It was a pitching matchup that lived up to the hype. Tonight, Matt Harvey faced off against Max Scherzer in a battle of aces at Citi Field. Coming into the game, it was expected that runs would be at a premium. The one mistake that cost the Nats in this game came in the bottom of the fourth inning when Scherzer gave up a solo home run to Michael Cuddyer. After scoring 34 runs in the prior 3 games, the Washington Nationals were shutout as their three-game winning streak was snapped.
While Washington had few chances against Matt Harvey, who is now 5-0 on the season with a 2.41 ERA, they did have their opportunities. In innings three thru five, Washington had a runner on second in each inning, but failed to drive them home. Nevertheless, with the win, Harvey is now 3-1 lifetime against Washington in six career starts.
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In seven innings of work, Harvey gave up no runs on five hits, struck out three and walked one. He got the fastball up to 97 miles per hour, but Washington actually had a tough time hitting his slider tonight. However, Michael Taylor did have two hits against Harvey, an infield single in the first and a double in the third.
Thru the first three innings, Scherzer did not allow a hit against the Mets lineup. The only two runners that reached base before the fourth inning came on a hit by pitch to Dilson Herrera and a Curtis Granderson walk in the bottom of the third. In the fourth inning, the Mets got on the board when Cuddyer crushed a fastball the opposite way for his third home run of the season.
In the top of the sixth inning, Bryce Harper reached base against Harvey for the first time in his career with a two out walk. With Ryan Zimmerman up, it appeared that Harper had successfully stolen his first base of the season when he took second. However, Terry Collins challenged the play and the umpires overturned the call to end the inning.
With the exception of the home run, Scherzer was absolutely dialed in, In seven innings, he gave up one run on five hits, walked one, and struck out a season high ten batters on 97 pitches. Scherzer is 1-3 to start the season, but his ERA is at 1.26 and keep in mind that Washington has scored a combined two runs in those losses.
Washington had another chance to tie it in the eighth inning when Dan Uggla led off with a base hit to left against Alex Torres. Then, Tyler Moore hit a ball that had a chance to be a home run, but Michael Cuddyer caught the ball at the warning track. Collins would go to Jeurys Familia, his closer, for five outs. Familia ended the inning by getting Michael Taylor to fly out to right and Yunel Escobar to strike out swinging. Familia would not give up a hit in 1.2 innings for his tenth save in as many chances.
In the bottom of the inning, New York would add three crucial insurance runs. With the bases loaded and one out, Daniel Murphy would hit a fly ball to left against Blake Treinen. During the play, Jayson Werth slipped and the ball went over his head for a bases clearing double to give New York a 4-0 lead.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (10-14) will look to get back on the winning track Saturday night against the Mets (16-8) at 7:10 PM ET on MASN. Gio Gonzalez (1-2, 5.01) will get the start for the Nats against Jon Niese (2-1, 2.74) in a battle of lefty starters.