Shea is a Parking Lot Top 5:
5. Quick Recap: Bryce Harper ended last Thursday afternoon's game against the New York Mets with a walk-off blast to left field in Nationals Park, and he gave the Washington Nationals a 2-0 lead early tonight in Citi Field with his second home run in his last two at bats against the Nats' NL East rivals. Harper took a first-pitch fastball from Rafael Montero out to left field in Citi Field, clearing the wall in front of the Party City.com deck an at bat after Ian Desmond walked to start the second, so it was 2-0 Nationals early in the series opener in Flushing, Queens.
Anthony Rendon hit the second home run of the night for the Nationals out to left field and into the Party City.com Deck again on a "hang-dogger" of a slider from Montero as Mets announcer Keith Hernandez described it.
3-0 Nats on Rendon's 16th. A walk to Adam LaRoche in the next at bat and a two-run home run by Ian Desmond followed as the Nationals jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
Michael Taylor was the third National to go yard in the sixth, taking a 2-1 fastball from Mets' reliever Carlos Torres out to right for an opposite field blast! Taylor's first career home run landed in the Mo Zone!! Congrats, Michael. 7-0 Nationals.
@Taylor_Michael3 !!!!!!!!!! Now a Homerun!
— Jamie-Lynn Sigler (@JamieLSigler) August 13, 2014
Did y'all expect anything different from @Taylor_Michael3 ... He does on a day to day basis
— Kevin Keyes (@KevinJKeyes) August 13, 2014
Nats' lefty Ross Detwiler loaded the bases with no one out in the Mets' eighth and gave up a sac fly to center by Eric Campbell that made it 7-1 Nationals.
That's how it ended.
4. Who ya gonna call? Doug Fister!: Washington Nationals' right-hander Doug Fister faced the New York Mets for the second time in his career and the first time as a member of the Nationals' staff last time out on the mound in the nation's capital.
In 7 ⅓ innings pitched in Nationals Park last Wednesday night, the 30-year-old, 6'8'' starter held the Mets to six hits and one unearned run in a 7-1 win, inducing 11 ground ball outs from the 27 batters he faced in the process of earning the 11th win of his first season in the Nats' rotation.
"Kept them off-balance," Matt Williams said after the win over the Nationals' NL East rivals. "Threw strikes. Relaxed, certainly, after the first inning where we got some runs and went to work, so he was really good again tonight."
"The radar gun doesn't blow up," the first-year skipper continued, "but he throws the ball where he wants to. Tonight he was really down in the zone, really down and on the corners tonight. We got a lot of ground balls, got a couple of double plays, and that's kind of what he provides for us, the ability with one pitch to get two outs and that's huge."
Fister's one previous start against the Mets took place in Citi Field in 2013, when he was still part of the Tigers' rotation. In 6 ⅓ IP that night, he held NY's hitters to eight hits, two walks and one earned run in a 6-1 win.
Though he's enjoyed more success at home in Washington, D.C. this season, Fister has been solid on the road thus far for the Nationals, going (5-2) in nine starts (vs 6-1 in 7 GS at home) with a 2.93 ERA (vs 2.01), a 4.47 FIP (vs 2.89), eight walks (1.30 BB/9) and 30 Ks (4.88 K/9) in 55 ⅓ IP, over which he's held opposing hitters to a combined .277/.311/.429 line (vs a .208/.242/.315 line in 49 ⅓ IP in Nats Park).
His second career start in Citi Field and his 10th start on the road this season began with a swinging K.
1st: Curtis Granderson K'd swinging at a 3-2 sinker. Daniel Murphy fell behind 0-2 quickly and K'd swinging weakly at a two-seamer outside. David Wright lined to center in his two-out at bat, but Denard Span tracked it down and caught out no.3 of a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 first by Fister.
2nd: Lucas Duda took a 3-2 two-seamer inside for a called strike three and the first out of the second. Travis d'Arnaud doubled to left, just out of Bryce Harper's reach for the first hit off Fister. Matt den Dekker sent a fly ball to short center where Denard Span made the grab and Juan Lagares popped up to foul territory off first to end a 17-pitch frame that left Fister at 31 pitches total after two.
3rd: Wilmer Flores lined out to Michael Taylor in right to start the Mets' third. Rafael Montero grounded out to short. Curtis Granderson rolled over a 2-1 cutter and sent out no.3 to second. Nine-pitch, 1-2-3 frame for Fister. 40 total after three scoreless.
4th: Daniel Murphy grounded out to second on a 2-1 fastball to start the fourth. David Wright went the other way with a first-pitch cutter, but lined out to Taylor in right. Lucas Duda lined to right with two down, singling into the corner. Travis d'Arnaud stepped in with a runner on and lined out to center to end an 18-pitch fourth by Fister. 58 pitches overall.
5th: Matt den Dekker grounded weakly to second. Juan Lagares popped out to short right. WIlmer Flores singled past a diving Asdrubal Cabrera with two down in the Mets' fifth. Rafael Montero's pop to Denard Span in center ended a 14-pitch fifth that left Fister at 72 total after five scoreless.
6th: Curtis Granderson lined out to center to start the Mets' sixth. Daniel Murphy lined a one-out single to right for the Mets' fourth hit off of Fister. David Wright lined a single to left for hit no.5. Lucas Duda tried to take one out to left, but it died on the track for out no.2. Travis d'Arnaud stepped in with two on and two out and popped out to center to end a 17-pitch sixth that left Fister at 89 pitches overall.
