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Offensive offense: Mets lose to Nationals 2-0

Associated Press Published: September 12, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — The Mets have four wins at Citi Field since the All-Star break.

The Washington Nationals have six.

And the Atlanta Braves have five.

"It's frustrating for all 35 guys in that clubhouse, besides the players, and the coaches and the front office," manager Terry Collins said after the latest lackluster effort, a 2-0 loss to the Nationals on Wednesday night. "To not play well at home, to not score runs — I was sitting around thinking about things."

John Lannan (3-0) pitched five-hit ball over 5 2-3 innings in his first start since replacing Stephen Strasburg in Washington's starting rotation, and the Nationals trimmed their magic number to five for clinching a playoff berth. Ryan Zimmerman homered in the fourth off rookie Matt Harvey (3-5), and Ian Desmond connected off Jon Rauch in the eighth.

New York finished an 0-6 homestand and dropped to 65-78, falling 13 games under .500 for the first time since finishing 2009 at 70-92. The Mets matched their longest skid of the season with the six straight defeats and have lost eight of nine overall.

They also extended their club-record streak of scoring three runs or fewer to 13 straight home games. They have lost 22 of their last 26 in Queens.

"We set the bar pretty high in April and May," Collins said. "Our club wasn't picked to be very good and we set the bar up there ... Right now, we just cannot seem to recreate what happened in April."

A 23-year-old right-hander taken with the seventh overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft, Harvey has impressed Collins since he was brought up in late July and already has earned a spot in New York's 2013 rotation.

Harvey allowed five hits in five-plus innings, striking out 10 — one short of his big league high. Washington ran up his pitch count to 106, matching his most in nine major league starts.

"This guy's taken his game to another level when he got up here," Collins said. "He's been so impressive. You know we've got something special."

Harvey's only mistake was leaving a pitch to Zimmerman over the plate in the lower part of the strike zone.

"Nobody likes to lose. Every guy in here is working his butt off," Harvey said. "I felt good early and then I think I pressed too much. That's a mistake I'm going to learn from and I regret."

Washington chased Harvey by loading the bases with no outs in the sixth.

"We lost. I didn't do my job," Harvey said. "We needed zeros."

Robert Carson relieved and retired Tyler Moore on a foulout, Kurt Suzuki on an infield fly and Steve Lombardozzi on a flyout.

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