"It really sucks. But I'm not the only person that has had surgery. We just go back and try to build up for next year now." — Scott Olsen, referring to his torn labrum, July 20, 2009.
: Livan Hernandez continued his mastery of his former team, limiting the Washington Nationals
to two earned runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings, leading the New York Mets
to a 6-2 victory before just over 19,000 at Nationals Park.
Jeff Francoeur hit his first home run as a Met, one of his three hits on the evening. Angel Pagan and Daniel Murphy each added two hits for the Mets.
J.D. Martin made his major league debut for the Nats to mixed results. He went four innings and did not walk a batter, but did allow five earned runs on eight hits.
Martin ran into trouble right off the bat. Pagan led off the game with a slow roller down the third base line that Willie Harris hoped would roll foul. It did not. After Luis Castillo bunted Pagan over to second, Murphy doubled to right, easily scoring Pagan.
Martin struck out David Wright for the second out, but Francoeur laced a double to left that plated Murphy.
The second inning brought more of the same.
Alex Cora led off with a single and took second on a Brian Schneider ground out. Hernandez tapped back to the pitcher, and with two outs it looked like Martin might escape damage. He didn't.
Pagan, Castillo and Murphy all singled, scoring three more runs, and just like that Martin, who had pitched to an 8-3 record with a 2.63 ERA in Triple-A Syracuse, found himself down 5-0 inside of two innings.
Washington got six hits and three walks, and left six runners on base.
The big news of the night was about Olsen, the left-handed pitcher obtained with Josh Willingham in the off-season trade for Emilio Bonifacio.
Olsen has what's being described as a "small tear" in his labrum, will have surgery Thursday, and will miss the rest of the season. Team doctor Wiemi Douoguih said that there doesn't appear to be any problem with Olsen's rotator cuff and if all goes as expected, Olsen should be competition ready in three months.
THE TAKEAWAY: Olsen's injury only further reinforces the idea that the second half of the season should be spent evaluating the young starting pitching, such as tonight's starter, Martin. Martin is a 26-year-old Tommy John survivor trying to live up to his first round draft status.
He performed admirably for Syracuse, but history is full of pitchers that put a half season of excellence at Triple-A that couldn't find the same results in the majors. It will be very interesting to see Martin and evaluate his progress here with the big club.
THE GOOD: Tyler Clippard. The righty went three scoreless relief innings, striking out five of the nine batters he faced. He did not give up a hit or a walk in the appearance, keeping the Nats in the game during the middle innings.
THE BAD: Adam Dunn. He went 1-for-4, but grounded into two double plays, killing rallies twice for the Nats.
THE UGLY: Cristian Guzman. He went 0-for-4 in the five spot. There should not be ANY major league batting order with Guzman in the five-hole. Stunning.
NEXT GAME: Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. John Lannan (6-7, 3.64) tries to stop the six-game losing streak against Oliver Perez (2-2, 7.99)