Tylor Megill’s worst career game sees Mets lose to Nationals

WASHINGTON — Even after falling into a sizeable hole early Wednesday night, the Mets had comeback experience to draw on because this game wasn’t over.

A team that beat the Cardinals and Phillies with dramatic 9th-inning rallies would find that magic again, right? Not so fast.

The bullpen filled the Nationals after Tylor Megill imploded, but offensive firepower never came in an 8-3 loss that still left the Mets in position to win Thursday’s series, albeit without the possibility of a sweep .

“We had some recordings,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I think if we could have fielded a few [runs] … sometimes so good, it’s hard to go there every time, it’s a difficult thing.”

The Mets (21-11) haven’t swept a series this season, and the reeling Nationals looked like a potential victim. But don’t underestimate a Washington lineup that has a proven core in Juan Soto, Josh Bell and Nelson Cruz.

Tylor Megill reacts as he leaves the Mets' loss to the Nationals.
Tylor Megill reacts as he leaves the Mets’ loss to the Nationals.

In his worst major league career start, Megill only lasted 1 ¹/₃ innings and allowed eight earned runs with eight hits and one walk. It was certainly a different scene from April 7, when Megill fired five innings of shutout against the Nationals in the season opener as a substitute for Jacob deGrom.

Megill was immediately ambushed and handed a two-run homer to Soto in the first run after the Mets scored three goals in the top of the inning. Bell was then hit by a pitch and Megill handed back-to-back hits to Yadiel Hernandez and Keibert Ruiz, the latter of whom tied 3-3. Maikel Franco’s sacrificial fly and an RBI single from Dee Strange-Gordon extended that lead to 5-3 before ninth batter, Victor Robles, was pulled back to end the inning on Megill’s 38th pitch.

“I fell behind a lot of hitters early on and just left a lot of stuff in the middle of the plate,” Megill said. “Obviously in hit numbers they did what they did with it.”

Things don’t get much better for Megill in the second inning. Cruz dealt the damage with a powerful swing for a three-run homer, burying the Mets in an 8-3 hole. After the next batter, Hernandez, left, Megill was removed.

Tylor Megill is on the bench after his tough outing.
Tylor Megill is on the bench after his tough outing.

“An outing like this, no matter how bad it went, you just can’t really think about it,” Megill said. “It’s been a bad outing but I’m capable of much more and I’m not going to let this one define me and just prepare for the next.”

The Mets got a boost from Trevor Williams, who went 3²/₃ innings scoreless to save the bullpen. Stephen Nogosek followed in his season debut for the Mets with three innings of shutout. The right-hander, who hadn’t played for Triple-A Syracuse since April 30, was recalled by the Mets on Sunday.

“I think we’ve proved that we have a chance if the game is still going,” said Nogosek. “I knew if I went out there and put up zeros and kept us in the ball game, there was a chance we could win that game.”

Juan Soto smashes a two-run homer in the first inning.
Juan Soto smashes a two-run homer in the first inning.
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Nelson Cruz celebrates after hitting a triple home run.
Nelson Cruz celebrates after hitting a triple home run.

And in the ninth, there was a brief burst of optimism after Eduardo Escobar and Jeff McNeil started the inning back-to-back. But Paolo Espino pulled back the next three batters to finish it off.

Pete Alonso’s two-run homer in the first inning ahead of Aaron Sanchez gave the Mets a short cushion. Brandon Nimmo doubled the play and scored when Franco Starling threw away Marte’s Bunt. Alonso followed with a bang on the pitches in left field for his team-leading eighth homer. The Mets didn’t meet again.

“We really reassured Sanchez after that [Washington] We did a couple of runs up there and we started attacking him from the hitting zone,” Showalter said. “I think that helped him settle in a bit.” Tylor Megill’s worst career game sees Mets lose to Nationals


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