Aug 31, 2013, 10:19 PM EDT
Game in a nutshell: Whatever momentum Dan Haren had going over the past few weeks came to a screeching halt on Saturday night, as the veteran lasted just 2 2/3 innings an a lopsided loss for the Nats. Haren struggled early his last time out in Kansas City, but recovered to give his team a chance. This time he couldn’t seem to get anyone out and finished with his worst start of the 2013 season. While Haren was terrible, Mets rookie Zack Wheeler baffled the Nats’ lineup through 6 2/3 innings. The Nats finally got some runs off him in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Jayson Werth and an RBI single by Ian Desmond. But overall, through a hot and muggy night at Nationals Park, it was all Wheeler and the Mets. New York got three more in the top of the eighth off Ryan Mattheus to put this one on ice and complete a disastrous evening for the Nats. Haren picked a bad time to lay an egg as the Nats have now lost two straight games.
Hitting lowlight: Wheeler had no problem with the Nats’ lineup until they finally struck for some runs in the sixth inning. He began the game perfect through 2 2/3 innings and gave up five hits and just one walk overall. The Nats did, however, see Denard Span record three hits and push his career-high hitting streak to 14 games.
Pitching lowlight: Haren put in his worst outing of what has been a disappointing year overall. He gave up nine hits through just 2 2/3 innings and took seven earned runs. He was replaced by Tanner Roark in the third and heard boos as he walked off the field into the dugout. Haren has now allowed 11 earned runs in his last 9 2/3 innings, this after being the Nats’ most consistent pitcher for over a month.
Key stat: Dan Haren has allowed 11 earned runs across his last two starts, more than he gave up in his previous eight outings combined.
Up next: The Nationals will try to salvage this series and avoid the sweep with Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 2.58) facing off against Jonathon Niese (6-6, 3.69). It’s an 8:05 p.m. start as the game is on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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