May 27, 2009: Murphy Leads Mets Over Nationals

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Date: May 27, 2009
Mets starter: Johan Santana
Mets: 7
Nationals: 4
Winning pitcher: Johan Santana
Key player(s): Daniel Murphy, Gary Sheffield, Johan Santana
Key play: Sheffield’s double, Murphy’s three hits

The Mets faced the Nationals on a Wednesday night at Citi Field. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. Daniel Murphy drove in five runs in a 7-4 Mets win over Washington.

Mets’ starter Johan Santana struck out the side in a scoreless top of the first inning. Angel Pagan went down on strikes to begin the bottom half. Luis Castillo singled and advanced to third base on a single by David Wright. A double by Gary Sheffield brought home Castillo and Wright for a 2-0 New York lead. Nats’ starter Jordan Zimmerman then fanned both Murphy and Ramon Castro for the inning’s final outs.

Following a scoreless second, Santana struck out all three Washington batters in the top of the third. Pagan singled to lead off the bottom half. Castillo got a bunt single and Wright was called out on strikes. Sheffield hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and a single by Murphy scored Pagan with the Mets’ third run. Jordan Zimmerman then got Castro on a force play grounder to shortstop Cristian Guzman to close out the inning.

Ryan Zimmerman drew a walk to open the top of the fourth. Adam Dunn slugged a two-run homer and Josh Willingham singled to left field. Ronnie Belliard flied out to left fielder Sheffield and a walk to Justin Maxwell ensued. Wil Nieves was struck out and Jordan Zimmerman walked to load the bases. Guzman drew a walk that forced home Willingham and tied the game. Santana retired Nick Johnson on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Pagan. Jordan Zimmerman then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

After a scoreless fifth inning, Santana shut down the Nationals again in the top of the sixth. Sheffield drew a leadoff walk in the bottom half. Murphy hit a home run to give the Mets a 5-3 lead and Castro doubled to left field. Ron Villone came in to pitch for Washington and retired Fernando Martinez on a ground ball back to the mound. Ramon Martinez walked and Nats’ reliever Kip Wells got pinch-hitter Fernando Tatis to line out to Guzman. On the play, Castro was caught by Guzman’s throw to second baseman Belliard that completed an inning-ending double play.

Mets’ relievers Bobby Parnell and Pedro Feliciano combined to strike out the side in a scoreless top of the seventh inning. Pagan got an infield single against Wells to open the bottom half. Castillo drew a walk and Nationals’ reliever Jesus Colome balked to move the runners to second and third base. Wright went down on strikes and Sheffield was walked intentionally to load the bases. Murphy hit a double to drive home Pagan and Castillo, increasing the Mets’ lead to 7-3. Colome then fanned Castro and got Fernando Martinez on a fly ball to center fielder Maxwell that finished off the inning.

Mets’ reliever J. J. Putz hurled a scoreless top of the eighth. Ramon Martinez doubled against Washington’s Joel Hanrahan to begin the bottom half. Jeremy Reed was struck out and consecutive walks to Pagan and Castillo loaded the bases. Hanrahan then threw a called third strike past Wright and got pinch-hitter Wilson Valdez on a grounder to Belliard for the third out of the inning.

Mets’ reliever Francisco Rodriguez retired Nieves on a ground ball to second baseman Castillo to begin the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Anderson Hernandez lined out to Pagan and an error by first baseman Murphy allowed Guzman to reach base. Guzman went to second on defensive indifference and scored the Nationals’ fourth run on a single by Johnson. Rodriguez then got Ryan Zimmerman on a called third strike to end the game. The Mets had a victory and a sweep of the three-game series.

Notes

  • Murphy’s home run came about after the use of a replay. The ball caromed off the facing of the second level of seating and back onto the field. Sheffield was thrown out at home on the play, but umpire Larry Vanover reviewed it on screen and changed the call to a homer.