Anthony Rendon made his first major league start at second base tonight in Washington, D.C. The Nats' 2011 1st Round pick was drafted as a third baseman, but immediately after his selection speculation started began about where he would play when he arrived in the majors since the Nationals' '05 1st Round pick was firmly ensconced at the hot corner in the nation's capital. Rendon's first exposure to the majors earlier this season saw him replace an injured Ryan Zimmerman at third, but as he worked his way from Double-A Harrisburg, where he had a .319/.461/.603 line in 33 games and 152 plate appearances, to Triple-A Syracuse, where he played just three games before being recalled, he made eight starts total at second before debuting there this evening.
So... of course the first ball put in play by the New York Mets today was sent his way off Omar Quintanilla's bat, and Rendon handled it as well as the two-out grounder David Wright sent to second to end a 15-pitch, 1-2-3 first by the Nats' right-handed starter Dan Haren.
New York right-hander Dillon Gee gave up a leadoff double on an 0-1 change to Denard Span that the Nationals' leadoff man hit to right and over Mets' right fielder Marlon Byrd's head. Span took third one when out later when Ryan Zimmerman grounded out to second and Adam LaRoche walked with two down to give Ian Desmond a #steak opportunity, which the Nats' shortstop cashed in with an RBI single to left. 1-0 Nationals. Anthony Rendon got the green light from his manager (hopefully) on a 3-0 pitch from the Mets' starter, but he flew out to center to end the bottom of the first. 1-0 Washington after one.
Lucas Duda doubled to right via first base on a sharp grounder that started the second. A home run to center by Marlon Byrd cleared the #NATITUDE sign on the left-center wall and landed in the Red Porch seats. 2-1 New York. Byrd improved to 9 for 17 career vs Haren with his seventh home run of the year, which was the 13th Haren's allowed in 64.2 IP in 2013. Ike Davis singled for the third consecutive hit off Haren, but three outs later he was stranded at second. 28-pitch inning for Haren, 43 overall after two. Dan Haren doubled to left-center with two down and took third on a Denard Span single to left, but Jayson Werth was punched out by first base ump Tim McClelland for the final out of the Nationals' second.
Daniel Murphy singled with one down in the Mets' third then came around to score when Dan Haren left a fastball inside up for David Wright. Wright's eighth home run of 2013 hit the wall of the left field bullpen to make it 4-1 New York in the top of the third. 14 HRs allowed by Haren in 66.0 IP. Make that 15. Marlon Byrd's second home run of the night sailed out to left to make it 5-1 Mets after two and a half. 21-pitch inning for Haren, 64 overall. 10 for 18 for Byrd vs Haren. Adam LaRoche bunted for a single, sending a slow roller down the third base line with one out in the Nats' third when the Mets went into the dramatic shift. Ian Desmond took a letter-high fastball for a called strike three and out no.2 of the home-half of the inning and Anthony Rendon popped to right to end the frame.
Mets' CF Juan Lagares bunted for a single with one down in the top of the fourth. NY's starter Dillon Gee bunted the runner over/gave up an out and Dan Haren got Omar Quintanilla swinging to end the Mets' fourth after 12 pitches at 76 overall on the night. Kurt Suzuki singled by a diving Omar Quintanilla at short with one down in the bottom of the inning, then went to third on a pinch-hit double to right by the Shark, aka Roger Bernadina. Denard Span K'd swinging, leaving it up to Jayson Werth to drive 'Zuk and Shark in, but Werth K'd looking at an 0-2 slider that was called strike three. 5-1 New York after four.
• Haren's line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 3 HRs, 76 P, 48 S, 5/4 GO/FO.
Craig Stammen issued a four-pitch walk to the first batter he faced in the fifth, Daniel Murphy. David Wright (2 for 3) singled through short to put two on with no outs. Stammen got Lucas Duda to chase an 0-2 slider into the dirt for out no.1. A 1-2 fastball got Marlon Byrd swinging for out the second out and Stammen's second K. A two-out walk to Ike Davis loaded the bases for Anthony Recker... whose first career hit with RISP made it 7-1 New York in the top of the fifth. 1 for 22 with RISP. A Juan Lagares' single loaded the bases back up and Dillon Gee worked the count full, pushing Stammen to 32 pitches overall before grounding out to end the frame.
Dillon Gee retired the Nationals in order in a 13-pitch, 1-2-3 5th.
22-year-old Nats' left-hander Ian Krol made his MLB debut in the top of the sixth after being called up from Double-A Harrisburg on Tuesday. The former Oakland A's prospect acquired in the three-team trade with Seattle that sent Michael Morse to the Mariners had an 0.69 ERA, a 2.51 FIP, seven walks (2.42 BB/9) and 29 Ks (10.04 K/9) in 26.0 IP before he got the call. Omar Quintanilla lined an opposite double to left on a 95 mph full-count fastball in the first major league at bat for the Nationals' lefty. A 92 mph full-count fastball to Daniel Murphy got the Mets' second baseman swinging for the first K of Krol's major league career. A wild pitch moved Quintanilla to third with one down, but Krol got a check-swing strike three on David Wright with a high heater the third baseman chased. Anthony Rendon chased an 0-2 curve into the dirt out no.1 of the Nats' sixth. Steve Lombardozzi was the seventh straight National set down by Dillon Gee. Kurt Suzuki doubled off the GEICO sign in center to snap the streak of retired batters, but Tyler Moore K'd swinging to end the sixth with New York still up by six, 7-1.
Erik Davis issued a leadoff walk to Marlon Byrd in the Mets' seventh but got Ike Davis looking with a 3-2 fastball outside for the first out of the frame. Byrd was running when Anthony Recker doubled to right in the next at bat and it was 8-1 Mets with one out in the seventh. Juan Lagares was 3 for 4 tonight after dropping a single into short right that sent Recker over to third. Dillon Gee singled in a run with a line drive to left that made it 9-1 NY. Daniel Murphy's RBI double made it 10-1 Mets.
Ryan Zimmerman singled to center off Gee with two down in the Nationals' seventh, but Adam LaRoche's fly to left ended the inning.
Fernando Abad took the mound in the top of the eighth and retired the Mets in order on 10 pitches. Still 10-1 Mets. Right-hander Greg Burke took over for Cy Gee in the bottom of the eighth. Anthony Rendon doubled to center on a 3-1 sinker from the Mets' sidewinder. Steve Lombardozzi flew to left for out no.2 and Kurt Suzuki's groundout to second ended the eighth.
Abad struck out indestructable Anthony Recker out to start the ninth. Jose Lagares popped out to first. Justin Turner grounder to short to end the top of the ninth. Jeff Kobernus was hit by a pitch from Mets' right-hander Robert Carson in the first at bat of the Nationals' ninth. Denard Span's groundout to second moved Kobernus up. Chad Tracy flew to left for out no.2. Ryan Zimmerman? Fly to right. Ballgame.
Mets win, 10-1 final.
Nationals now 29-30.