The Washington Nationals went into Citi Field feeling very good about themselves. They scored 26 runs in their final two games against the Braves, both resulting in wins. Tonight, they handed the New York Mets their first home loss of the season as Stephen Strasburg and the Nats beat New York by a final score of 8-2.
Tonight, Nationals starter, Stephen Strasburg, couldn’t have an easy inning. The Mets made him work right out of the gate. Even though he didn’t give up a run in the first inning, New York worked up his pitch count to 25 pitches.
New York would get on the board first in the bottom of the second against Strasburg. After Wilmer Flores doubled to left field, rookie catcher Kevin Plawecki would drive him in with a RBI double of his own, this one to center field, to give New York the lead. Two batters later, Curtis Granderson would drive in Plawecki with a RBI single to right to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.
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While the Nationals did not have a hit thru three innings against Jacob deGrom, they were able to get three runs in the fourth inning, thanks to some help from the Mets defense. After a leadoff walk by Denard Span, Yunel Escobar hit a ball to short that looked like a double play, but Flores misplayed it and everyone was safe. That set up Jayson Werth to pick up the Nats first hit, a RBI single to left to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Later in the inning, after a Bryce Harper walk, Ryan Zimmerman would tie the game with a sacrifice fly to right center field. Washington would take a 3-2 lead when Wilson Ramos hit a RBI groundout to short to score Werth.
In the top of the sixth, Washington would tack on two more runs. Escobar would lead off the inning with a single to center. After a one out double by Harper, Zimmerman would drive Escobar in with an infield to make it 4-2. That was followed up by Ramos’ second RBI of the night on a single to center for a 5-2 lead. The Nats could have had more runs, but Juan Lagares threw out Zimmerman at the plate on a flyout to center by Danny Espinosa.
In the loss, Jacob deGrom went 5.1 innings, gave up five runs (three earned) on five hits, struck out four batters, and walked two. He has still yet to beat the Nationals in his career.
After a rough first two innings, Strasburg settled down as he retired 10 consecutive Mets before Lucas Duda singled to center field in the bottom of the sixth. Matt Williams would put Strasburg with runners on the corners and one out for Aaron Barrett. Barrett would keep the Mets off the board by getting Eric Campbell to strike out swinging and by getting Flores to line out to left.
In his second win of the season, Strasburg went 5.1 innings, gave up two runs on six hits, struck out seven, and walked one batter. His seven strikeouts are tied for his season high (April 19 against the Phillies).
Even though Yunel Escobar (3-for-5) was back in the lineup for the first time since Monday, Washington may have another injury to worry about. Denard Span left the game after the fifth inning and was replaced by Michael Taylor, who was recently called up from Syracuse.
After the game, manager Matt Williams gave an update on Span, who is having general soreness, which will keep him out of the lineup for a bit:
Sammy Solis made his major league debut in the bottom of the seventh and looked very impressive. He threw two innings, gave up one hit to Lucas Duda (single in the eighth), and struck out Curtis Granderson with a 96 mph fastball to end the seventh.
In the ninth, Washington tacked on three more insurance runs. With the bases loaded and one out, Bryce Harper (2-for-4) cleared the bases with a RBI double to put the game out of reach for the Nats. It was Harper’s second double of the night.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (10-13) will be back in action tomorrow night at Citi Field against the New York Mets (15-8) at 7:10 PM ET on MASN as they go for their fourth straight win. It will be a great pitching matchup as Max Scherzer (1-2, 1.26) takes the mound for Washington against Matt Harvey (4-0, 3.04)