strain. So the Mets were left with a no-name lineup that nearly was no-hit, waving futilely at Gio Gonzalez pitches until Zach Lutz dropped a pinch- hit single just past first base leading off the seventh inning. The Nationals recorded a 9-0 victory at Citi Field.

The no-hitter was the only allure to the crowd on Bark in the Park Night -- the parade of dogs showing more life than the Mets' lineup -- as the Nationals pounded starter Carlos Torres for four homers, including back-to-back to start the night, and six runs in four innings. When Greg Burke followed Torres to the mound and served up a three-run homer, the game was out of reach and the only mystery was if someone could find a hole for a hit.

"When he's out there just dominating and you look up at the scoreboard, down nine runs, you think, 'What can we do?' " Lutz said. "The one thing we don't want to do as hitters is just give at- bats away.''

Lutz ended that, dropping a curling liner the opposite way that kicked up chalk just past the diving effort of Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche. Gonzalez needed just 73 pitches to get through the first six innings, coasting through the Mets' lineup until Lutz came up to hit in the No. 2 spot in the order -- where the Mets had double-switched their best hitter, Daniel Murphy, out of the game.

The hit removed a small measure of embarrassment from the night and made it seem only slightly less sensible that the face of the franchise was rushing back to this dead-end finish. The Mets went down meekly in order after the hit. …

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