Max Scherzer retired seventeen straight New York Mets between walks to Curtis Granderson in the first at bat of today's season opener and then again with two down in the top of the sixth.
It was the second free pass that proved costly for the Washington Nationals' Opening Day starter.
Scherzer popped David Wright up to short right in the at bat after he put Granderson on the second time, but Ian Desmond made his way from short to short right and called second baseman Dan Uggla off before having the ball bounce off the tip of his glove and fall onto the outfield grass for an E:6. that put runners on second and third with two out.
Mets' first baseman Lucas Duda followed with the first hit of the game for New York, and the visiting squad took a 2-1 lead in what ended up a 3-1 win.
The third run too followed an error by Desmond, who bounced a throw to first on a grounder to short by Mets' center fielder Juan Lagares, who scored when Travis d'Arnaud tripled to center in the next at bat.
It was the two runs in the sixth that were the difference though, as Nats' skipper Matt Williams said after the game.
"I thought that [Uggla] was underneath it and Desi called him off," Williams explained when asked about the dropped pop after the loss.
"Little bit of wind out there pushing it toward right field and I think Desi misjudged it, where he was and then the base hit and that led to the two runs."
The second-year skipper and former major league infielder said he thought Uggla had it before Desmond came over.
"I thought Danny was waving his hands, but it's wanting to be aggressive and wanting to catch the baseball. Today a couple of miscues were the difference for Max."
"For me it was Desi a little bit overzealous," Williams said."But I think Danny can catch that ball for sure."
Desmond told reporters after the game that he watched the play again and was embarrassed:
Desmond on his error: 'I just went back and watched it. That was pretty embarrassing. I felt like one of those Little Leaguers.' #Nats— Chase Hughes (@chasehughesCSN) April 7, 2015
Uggla told reporters that he and Desmond would get more comfortable playing together with time:
Uggla on Desmond's 1st E: 'I gotta be louder in that situation... me and him are going to get better at it the more we play.' #Nats— Chase Hughes (@chasehughesCSN) April 6, 2015
All three runs the Mets scored were unearned because of the errors, but Scherzer put together a solid start in his first outing after signing a 7-year/$210M deal with the Nats this winter. Williams liked what he saw from the 30-year-old right-hander.
"I thought he pitched really well. First hit he gave up was the difference in the game. Miscue behind him, that was the difference today. He was really good, as advertised."