The New York Mets were a woeful 5-21 in June, but they seemingly made incremental strides throughout July and entered Tuesday night an encouraging 12-11 over the past 30 days.
That progress will now be overshadowed by the historic 25-4 loss they suffered at the hands of the Washington Nationals (53-53) Tuesday night in the nation's capital.
Following a four-game split with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, the Mets (44-60) opened their trip to Washington in disastrous fashion as starter Steven Matz was shelled for eight hits and seven earned runs before he was pulled two outs into the first inning.
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The Nationals' 7 runs were the most in the 1st inning of a game by an NL team this season. Steven Matz allowed 7 ER that inning, tying Dylan Bundy and Felix Peña for the most allowed in the opening frame by any pitcher this season. Those 7 ER also tied a career-high for Matz. https://t.co/T5GEBw1SCe
And that was just the beginning.
The Mets' bullpen struggled to tame Washington's bats and surrendered three runs apiece in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings.
Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy helped accelerate the onslaught with a two-run home run in the second inning and a three-run jack the following frame. All told, he finished with three hits and a game-high six RBI.
It was also a productive night for Bryce Harper—who avoided getting dealt in advance of Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline despite rumblings Washington was exploring his market.
In all, Harper registered three hits, two RBI and a pair of doubles after entering Tuesday's National League East clash with two doubles the entire month of July.
As a team, the Nationals finished the evening with 26 hits and five home runs, including two off infielder-turned-pitcher Jose Reyes in the bottom of the eighth inning.
By comparison, the Mets managed nine total hits—four of which came in the top of the ninth inning with the result well out of reach.
Now 14 games below .500, the Mets will attempt to start August on a positive note when Noah Syndergaard, who was recently sidelined by hand, foot and mouth disease, heads to the mound for Wednesday's matinee against Nationals southpaw Tommy Milone.