After a pre-game press conference in which Sandy Alderson told reporters that Rafael Montero’s promotion over highly touted Noah Syndergaard had been based on merit, many left the ball park wondering if the right choice had been made. The Mets were trounced by the division leading Nationals by a score of 7-1 on Tuesday night. Rafael Montero was walloped in his first MLB start since May 30th. The rookie hurler allowed 7 hits, including three long home runs in 5 plus innings while surrendering 5 earned runs in the loss.
Meanwhile, on the mound for the Nationals, Doug Fister was brilliant once again. The 6’8” righty held the Mets punchless lineup in check all night long, allowing 7 hits over 7 shutout innings. Fister has been a brilliant pick up for the Nationals this season after he was acquired in a trade for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Kroll and minor leaguer Robbie Ray. Seeing Verlander and Sanchez struggle with injuries, the Tigers must be kicking themselves as Fister has pitched to a 12-3 record and a 2.34 ERA in 2014.
After a scoreless first inning, Bryce Harper got the visiting team on the board with an opposite field home run, only his 5th of the season. Montero would stave off the Nationals until the sixth inning, which was not kind to the Amazin’s. Montero allowed two more home runs in the frame to Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond respectively. Following the latter of the blasts, Montero was lifted for Carlos Torres, who allowed a third home run in the frame to Michael Taylor.
Michael Taylor had quite a debut for the Nationals on Tuesday. In his first Major League at-bat, Taylor singled sharply up the middle. Just two at-bats later, the rookie had his first career home run under his belt as well. Taylor finished 2 for 4 with the one home run and two RBIs. The 23-year-old outfielder hit a combined .315 with 22 homers and 35 stolen bases in the minors this season, almost all of it at Double-A.
Of his first night in the majors, "Definitely better than I imagined," Taylor said, his cell phone buzzing with messages from elated family and friends.
Held in check all night long by Fister, the Mets managed to scrape out a run against lefty Ross Detwiler. After loading the bases with none out, pinch hitter Eric Campbell hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Daniel Murphy making the score 7-1. The Mets would fail to score again and went quietly into the night, garnering their 63rd loss of the season.
Tomorrow night the Mets will look to rebound from their tough loss when Bartolo Colon (11-9, 3.97 ERA) takes on Jordan Zimmermann (7-5, 3.06 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.