Well, for better or worse there was no late-game drama tonight for the Washington Nationals. However, with another day comes another win for the Nats here on Wednesday night: a 5-3 victory over the New York Mets in their second of a three-game set. While the first-place Nats improve to 32-22 on the year, the Mets fall to 31-26, good enough for 4th place in the extremely competitive NL East.
After receiving only one run’s worth of support in each of his past three starts, Edwin Jackson (2-3) was able to settle down in this one and take the win for the DC club. In the 1st inning, Adam LaRoche cleared the bases with a three-run homer off Mets’ starter Jeremy Hefner (1-3) that also scored star rookie Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman to put the Nats up 3-0. While the Mets wouldn’t score more than three, the Nats added some insurance in both the 5th and 7th innings with a Michael Morse RBI-single and a LaRoche sacrifice fly, respectively. The Mets would keep the score close until the end, but it’s still great to see the bats finally coming alive for the Nats just in time for Morse’s return to the lineup. Jackson earned a line of seven strong innings, allowing three hits, three runs (two earned), and walking four while striking out six in the contest.
Despite giving up the early homerun to LaRoche, Hefner would pitch a commendable six innings for the New York club from the National League—he would give up only those three runs with one walk and three strikeouts on seven hits. The first run that the visitors produced off Jackson came in the 3rd frame when a Kirk Nieuwenhuis single brought home Omar Quintanilla. The second came in the 4th after a wild pitchout by Jackson sent David Wright to third base from first, and Lucas Duda was able to earn an RBI-groundout. And finally, in the 7th, Quintanilla grounded out to score Ike Davis, who had doubled then advanced earlier in the inning. Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard pitched stellar scoreless 8th and 9th innings, respectively, for the Nats to end the game.
Champ of the Game: LaRoche, who’s finally swinging like the “AdaMVP” we saw for all of April and even early May. He went 2-3 with the homer and four RBIs.
For the Mets, Davis went 1-2 with a double, two walks, and a run.
Chump of the Game: Ian Desmond, who was 0-4 and besides Jackson was the only National without a hit tonight despite his heroics in yesterday’s game.
David Murphy was horrendous tonight for New York, going 0-4 at the plate and adding two errors at 2nd base. He looked extremely embarrassed at times in this one.
Unsung Hero: Morse, who after struggling in his first few games since getting called up, went 2-3 with a couple of singles and an RBI.