All season, the Mets had trouble with the upstart Nationals, and in the end, their struggles against Washington led to their undoing.
Going into their July 17th matchup with the Nationals, the Mets were already going in the wrong direction. They had opened the second half of the season with three straight losses to the Atlanta Braves and the season already felt on the verge of spiraling out of control.
The Nats had taken a 2-0 lead into the 9th inning and it seemed as if the Mets were getting ready to drop yet another game, putting them a solid seven games behind Washington.
Then, pinch hitter extraordinaire Jordany Valdespin, drove in a replay upheld three run bomb to give the Mets the lead.
Bobby Parnell came in to try and nail down the potential season saving victory, but with two outs in the 9th, he allowed a Danny Espinosa single to tie the game. The Mets again took the lead in the 10th off a Josh Thole double, but the madness was just beginning.
The normally reliable Tim Byrdak was roughed up, allowing rookie sensation Bryce Harper to tie the game with an RBI triple and loaded up the bases with only one out. Byrdak got Adam LaRoche to hit into a fielder's choice at the plate before he was pulled for Pedro Beato.
Beato proceeded to lose the game, not on a base hit, but a wild pitch.
This game hurt the Mets on a whole host of levels and it was the punch that the Amazin's never seemed to recover from for the rest of the season. Yes, the game put them in a deep hole if they wanted to win the division, but it did much more than that.
It showed the weaknesses of the bullpen. It showed that even when the Mets put on some of their late game magic, it still wouldn't be enough. It showed that the Mets may be headed for yet another second half collapse.
Worst of all, blowing two leads in two innings to a division rival, especially losing on a wild pitch, was just downright demoralizing and was really the final nail in the coffin for any optimism people had about the Mets in 2012.
June 5th: Another game with the Nationals, another three leads blown, another extra inning loss. This time, the festivities featured an error filled 10th inning and another two out game winner from Bryce Harper.
Subway Series: The Mets were embarrassed by the crosstown rival Yankees this year, losing five of their six games with the Bombers, featuring everything from blowouts to walk offs.
August 22nd: Probably the ugliest, most embarrassing game the Mets played all season, and part of a four game sweep from the lowly Rockies that showed that the Mets had truly hit rock bottom.