Thursday, May 26, 2022

Tylor Megill’s worst career game sinks Mets in loss to Nationals

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WASHINGTON – Even after they fell into a sizable hole early Wednesday night, the Mets could draw on their comeback experience as a reason to believe the game wasn’t over.

A team that rallied on the road to beat the Cardinals and Phillies with dramatic ninth-inning rallies would find that magic again, right? Not so fast.

The bullpen stuffed the Nationals after Tylor Megill imploded, but offensive firepower never arrived in an 8-3 loss that still left the Mets in position to win the series on Thursday, albeit without the possibility of a sweep. The Mets have won eight series and tied another to begin the season.

But the Mets (21-11) haven’t swept a series, and these reeling Nationals seemed like potential victims. But don’t underestimate a Washington lineup that has a proven core with Juan Soto, Josh Bell and Nelson Cruz.

Tylor Megill reacts as he exits the Mets’ loss to the Nationals.
Tylor Megill stands in the dugout after her rough outing.
Tylor Megill stands in the dugout after her rough outing.

In his worst career major league start, Megill lasted just 1 ¹ / ₃ innings and allowed eight earned runs on eight hits and one walk. It was certainly a different scene from April 7, when Megill fired five shutout innings against the Nationals as Jacob deGrom’s replacement in the season opener.

Megill got ambushed immediately, surrendering a two-run homer to Soto in the first after the Mets had scored three times in the top of the inning. Josh Bell was hit by a pitch and Megill surrendered consecutive hits to Yadiel Hernandez and Keibert Ruiz, the latter of which tied it 3-3. Maikel Franco’s sacrifice fly and an RBI single from Dee Strange-Gordon extended that lead to 5-3 before the ninth batter, Victor Robles, was retired to end the inning on Megill’s 38th pitch.

Juan Soto crushes a two-run homer in the first inning.
Juan Soto crushes a two-run homer in the first inning.
Nelson Cruz celebrates after his three-run home run.
Nelson Cruz celebrates after his three-run home run.

It didn’t get much better for Megill in the second. Cruz inflicted the damage with one mighty swing for a three-run homer, burying the Mets in an 8-3 hole. After the next batter, Hernandez, walked, Megill was removed.

The Mets got a boost from Trevor Williams, who pitched 3 ² / ₃ scoreless innings to help preserve the bullpen. Stephen Nogosek followed with three shutout innings in his season debut for the Mets. The right-hander hAcesparks’t pitched since April 30 for Triple-A Syracuse. He was recalled by the Mets on Sunday.

Pete Alonso’s two-run homer in the first inning off Aaron Sanchez gave the Mets a brief cushion. Brandon Nimmo doubled leading off the game and scored when Franco threw away Starling Marte’s bunt. Alonso followed with a blast into the left-field seats for his team-leading eighth homer.

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