August 19, 2005: Seo and Looper Shut Out Nats

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Date: August 19, 2005
Mets starter: Jae Seo
Mets: 1
Nationals: 0
Winning pitcher: Jae Seo
Key player(s): Jae Seo, Braden Looper, Victor Diaz
Key play: Diaz’s single

The Mets faced the Nationals on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Jae Seo and Braden Looper teamed up for a five-hit shutout in a 1-0 Mets win over Washington.

Seo hurled a scoreless top of the first inning. Jose Reyes singled against Nats’ starter John Patterson to lead off the bottom half. Miguel Cairo was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Brad Wilkerson. Reyes stole second base and Carlos Beltran drew a walk. Cliff Floyd popped out to first baseman Nick Johnson and a double steal put Reyes at third and Beltran at second. Patterson then threw a called third strike past David Wright for the third out.

Preston Wilson doubled to begin the top of the second. Wilson advanced to third base on Brian Schneider’s ground out to first baseman Marlon Anderson. Vinny Castilla was hit by a pitch and Jamey Carroll went down on strikes. Patterson flied out to right fielder Victor Diaz to end the inning and set down the Mets in order in the bottom half. Seo retired all three Washington batters on infield ground balls in the top of the third. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Reyes singled and stole second. Cairo popped out to second baseman Jose Vidro. Patterson then got Beltran to fly out to center fielder Wilson and finish off the inning.

Seo held the Nationals to a single by Wilson in the top of the fourth. Wright singled with one out in the bottom half. With Anderson at bat, Wright was caught stealing second base on catcher Schneider’s throw to shortstop Carroll. Anderson drew a walk and Ramon Castro was struck out to end the inning. Seo pitched a perfect top of the fifth and Reyes got a two-out single in the bottom half. Jose then got caught by Patterson’s pickoff throw and was tagged by Carroll at second for the inning’s final out.

Seo retired the Nats in order in the top of the sixth. Patterson yielded just a single to Beltran in the bottom half and Wilson singled with one out in the top of the seventh. Schneider followed with a grounder to second baseman Cairo for an inning-ending double play. Castro hit a one-out double in the bottom half. Diaz singled to drive home Castro and put the Mets ahead by a run. On his own hit, Diaz was out at second via a relay throw by Johnson to Carroll. Patterson then got Seo to ground out to Vidro and end the inning.

Castilla hit a double to begin the top of the eighth. Carroll’s sacrifice bunt advanced pinch-runner Cristian Guzman to third base and pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga drew a walk. Seo threw a called third strike past Wilkerson and retired Vidro on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Beltran. Reyes singled against Washington reliever Joey Eischen to open the bottom half. Cairo’s sacrifice bunt moved Reyes to second and Beltran was walked intentionally. Eischen got Floyd on a called third strike. The Nationals’ Gary Majewski then retired Wright on a fly ball to right fielder Jose Guillen to close out the inning.

Johnson singled against Looper to lead off the top of the ninth. Guillen hit a ground ball to Cairo for a double play. Looper then threw a called third strike past Wilson to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a shutout victory to start the weekend series.