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Mets take another beating from Nationals while losing rookie Jeff McNeil to injury

If there are any consolations in this lost Mets season, providing the latest of daggers into their bitter rival’s playoff hopes would rank near the top of the list.

Mind you, these are the Mets we’re talking about and that probably would have been asking too much.

The Mets couldn’t complete a three-game sweep of the Nationals, instead taking a 15-0 beating Sunday in front of their home crowd.

At least it wasn’t 25-4, right?

Mickey Callaway’s offense wasted a superb pitching performance — as has been the norm this season — from Steven Matz while the bullpen went off the rails quickly and miserably upon entering the game in the eighth.

To make matters worse, star rookie Jeff McNeil left during the sixth inning with what the team described as right quad tightness.

The 26-year-old, who has injected some much needed thrill into the lineup, is riding an 11-game hitting streak, tied for the longest active stretch in MLB. McNeil had one of the Mets’ three hits Sunday and finished the game 1-for-2.

Callaway said Jeff McNeil has had an issue with his quad in the past, but that “this is nothing like that.” McNeil also doesn’t believe the injury is anything too major, though we’ve heard that before when it comes to the Mets.

Matz followed up a strong performance from Zack Wheeler the day before, giving up one run and five hits while striking out seven.

His lone blemish: Juan Soto’s RBI groundout to bring Trea Turner home in the seventh inning, which gave the Nats their first run in 32 innings.

“Matz was great,” Callaway said. “I think given where he’s been lately, tonight was a big step for him. He looked like the guy we saw earlier in the season, getting into rhythm, shaking things off, doing a good job of focusing on the next pitch and he threw a great game for us.”

Fourteen runs followed as Washington clung onto its closing window of playoff contention, for the time being. The Nats, the preseason favorite to three-peat as NL East champions, are 7.5 games back of the Braves for the division lead.

Paul Sewald came in to relieve Matz and walked in a run in the eighth before giving up a three-run double to Bryce Harper to increase the lead to five runs.

The Nats ran the score to 9-0 against Tyler Bashlor on two homers before Corey Oswalt gave up six runs in the ninth on six hits, including a Mark Reynolds grand slam.

Monday night, Noah Syndergaard (9-3, 3.68 ERA) starts against Cubs lefty Jon Lester (14-5, 3.64) in the start of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.

HOW MISERABLE ARE THE METS? »

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