7th: Matt den Dekker grounded out to second to start the Mets' seventh. Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores followed with back-to-back singles, Lagares with a grounder that bounced off the second base bag and Flores with a line drive to center. Kirk Nieuwenhuis sent a fly ball to center for out no.2. Curtis Granderson lined out to left to end Fister's seventh scoreless. 18-pitch frame, 107 overall after seven scoreless.
• Doug Fister's Line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 107 P, 71 S, 5/8 GO/FO.
3. No deGrom: Mets' starter Jacob deGrom put together a strong start vs the Nationals last week in D.C., but after that outing the 26-year-old right-hander experienced a problem with his shoulder which was later diagnosed as rotator cuff tendinitis. deGrom was scheduled to face the Nats again tonight in Citi Field, but since he was placed on the 15-Day DL, New York called hard-throwing 23-year-old right-hander Rafael Montero up to make tonight's start.
The Higuerito, Banica, Dominican Republic-born starter who signed as an international free agent in 2011 made four starts for the Mets earlier this season after making his MLB debut in May and he was already on NY's 40-man roster which made him a logical choice to make the start according to Mets' Asst. GM John Ricco.
In his previous outings in the majors this season before tonight, Montero was (0-2) with a a 5.40 ERA, a 6.33 FIP, 11 walks (4.95 BB/9) and 17 Ks (7.65 K/9) in 20 IP in which opposing hitters put up a combined .259/.348/.519 line against him.
Montero's spent most of his time this season with the Mets' Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas, where he was (6-3) on the year with a 3.28 ERA, a 3.70 FIP, 32 walks (3.89 BB/9) and 75 Ks (9.12 K/9) in 74 IP before the Mets called him back up.
In Citi Field tonight, Montero gave up a one-out double to right by Asdrubal Cabrera, but stranded him at second when he struck Adam LaRoche out with a full-count fastball to end a 19-pitch first.
Montero's first walk of the game, to Ian Desmond in the first at bat of the second, cost him when Bryce Harper hit a two-run opposite field home run out to left on the first pitch he saw from the Mets' starter. Harper's fifth HR of the season sailed out to left and into the Party City.com deck for an early 2-0 lead. Michael Taylor singled to center on an 0-2 fastball from Montero for his first MLB hit in his first major league at bat, but he was stranded at first two outs later. 25-pitch frame for Montero, 44 total after two.
Asdrubal Cabrera was 2 for 2 tonight after a leadoff single in the third, but he was stranded on the basepaths at the end of a 12-pitch, rain-delayed frame after which Montero was up to 56 pitches.
Montero and fellow 23-year-old Michael Taylor battled for nine pitches before the Nats' rookie grounded out to third base to end an 18-pitch, 1-2-3 3rd that left him at 74 pitches overall after four.
Doug Fister singled to center to start the fifth, but was doubled up on a liner to first off Denard Span's bat. A pop up by Asdrubal Cabrera ended a quick, 12-pitch inning that pushed the Mets' starter up to 86 pitches.
Anthony Rendon worked the count full in the first at bat of the sixth and crushed a hanging slider inside from the Mets' rookie right-hander, sending a no-doubter out to left. No.16 of 2014 for Rendon. 3-0 Nationals. Montero walked Adam LaRoche in front of Ian Desmond, and left another slider up and out over the plate that Desmond demolished, sending his 20th home run of the season out to left and ending Montero's night.
• Rafael Montero's Line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 3 HRs, 101 P, 61 S, 5/1 GO/FO.
• 2. #Spanning the Globe: Denard Span entered tonight's game with a 14-game hit streak and a 36-game on-base streak going after he went 2 for 4 in Sunday's series finale with the Braves in Atlanta. Over the course of his hit streak, the 30-year-old outfielder was 25 for 58 before tonight (.431/.469/.517), with three doubles, a triple, five walks, three Ks and five stolen bases in 64 plate appearances. Over the course of his on-base streak, the second-year Nats' outfielder was 57 for 144 (.396/.463/.458) with seven doubles, a triple, 19 walks, 16 Ks and 10 stolen bases.
Span was 0 for 4 heading into his final at bat of the ninth in the top of the ninth. Mets' lefty Dana Eveland took over on the mound and retired the Nats' center fielder on a grounder back to the mound. 0 for 5. Streak over.
1. The Wrap-Up: Carlos Torres gave up a one-out single to right by Wilson Ramos after taking over on the mound for Montero and Michael Taylor followed with... A TWO-RUN HOME RUN TO RIGHT!!! Get out! Taylor went all the way the other way with a 93 mph 2-1 fastball and put it into the Mo Zone!!! 7-0 Nationals after five and a half.
Asdrubal Cabrera was 3 for 4 tonight after doubling to start the seventh, but he was stranded at third, three outs later.
Bryce Harper singled to start the eighth, lining a first-pitch fastball from Buddy Carlyle to right, but after a Wilson Ramos' single, Michael Taylor grounded into a double play and Scott Hairston K'd swinging.
Ross Detwiler gave up back-to-back singles by Daniel Murphy and David Wright then hit Lucas Duda to load the bases with no one out. Travis d'Arnaud's fly to center failed to advance the runners. Pinch hitter Eric Campbell hit one deep enough to center to bring Murphy in, 7-1 Nationals.
Ross Detwiler came back out for the ninth and retired the Mets in order. Ballgame.
Nationals now 64-53