September 23, 2006: Mets Pound Nats With 17 Hits

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Date: September 23, 2006
Mets starter: John Maine
Mets: 12
Nationals: 6
Winning pitcher: John Maine
Key player(s): David Wright, Jose Reyes, Lastings Milledge
Key play: Reyes’ RBI single and double, Wright’s homer and triple, Milledge’s double

The Mets faced the Nationals on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played a nationally-televised game in front of 45,247 fans on hand. The Mets collected a total of seventeen hits in a 12-6 win over Washington.

Mets’ starter John Maine held the Nats without a hit from the first inning to the third. For Washington, Michael O'Connor responded by limiting the Mets to two hits in pitching scoreless bottom halves. With two outs in the top of the fourth, Ryan Zimmerman hit a double to right field and advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Austin Kearns was hit by a pitch and Jose Vidro drew a walk to load the bases. Brian Schneider walked to force home Zimmerman with the first run of the game. Maine retired Nook Logan on an inning-ending pop-up to shortstop Jose Reyes. O’Connor then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Felipe Lopez got a one-out single in the top of the fifth inning. Lopez stole second base and Nick Johnson drew a walk. Alfonso Soriano was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Zimmerman was called out on strikes. Kearns drew a walk to force home Lopez. Vidro hit a single to score Johnson and Soriano for a 4-0 Nationals lead. On the hit, Kearns was out at third via a throw by left fielder Lastings Milledge to third baseman David Wright to end the inning.

Shawn Green doubled to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Milledge hit a single to drive home Green and moved to third base on a double by Chris Woodward. Pinch-hitter Jose Valentin was called out on strikes and Reyes singled to score Milledge. Endy Chavez singled to bring home Woodward and a fly ball by Paul Lo Duca was caught by right fielder Kearns. Following a double steal, Wright hit a three-run homer to put the Mets ahead, 6-4. O’Connor was replaced on the mound by Nats’ reliever Ryan Wagner, against whom Julio Franco singled to center field. Green singled for his second hit of the inning to advance Franco to third. Wagner then got Milledge on a line drive to left fielder Soriano to close out the inning

Mets’ reliever Royce Ring yielded only a double to Logan in the top of the sixth inning. Washington’s Chris Schroeder pitched a scoreless bottom half. To begin the top of the seventh, the Mets’ Guillermo Mota retired Johnson on a ground ball to second baseman Woodward. Soriano followed with a home run and Mota recorded strikeouts of Zimmerman and Kearns for the inning’s final outs. Wright singled against the Nationals’ Felix Rodriguez to lead off the bottom half. Franco grounded out to third baseman Zimmerman and an intentional walk to Green followed. Milledge hit a force play grounder to Zimmerman and went to third base on Woodward’s single that brought home Wright. Pinch-hitter Michael Tucker drew a walk to load the bases. Reyes doubled to score Milledge and Woodward, extending the Mets’ lead to 9-5. Rodriguez then got Chavez to ground out to shortstop Lopez and end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Aaron Heilman retired the side in order in the top of the eighth. Lo Duca homered against Washington’s Jason Bergmann to open the bottom half. Wright followed with a fly ball into right field on which first baseman Johnson collided with Kearns. On the play, David reached third base for a triple while Johnson suffered a broken leg and had to be removed from the field in an ambulance. Kearns was also injured and taken out of the game. Franco doubled to score Wright and a pop-up by Green was caught by Zimmerman. Milledge hit a double that plated Franco with the Mets’ twelfth run of the game. Bergmann then threw called third strikes past Woodward and pinch-hitter Anderson Hernandez for the final outs of the inning.

Pinch-hitter Melvin Dorta doubled against Mets’ reliever Billy Wagner to lead off the top of the ninth. Dorta advanced to third base on Lopez’s ground out to Woodward. Robert Fick grounded out to Woodward to bring home Dorta with the Nationals’ sixth run. Soriano singled to center field and advanced to third base on pinch-hitter Bernie Castro’s single. Castro went to second on defensive indifference. Wagner then struck out George Lombard to end the game. The Mets had a victory in which they got eight singles and nine extra-base hits.