Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Battle of the Aces Worth Price Of Admission


Being a Washington Nationals fan who lives in New York for much of the season doesn’t often offer many advantages. However, every once in a while, I get to go to Citi Field and cheer on my favorite team when they take on the Mets.

Last night was one of those nights, and it was magnificent to watch two of the best in the game in Max Scherzer and Matt Harvey go at it in an old fashioned pitchers duel.

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This was the first time I had ever seen Matt Harvey pitch in person. First hand, his stuff is electrifying. Every pitch seemed to fly out of his hand and it increased in velocity the closer it got to the batter. Every pitch, I looked up at the scoreboard and realized he was throwing 95 with ease. Combine that with his devastating curveball and it is clear why in just a few years, he has become one of those most feared pitchers in all of baseball.

Mets fans left no doubt as to how important Harvey is to them. Yesterday was Matt Harvey Day at Citi Field, and nearly every inning included a “Lets Go Harvey” chant. I swear to you they were cheering more for Harvey tonight than they were for the team as a whole.

But opposing Harvey for the Nats was former Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite Nationals. Scherzer hasn’t just dominated in nearly every one of his starts so far, but he has bullied opposing hitters like few I have ever seen.

Scherzer has that old school mentality on the mound in terms of that he thinks he is better than everyone else and he is going to beat you with his stuff every time. On top of that, he has passion on the mound. He is more than willing to pump his fist into his glove when he gets a big strike out, as he did with his final pitch in the bottom of the seventh. He wants to win more than anyone out there. That bulldog mentality is something the Washington Nationals need.

Watching these two go at it was entertaining to say the least. They seemed to be trying to one up each other, each looking to dominate his opponent more. At almost every point in the game, they each seemed in total command.

When you try to find the ace of an rotation, you look for someone who you can trust get the out, no matter the situation. Even when Scherzer gave up a home run to Michael Cuddyer, followed by a base hit by Daniel Murphy, it felt like he was going to keep the damage at one run and he did.

Harvey allowed an a runner in nearly every one of his innings, but everyone in the park, including Nationals hitters, seemed to still feel like he was right where he wanted to be.

With the Nats losing, I certainly felt disappointed as a fan on my subway ride home. However, as a baseball fan, it was certainly worth the price of admission.

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