Rivero Gets Nats Out Of Big Jam
If there was one inning where Strasburg struggled last night, it was in the seventh inning. New York put runners on the corners with no outs after a Yoenis Cespedes double and a Neil Walker single. Then, Eric Campbell hit a groundout to short to cut the lead to 5-2.
After a Kevin Plawecki walk, Dusty Baker stuck with Strasburg to face Ty Kelly and ended up striking him out on nine pitches. With two outs, Mets’ manager Terry Collins made the right move and announced a right-handed batter (Juan Lagares) to pinch-hit for Hansel Robles.
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At 108 pitches, Baker pulled Strasburg from the game and went with the left-hander, Felipe Rivero. Even though it wasn’t a lefty vs. lefty matchup, Rivero still struck out Lagares to end the inning and strand the two base runners.
In the eighth, Rivero kept the dominance going when he retired the Mets in order, including strikeouts of Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Conforto. Last night was only the second time this season that Rivero had three strikeouts in a relief appearance (May 7 against the Cubs).
When it felt as if the momentum had the chance to turn in the Mets’ favor, Rivero was able to stop the run scoring and the Nats gave the bullpen the added insurance runs, which were needed considering Shawn Kelley gave up a two-run home run to Campbell in the ninth. It was another spot were Baker put Rivero in a high leverage situation and he found his way out of it.