After 55 games and 225 plate appearances in the Washington Nationals' system, 2011 1st Round pick Anthony Rendon made his Major League debut this afternoon in Citi Field in New York where the 22-year-old third baseman and the rest of the Nats played the rubber match of their three-game set with the Mets. Rendon's first MLB AB came in the top of the second. The 6th overall pick in the 2011 Draft flew to left on the second pitch he saw from Mets' right-hander Dillon Gee. The Nats' Next Big Thing ended the day 0 for 4 and the Nationals dropped two of three in NY.
Here's how it happened:
The Nats' last "Big Thing" Bryce Harper watched two at bats and saw thirteen pitches from Dillon Gee before he stepped in with two down in the top of the first. Harper was 3 for 3 on Saturday with two home runs and a double in the Nationals' 7-6 win over the Mets. He ripped into Gee's 19th in the first, a 2-2 change, and singled through the right side of the infield in front of Adam LaRoche, who singled to left. Gee was up to 26 pitches when he popped Ian Desmond up to end the opening frame. No score after a 1/2, 0-0 in NY.
Desmond threw wide of first and by Adam LaRoche on a grounder up the middle in the first at bat of the Mets' half of the first. Jordany Valdespin took second on the error, which was charged to Desmond. E:6, no.7 for no.20. Anthony Rendon ran into the railing in front of the visitor's dugout, reached over and caught a foul pop off Daniel Murphy's bat for the first out of the frame. A pop to short right by David Wright wasn't deep enough to score Valdespin from third, and a first-pitch curve to Ike Davis resulted in a weak grounder to second that ended an 18-pitch opening inning for Jordan Zimmermann.
Dillon Gee needed 10 pitches to set the Nats down in order in the top of the second. Five pitches into the Mets' second, NY took a 1-0 lead when catcher John Buck jacked a 3-1 fastball from Jordan Zimmermann and hit it out to deep left, right above the Sensible Portions Veggie Snacks sign on the facade of the second deck in Flushing, Queens, New York's Citi Field. That just made Jordan Zimmermann angry. Three quick outs followed, two of them Ks, and it was 1-0 Mets after a 16-pitch second. 34 overall for the Nats' right-hander.
Jayson Werth hit a low liner to left with two down in the Nationals' third, but a fly to center by Bryce Harper ended Dillon Gee's third scoreless frame after 15 pitches with the Mets' starter at 51 pitches overall. Jordan Zimmermann got a weak groundout from Gee for the first out of his third inning of work. The Nats' starter threw a 93 mph four-seamer by Jordany Valdespin for out no.2, and got a fly to center from Daniel Murphy to end a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 third at 43 pitches total. 1-0 NY.
Anthony Rendon worked the count full in his second at bat of the game, which came with two down in the fourth, but flew out to center to end a seven-pitch AB against Dillon Gee. 4.0 scoreless on 65 pitches by Gee. 0 for 2 on the day for Rendon. Jordan Zimmermann issued his first walk of the game to David Wright in the Mets' fourth, though the issue may have been more with home plate umpire Mark Carlson's zone. Ike Davis followed with a single to right that sent Wright around to third. Zimmermann popped John Buck up to short center, not deep enough to score Wright. Lucas Duda took a 2-2 slider to work the count full, and took a fastball inside to work a walk in an eight-pitch AB. Mike Baxter stepped in with the bases loaded and one down and flew to center for a sac fly RBI. 2-0 NY. Ian Desmond threw to third on a two-out grounder to short that bounced off the heel of Rendon's glove. E:5. Rendon's first. A weak pop to first base ended a 33-pitch inning which had Zimmermann at 76 pitches overall, down 2-0 to the Mets.
Danny Espinosa and Kurt Suzuki K'd swinging for the first two outs of the fifth. A weak grounder to short by Jordan Zimmermann ended a 15-pitch inning by the Mets' Dillon Gee that had the right-hander at 80 pitches overall after five. Still 2-0 NY. A 93 mph 2-2 fastball upstairs got Jordany Valdespin swinging for the first out of the Mets' fifth. Zimmermann covered on a weak groundout to first by Daniel Murphy, but the Nats' starter missed with a full-count curve and walked David Wright with two down. Wright stole second with Ike Davis at the plate, but a weak groundout to second by Davis ended the fifth. The 20-pitch inning had Zimmermann at 96 overall.
Denard Span took a four-pitch walk to start the top of the sixth. One out later, Span ran on a pitch in the dirt, but John Buck scooped it up and threw to second well ahead of the runner for second out of the Nats' half of the inning. Dillon Gee missed with a 3-2 slider inside to Bryce Harper, and bounced a slider to Adam LaRoche that allowed Harper to move up. A two-out walk to the Nats' first baseman ended Gee's outing. LaTroy Hawkins came on to face Ian Desmond with two on and two out, and got the Nationals' shortstop looking with a knee-high 2-2 fastball outside for out no.3. Still 2-0 New York.
• Jordan Zimmermann's Line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 96 P, 60 S, 7/3 GO/FO
Mike Baxter singled with two down in the Mets' sixth and took a base on a mental error in left by Bryce Harper, who misplayed a hop and non-chalanted it until he realized the runner was rounding first. E:7. Nats' lefty Zach Duke worked around the Nast' third error of the game and popped Ruben Tejada up to end the sixth.
Brandon Lyon came on to pitch for New York in the seventh. Anthony Rendon K'd swinging at a 2-2 slider for out no.1. (0 for 3 in his debut). Danny Espinosa grounded back to the mound. Kurt Suzuki grounded sharply to short, but Ruben Tejada fielded it on one hop and threw the Nats' catcher out. Zach Duke gave up a two-out single by Daniel Murphy, but a force at second on a David Wright grounder ended the Nationals' left-hander's second scoreless inning of work. 4 Ks for Duke. Still 2-0 New York.
Mets' lefty Scott Rice gave up a leadoff single by Nats' pinch hitter Steve Lombardozzi in the top of the eighth. Denard Span walked to put two on in front of Jayson Werth. Werth took three pitches from Rice and was up 3-0 when he grounded into a 6-4-3 DP for the first two outs of the frame. Lombardozzi took third on the play, but was stranded there when Bryce Harper K'd swinging at a 2-2 slider to end the frame. Still 2-0 NY. Henry Rodriguez struck out two in a scoreless bottom of the eighth and the Nats came up with three outs left with which to mount a comeback.
Bobby Parnell went to a full count with Adam LaRoche and struck the Nats' first baseman out. Ian Desmond grounded weakly to short. Anthony Rendon took a 2-2 slider for a called strike three. Ballgame.
Mets win, 2-0 final. Take two of three from the Nats.
Nationals now 10-8.