NEW YORK (AP) As he saw a group of reporters approaching his locker late Wednesday night, Francisco Lindor grinned and noted he hadn’t been approached of late for postgame comments.
“That’s what happens when you don’t hit,” Lindor said.
The All-Star shortstop isn’t alone in the New York Mets clubhouse.
The Mets extended a losing streak to four for the first time since 2021 when MacKenzie Gore tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts and led the Washington Nationals to a 4-1 victory on Wednesday night.
Gore (3-1) gave up one run, four hits and two walks in six innings for the Nationals, who clinched their third series win against the Mets since the start of 2021. Washington was 13-25 against New York the last two seasons.
The Mets have been outscored 21-9 and are hitting just .205 with seven walks and 47 strikeouts in 141 plate appearances during the skid, their longest since dropping five from Sept. 21-26, 2021.
“This is one of those stretches,” Lindor said. “We have been a group that has been able to turn the page extremely quick, learn from today (and) turn the page pretty soon.
“Come back tomorrow, prepare and get ready to play a big league game and try to win.”
Lindor is 2 for 16 during the skid and is batting .178 (8 for 45) over 11 games dating to April 15. The Mets’ final threat ended Wednesday when Hunter Harvey whiffed Lindor on three pitches - a 99 mph fastball and a pair of 91 mph splitters - to strand runners at second and third in the seventh.
“I know what our guys’ track record says,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “But when pitchers are on top of their game - I’ve said it 100 times, pitchers win that battle. That’s why pitching’s always at a premium.”
A 24-year-old southpaw, Gore was acquired in the trade that sent Juan Soto to San Diego last summer. Gore had just one 1-2-3 inning but kept the Mets off-balance by mixing a low-80s curveball with a slider in the high 80s and a mid-90s fastball. He threw a first-pitch strike to 19 of 24 batters.
“Got ahead of guys, curve was great, (defense) made plays,” Gore said. “Big win for us.”
Gore’s start continued a solid stretch for the Nationals, whose starters have compiled a 2.28 ERA over the last five games.
“We knew they were pitching as well as anyone in the league coming in and we’re seeing that - you see why MacKenzie Gore was the guy they wanted for a guy like Soto,” Showalter said. “We’re just not scoring runs. A lot of strikeouts. And I’ll always give (pitchers) credit for that, but it’s something that we’ve been good at and will be again.”
After wriggling out of the two-on, one-out jam in the seventh, Harvey threw a perfect eighth and Kyle Finnegan struck out two in a perfect ninth for his fifth save, finishing a four-hitter.
“That’s a good team,” Gore said of the Mets, who went 101-61 last season. “This was good. It was a lot of fun.”
Lane Thomas and C.J. Abrams hit consecutive RBI singles in the second off Kodai Senga (3-1). Jeimer Candelario homered in the seventh off Jeff Brigham and Alex Call added a run-scoring single in the eighth against Adam Ottavino.
Eduardo Escobar tripled in the third and scored on a single by Marte.
Senga, trying to become the fifth Mets pitcher to win his first four decisions, gave up two runs, five hits and four walks in five innings. He struck out seven and has 32 whiffs this season, tied for the fourth-most through five starts in franchise history.
EARLY STRUGGLES The Mets went down in order in the first inning and have gone scoreless in the opening frame in their last 16 games.
Senga committed a pitch clock violation prior to delivering a 2-2 pitch to Luis García in the second - but García still swung after plate umpire Mark Carlson called time and hit a ground ball to second. Senga eventually walked García but left the bases loaded when he struck out the next batter, Candelario.
Mets: RHP Justin Verlander (teres major strain) will make a rehab start Friday, though the Mets have yet to announce which affiliate he will pitch for. … RHP Carlos Carrasco (right elbow) has resumed throwing.
RHP Trevor Williams (1-1, 3.38 ERA) , who starts Thursday for the Nationals went 3-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 40 games as a swingman for the Mets the previous two seasons, making 12 starts. Mets LHP Joey Lucchesi (1-0, 0.00 ERA) pitched a career-high seven scoreless innings at San Francisco last Friday in his first big league appearance since Tommy John surgery in June 2021.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Copyright 2023 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.