On Saturday afternoon, all eyes were on Stephen Strasburg as he made his first start since March 17 after twisting his ankle in conditioning. Strasburg took the hill in Port St. Lucie as the Washington Nationals took on the New York Mets. It was a rough day for the 26-year-old as he gave up four runs on four hits over four innings of work in a 10-2 loss. He walked two and struck out two during his outing. Plus, Washington’s offense continues to struggle as they managed one run against Mets starter Jacob deGrom, who they will see at Nats Park on April 8.
After the first two innings were scoreless, New York got the scoring started in the bottom of the third. With runners on first and second and two outs, Curtis Granderson took Strasburg deep to right field for a three-run homer, his third of the spring. David Wright would follow that up with a solo home run of his own. His fourth of the spring extended the lead to 4-0.
Jacob deGrom had an excellent day on the mound for the Mets. He went seven innings, gave up one run on four hits, struck out four, and walked two. He would retire the last six batters he faced in the ball game. The only mistake deGrom made in this game came in the top of the sixth.
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That was when Bryce Harper would hit a 2-0 pitch over the Seacoast Sun Deck in right field for a solo home run. His second of the spring cut the Mets lead to 4-1. Harper would go 1-for-4 with a walk in the loss.
New York would respond in the bottom of the sixth inning with two more runs against Tanner Roark. After a one-out triple by Lucas Duda against Jerry Blevins, manager Matt Williams made the switch to Roark. After that switch, Michael Cuddyer would drive in Duda on a RBI single to left field. That would be followed up by a RBI double to left field by Wilmer Flores to extend the Mets lead to 6-1.
In the following inning, Terry Collins’ club would put up a four-spot. The inning began when catcher Johnny Monell hit a home run to center field for his fourth of the spring. Three batters later, after Daniel Muno reached on a Dan Uggla error, Duda would tack on two more runs with a home run to right for his second of the year. Matt Reynolds would make the lead 10-1 later in the inning on a RBI double to center field that scored Cesar Puello.
Yes, it is only Spring Training, but the New York Mets offense has been very good this spring. As a team, New York has scored the second most runs, hit the third most home runs, and have the third highest batting average of any team this month.
Washington would continue their success they had against Jeurys Familia from Thursday by tacking on a run in the top of the ninth inning on a RBI single by Clint Robinson that scored Tyler Moore, who had led of the inning with a double. Robinson would be the only Nationals player to have a multi-hit game.
The Nats will be back in action Sunday afternoon in Viera against the Miami Marlins. Doug Fister will get the start for Washington against Miami’s Tom Koehler. On Saturday, Washington announced that Fister will be the fifth starter to start the season, which tentatively schedules him for April 11 against the Philadelphia Phillies: