by Anthony Amobi, Staff Writer

After a close, but satisfying, win against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Nationals headed up to the Big Apple – well, borough of Queens – to face their divisional rival, the New York Mets in a weekend series.

The first contest in the three game set started out close; however, the Mets used the long ball late against a shaky Nationals bullpen to earn the win Friday night, 8-2.

Washington’s pitching decided the outcome and the result was not good – especially against a New York team notorious for their lack of power.

The Mets would use four homers – two solo shots from Rod Barajas, plus two from Jeff Francoeur – for their second win on the young season. As well, they would muster twelve hits in a game that lacked any drama on a cool, windy evening.

The Nationals started off strong and took a quick 2-0 lead off Ian Desmond’s two-run triple that plated Adam Dunn and Ivan Rodriguez in the second inning; however, they would quickly have their offense zapped by the Mets’ pitching.

Sadly, Washington would only muster four hits on the night.

Mike Pelfrey (1-0), started the game for New York. Although he looked a tad shaky to start off, he settled in and kept Washington at bay after the second inning. He’d go six innings, give up two earned runs, strike and walk four.

Meanwhile, Garret Mock – who was a surprise addition out of camp in Spring Training – started on the mound for Washington and ran into trouble. He would last only three and one-third innings and give up only two runs.  He threw an astounding 84 pitches (44 for strikes) and seemingly had no command of his pitches. Mock would surrender four hits, strike out three and walk five.

With the number of pitchers in Washington’s minor league system, plus with highly touted prospects Drew Storen and Stephen Strasburg in the wings, the leash on Mock will be short if he doesn’t pick it up in the next few weeks.

The Mets got on the board in the bottom of the second inning as Jeff Francoeur took Mock deep with a solo homer. They would tie the game at two off a solo shot by Rod Barajas.

Barajas would strike again in the sixth with inning another solo homer to put the Mets up 3-2 off National reliever Miguel Batista (L, 0-1).

New York would tag Washington in the seventh inning for three more runs as Fernando Tatis singled in a run and then Francoeur would hit his second homer of the game – a two-run shot. All the runs in the frame were courtesy of relief pitcher Jason Bergmann, who was disappointing once again.

The Mets added another two more runs in the eighth inning to make the score 8-2 on an Alex Cora RBI-single followed by a David Wright infield single that plated Angel Pagan off reliever Tyler Walker.

The two teams will meet up again on Saturday at Citi Field. The game time is at 1:05pm.

The Good: Not much. Ian Desmond does have a potent bat and drove in the only two runs of the game.

Ivan Rodriguez was 2-for-4 and is off to a good start this season with a .462 average.

The Bad: The pitching. Every arm in the game gave up a run. Not good. We’ll assume that the names on the pitching staff with change somewhat as the season goes along.

Washington’s offense didn’t do much as the triumvirate of Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn, and Josh Willingham went 1-for-9. Dunn did walk twice and score a run.

Also, the Nationals were only 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.