With pitchers like Max Scherzer and Matt Harvey doing their thing on the mound and dominating hitters like they did last night in Citi Field, one pitch, play or mistake could end up deciding things.
"You never know, you never know what might change it," Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams said. "One swing of the bat could."
One swing of the bat by Michael Cuddyer, on a 94 mph fastball from Scherzer, provided New York with the only run they needed to win last night's game, though they added a few more late.
Mets' skipper Terry Collins talked after the 4-0 win, about enjoying just watching games like the one that was played last night in Flushing, Queens, NY.
"You're talking to a baseball guy," Collins said. "These game are fun to watch. I know fans like a lot of hitting and like to see home runs, [but] you like to see a two guys who are great go head-to-head on the mound and figure out how to manufacture a run, how to get a run to win the game."
With Harvey out of the game after seven scoreless, with the Mets up 1-0 on the strength of Cuddyer's blast, one swing by a Nationals' pinch hitter almost tied things up.
Tyler Moore stepped in against Mets' right-hander Alex Torres and hit a long fly ball to left-center that fell to Cuddyer right in front of the outfield wall.
"T-Mo hit the ball good, just to the track, just to the fence," Williams said. "That's the way the game went tonight."
A half-inning after the Nationals fell just short of tying it up, things fell apart.
Lefty reliever Matt Thornton gave up back-to-back, one-out singles by Juan Lagares and Lucas Duda and Blake Treinen came on and issued a base-loading walk to Cuddyer.
Daniel Murphy stepped in next against Treinen and hit an opposite field line drive to left field. Nats' left fielder Jayson Werth started in, tried to stop and slipped on the outfield grass. He couldn't recover in time and could only wave his gloved hand at the ball as it soared over his head and bounced to the wall.
Three runs scored and the Mets took a 4-0 lead.
"He went to stop and slipped and lost his footing and then by the time he recovered the ball was already past him," Williams told reporters after the game.
"The ball to the opposite side off either a right-hander or a left-hander -- right at you -- you don't know how far it's going to carry, but he went to stop and just slipped."
Asked if it was a case of Werth still adjusting to getting reads in left field after he was flipped over from right this season, Williams said, "No."
"Tonight it was just lost his footing. It's heavier grass out there, there's dirt, he's running around the bases, he's standing in the box, there could dirt on the bottom of his shoe, he just slipped."
Werth slipped. Three runs scored. And a close game was blown open. You never know what might change it.
The decision to move Werth to left was made with two goals in mind, as Nats' GM Mike Rizzo explained it this winter. Preserve Jayson Werth's legs for the future and take advantage of Bryce Harper's arm in right.
One half of that worked out well last night when Harper threw Curtis Granderson out at home to keep things close when it was still a one-run game, but Werth, who's still working his way back to full strength, hasn't looked all that comfortable in left so far.
• We talked about Werth's slip and fall, Scherzer vs Harvey and more on last night's edition of Nats Nightly:
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