Washington Nationals Recap: Bullpen Struggles In 7th Inning As Nats Lose 8-5 To Mets


In what was the biggest game of the season for the Washington Nationals (71-66), they were able to get a 5-3 lead against Jon Niese in the fourth inning. However, Max Scherzer gave up five runs and the bullpen could not deliver in the seventh inning. The New York Mets (76-61) scored three runs in the seventh against four Nats relievers en route to a 8-5 win. New York is now five games ahead of Washington in the NL East.

Early on in the game, New York used the long ball to get on the board first. Michael Conforto led off the second inning with a solo shot to left center for his sixth home run of the season. Two batters later, Kelly Johnson hit a solo shot over the wall in right center to put the Mets up 2-0. It was Johnson’s 13th home run of the season.

Two innings later, Yoenis Cespedes joined in on the home run party when he hit a solo shot to left field. The play was under review, but it eventually stood as Cespedes’s 31st home run of the season put the Mets up 3-0. However, the Nats would fight back against Jon Niese in the bottom of the inning.

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The Nats would load the bases with nobody out to start the inning. Then, Wilson Ramos hit a 1-2 slider over the wall in left center against Niese for a grand slam. Ramos’ 13th home run of the year put the Nationals up 4-3. The lead would increase to 5-3 when Jayson Werth hit a double to deep center that drove in Michael Taylor. That would end Niese’s day as he went 3.1 innings, gave up five runs on seven hits, struck out one, and walked three.

New York would cut the lead to one in the fifth. After a one out double by Ruben Tejada, Curtis Granderson doubled down the right field line to put up the fourth Mets run.

Then, in the sixth, Cespedes started it off with a double. He would advance to third on a balk and would come around to score two batters later on a sac fly by Travis d’Arnaud that tied the game. As for Scherzer, his struggles continued. He went six innings, gave up five runs on seven hits (all extra-bases), struck out six, and walked none on 102 pitches (66 strikes).

Matt Williams would go to different relievers as he tried to mix-and-match in the seventh inning, but nobody could get the job done. Blake Treinen gave up a single to Wllmer Flores, but he got Flores out at second on a bunt by Tejada. Felipe Rivero came in the game and he would walk Granderson. That would be the only batter Rivero would face.

Then, Williams turned to Casey Janssen for his third game in a row. With Janssen on the mound, David Wright hit a double into center to drive in Flores and put the Mets in the lead, 6-5. Matt Thornton would come in for Janssen, but he gave up a sacrifice fly to Daniel Murphy and a double to Cespedes, which gave New York an 8-5 lead. Treinen (2-3, 3.54 ERA) would end up taking the loss out of those four relievers.

After that five run fourth inning, the Nats could not get any runs against the Mets bullpen. Over the final 5.2 innings, New York relievers combined to give up three hits, strike out nine batters, and walk four. Dario Alvarez (1-0, 0.00) got the win in his Major League debut when he struck out Bryce Harper to end the sixth inning. Jeurys Familia gave up a single in the ninth to Werth, but he struck out the next three batters he faced to get his 37th save of the year.

Next Game: The Washington Nationals will continue their three game series against the New York Mets tomorrow night at Nats Park. You can catch the game at 7:05 PM ET on MASN2. Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.38) will take the ball for the Nats against Matt Harvey (12-7, 2.60) for the Mets.

Next: Nationals-Mets Series Preview (9/7-9/9)

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