This is the kind of night it was for the Mets: They allowed a Citi Field record five home runs, they were victims of a one-hitter by the Nationals' Gio Gonzalez and how did they feel?
It easily could have been a no-hitter. Really easily. Pinch hitter Zach Lutz hit a pitch off the end of his bat and saw that it landed right on the chalk behind first base to lead off the seventh inning, sparing the team from an even worse indignity than a 9-0 wipeout by a team desperate to stay in the National League wild-card race.
"We hit one ball good. [Juan] Lagares' line drive to shortstop was the only ball we hit good," manager Terry Collins said, referring to an out in the fifth. "So obviously, we feel very fortunate."
Gonzalez (10-6), who had eight strikeouts and allowed two walks, also felt fortunate to be on a team that began the game with back-to-back home runs by Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman. Jayson Werth hit a three-run blast in the third and Tyler Moore led off the fourth with a shot to centerfield against starter Carlos Torres (3-4), who had allowed eight runs against the Nationals on July 28. Wilson Ramos added a three-run homer off Greg Burke in the fifth.
Still, it could have been better for the totally dominant pitcher. "It's a bittersweet moment. You're happy you got the win, the team did great. But it's a sad moment when you lose a no-hitter," he said.
When he was told that Lutz had said of the chalk shot, "That's some good luck, right there," Gonzalez did not feel worse.
"He's a good hitter," Gonzalez said. "He's up there to do his job. It's nice that he at least swung the bat. You don't want a guy up there bunting on you."
Notes & quotes: Bobby Parnell will need surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck, Collins said. The manager added that he does not know enough about the procedure to say if the closer will be ready for spring training . . . Aaron Harang, a 12-year major-league veteran, was recalled by the Mets and said he was told he will start Thursday.