Mets get destroyed, lose slugging youngster on very bad day

The Mets may have lost one of the only reasons to be excited about the rest of their season.

Rookie Jeff McNeil, whose 11-game hitting streak is tied for the longest active streak in the majors, was removed, with right quad tightness after the sixth inning of Sunday’s 15-0 loss against the Nationals, who scored 14 of their runs in the final two innings.

McNeil, who went 1-for-2 with a walk before being pulled, is batting .487 (19-for-39) during his streak. The second baseman has hit safely in each of his past 13 starts and is batting .340 since debuting on July 24.

Entering Sunday with the most runs in the National League since the All-Star break, the Mets reverted back to the offense that finished the first half with the NL’s worst offense and collected just three hits, with just one — a ninth-inning Austin Jackson single — coming after McNeil’s third-inning single.

After back-to-back shutout wins over the Nationals, Steven Matz (5-11) extended the Mets’ scoreless pitching stretch to 24 innings, opening with five shutout innings. Matz had one of his strongest efforts of the year, allowing one run over seven innings, allowing five hits and one walk, with seven strikeouts.

It was an MLB-high ninth time this season that a Mets starter threw at least seven innings and allowed one run or fewer, and the team still lost.

Before an RBI ground out by Juan Soto in the sixth inning, Washington had gone 32 innings without scoring. Then came an eight-run eighth inning, in which Paul Sewald allowed five runs and recorded just one out. Corey Oswalt allowed another six runs in the ninth, highlighted by Mark Reynolds’ grand slam.

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