Washington Nationals: A.J. Cole Picks Up First Major League Win
A.J. Cole gave up one run over six innings as the Washington Nationals defeated the New York Mets, 4-1
Tonight, the Washington Nationals (79-55) began their three game series at Citi Field against the New York Mets (69-66). The Nats were aggressive on the bases as they stole four bases against Noah Syndergaard, which led to two runs. Those runs would be enough for A.J. Cole, who recorded his first big league win as the Nats defeated the Mets, 4-1. This improves the Nats head-to-head record against New York to 10-4 and increases their lead in the NL East to 10.5 games.
For the fifth straight game, the Washington Nationals scored a first inning run. Trea Turner led off the game with a base hit and stole two bases. After a one out walk and a stolen base by Daniel Murphy, Bryce Harper hit a sacrifice fly to center to give the Nats a 1-0 lead.
Three innings later, the Nats tacked on another run against Syndergaard. Harper doubled to left with one out and ended up stealing third. Then, Wilson Ramos drove him in with a base hit to center to extend the lead to 2-0.
After that run, Syndergaard was able to shut out the Nats for the rest of the night. He went seven innings, gave up two runs on three hits, struck out four, and walked one on 109 pitches (74 strikes). As Jayson Stark of ESPN tweeted during the game, Syndergaard hasn’t been able to keep the Nats from running wild on the bases in 2016:
More from District on Deck
- Latest DraftKings Sportsbook Promo Code in Maryland: Bet $5, Win $200 Guaranteed
- Nationals Claim Jeter Downs Off Waivers
- Washington Nationals Minor League Spotlight: Robert Hassell III
- Washington Nationals Tuesday Q&A
- 3 Free Agents the Nationals Should Gamble On
As for Cole, he held the Mets to one hit over the first three innings. Then, in the fourth, Asdrubal Cabrera led off the inning with a solo shot to right center. His 19th home run of the season cut the lead to 2-1. Cabrera had two of the four Mets hits tonight in the loss.
Cole ran into more trouble in the fourth. With one out, Jay Bruce reached on an infield single and Wilmer Flores drew a walk. But, the right-hander got Curtis Granderson to pop out and Kelly Johnson to strike out swinging to end the inning.
For Cole, this was the best outing of his young Major League career. He went six innings, gave up one run on three hits, struck out five, and walked two on 98 pitches (66 strikes) as he picked up his first Major League win.
Once Cole left the game, Marc Rzepczynski struck out the first two hitters in the sevent, but ran into trouble when he walked Rene Rivera and hit Travis d’Arnaud. Dusty Baker went to Koda Glover to face Jose Reyes and Glover struck him out swinging on a 97 mile per hour fastball to stop the rally. Glover retired the first two hitters in the eighth before Oliver Perez struck out Jay Bruce to end that inning.
Next: District Daily: Nats Call Up Latos, Burnett
In the ninth, the Nats tacked on a couple insurance runs against their former teammate, Jerry Blevins. Murphy singled and Harper doubled to begin the inning. Then, with the infield in, Anthony Rendon singled up the middle against Hansel Robles to increase the lead to 4-1. Mark Melancon gave up one hit in the ninth, but he was still able to record his 38th save of the season.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals will continue their series against the New York Mets tomorrow night at Citi Field. You can watch the game at 7:05 p.m ET on MASN2. Tanner Roark (14-7, 2.87 ERA) will look to become the third Nats pitcher to reach 15 wins this season. He will go up against Robert Gsellman (1-1, 3.72) for the Mets.