The Mets trailed 1-0 after seven innings but still lost 15-0 to the Nationals.
Paul Sewald, Tyler Bashlor and Corey Oswalt combined to give up 14 runs over the final two innings. “We threw 78 pitches in two innings,” Mickey Callaway said after it was all over. “And I think we have up a few homers, too many walks, we just didn’t throw enough strikes.”
Sunday’s drubbing was the ninth loss of the season when a Mets starter pitched at least seven innings and gave up one run or less.
Steven Matz held Washington to one run on five hits over seven innings. Jefry Rodriguez, who came into the day with a 5.46 ERA, pitched six shutout innings for the Nationals.
First out of the bullpen for the Mets was Sewald. Two hits and a walk loaded the bases and Juan Soto drew a bases loaded walk. With Callaway not wanting to mix and match lefties and righties Sewald was left in to surrender a three-run double to pinch-hitter Bryce Harper.
Bashlor was next and was greeted with a Tyler Difo home run. Adam Eaton would add a two-run homer later in the inning. Corey Oswalt surrendered six runs in the ninth, including a Mark Reynolds grand slam.
Can Sewald ever regain the form he showed in his first two months as a rookie in 2017? He was terrific last May but was shellacked by Pittsburgh in early June that took his ERA from 2.21 to 4.35 in less than one inning. He finished the season 0-6 with a 4.55 ERA. Sewald’s ERA has increased each month this season and is at 5.54 after Sunday’s disaster. With an 0-4 record in 2018, he has suffered 10 losses, tied for the second-longest streak in franchise history to start a career.
Bashlor had allowed two earned runs over his last 10.1 innings coming into Sunday but his ERA stands at 4.94 in 15 appearances following today’s outing. Interestingly for the hard-throwing righty reliever, lefties hit for a lower batting average against him. Lefties are hitting .220 while righties hit .265.
Oswalt has shown the ability to work quickly and throw strikes but his ERA ballooned to 5.84 after his brutal ninth inning.
The trio of young pitchers that were unable to keep the Nationals within striking distance for an offense that made it a moot point by not scoring anyway.
At least the Mets didn’t give up 25 this time.