The Washington Nationals scored one run early and were held scoreless for the rest of the game. Their starting pitcher held the New York Mets scoreless into the 7th inning. Neither team registered an error. Ian Desmond had a two hit game. The Nats’ bullpen pitched beautifully and Drew Storen earned the save. Sound familiar?
Doug Fister was dominant as the Nationals beat the Mets 1-0 for the second consecutive game, earning him his second win of the season and lowering his ERA to 2.61. He pitched 6.1 innings, allowing no runs on five hits, struck out three batters and did not walk one on 89 pitches (68 strikes). Manager Matt Williams pulled him with one out in the 7th after allowing a double to Mets’ catcher Kevin Plawecki. He had set down 19 of the previous 21 hitters he faced. In the last turn of the rotation, Nationals’ starters went 4-1, allowing just six earned runs in 32.2 innings (1.65 ERA), with the one loss coming off a 7 inning, 1-run gem by Max Scherzer.
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The bullpen once again rose to the occasion, with four relievers going a combined 2.2 innings, giving up no hits and striking out three. Tanner Roark stranded his inherited runner from Fister at second, striking out Ruben Tejada and forcing a Dilson Herrera popup on eight pitches. Matt Thornton made things interesting in the 8th, walking two hitters and throwing a wild pitch, but ultimately got two outs and set up Aaron Barrett for a four pitch strikeout of Michael Cuddyer. Drew Storen came in for the 9th and earned his 7th save of the season, taking care of the Mets in order. Storen now sports a sparkling 1.80 ERA, having converted 7 of 8 save opportunities this season.
The Nationals’ streaky offense showed up in the 1st inning, but went to sleep for the rest of the game. Ryan Zimmerman hit an RBI-single to shallow right field, scoring Jayson Werth for what would be the only run of this game. Ian Desmond went 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk, but was stranded all three times. The Washington offense struggled to move runners all game, leaving 12 runners on base. They had runners on the corners with no outs in the 5th, and loaded the bases with no outs in the 6th, but failed to score anyone in either inning.
Next Game: After going 5-5 on the ten game road trip, the Nationals will head home for a six-game homestand that begins Monday night against the Miami Marlins, who have won nine of their last 11 games. Jordan Zimmermann (2-2, 4.88) will get the start for the Nats against David Phelps (1-0, 3.38)
–Anthony Rendon was once again scratched from the lineup in his rehab start with a side soreness, as the quiet Nationals’ offense awaits his return.
–Denard Span went 1-4 with a double and a walk as he returned from his 2-game absence due to soreness in his core.