New York Mets' lefty Steven Matz started the series finale in Washington, D.C. with a six-start winning streak going, and a 5-0 record in seven outings outside of Citi Field early in his career.
He was facing the Nationals for the first time and was going up against a right-hand heavy lineup that played to his strengths early this season, with right-handed batters hitting just .214 (25 for 117) against him and lefties 11 for 36 (.306 AVG), a reverse split that's not as dramatic in his career, but still favors left-handers (.231 vs .279).
Matz took the mound with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of Mets' third baseman David Wright, who hit a 1-0 fastball from Nats' starter Tanner Roark into the entranceway for the visitor's bullpen in left. Wright's sixth put New York up early, 1-0 in the first.
Roark held the Mets there, giving up just the one run through six innings, over which he threw a total of 95 pitches, but Matz kept the Nationals off the board as well, completing six scoreless on an efficient 80 pitches.
Daniel Murphy's fifth error, an ugly one on a potential inning-ending double play grounder, set the Mets up with runners on first and third with one out in the seventh, and New York's backup backstop, Rene Rivera, lined an RBI single to left to take advantage of the error and pad the lead, 2-0.
• Tanner Roark's Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 113P, 75 S, 11/0 GO/FO.
Matz set the Nationals down in order in the seventh, giving him 14-straight batters retired after Michael A. Taylor's leadoff single in the third, and came back out for the eighth at 92 pitches and retired the first two batters he faced, giving him 16-straight outs, but Clint Robinson hit a two-out single through the shift to snap that streak.
Bryce Harper came on as a pinch hitter in the next at bat, and grounded out to end Matz's eighth scoreless. Still 2-0 NY.
• Steven Matz's Line: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 104 P, 71 S, 9/6 GO/FO
Jeurys Familia came on in the ninth looking for save No. 16 in 16 opportunities and gave up a leadoff single by Jayson Werth. Daniel Murphy followed with another liner to left, 2 on, 0 out. Ryan Zimmerman went down swinging for out No. 1. Anthony Rendon grounded into a force at second for out No.2. Wilson Ramos?
Nationals now 28-19
- New York's loss last night snapped a four-game winning streak that started after Washington took 2 of 3 in Citi Field last week. The loss also snapped a four-game winning streak in the nation's capital, which stretched back to 2015.
- Mets' lefty Steven Matz took the mound with a 10-1 record in 13 regular season starts early in his major league career and wins in six straight starts overall.
- Over the course of his six start winning streak, Matz was (6-0) with a 1.35 ERA and 42 Ks in 40 IP. He also started the day (5-0) in seven career regular season road starts, with a 2.18 ERA in 41 ⅓ IP away from Citi Field.
- The Mets, citing info obtained from the Elias Sports Bureau, noted that Matz is one of two left-handers to win 10 of their first 13 major league starts.
- Going into today's series finale, the Mets ranked third in ERA as a pitching staff with a 3.15 ERA, and their 32 home runs allowed (including five last night) were the major league's lowest total HRs allowed by a staff.
- In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Washington's relievers have posted a 0.93 ERA... and 9.8 K/9... since May 9th.
- Nationals' relievers hadn't allowed a single inherited runner to score this season heading into today's game. #notajinx
- The Mets' hitters, as a team, had 65 home runs after adding one last night, tied for the most in team history through 45 games and tied for the major league lead overall with Baltimore and Tampa Bay.
- With his 2 for 4 game last night, Yoenis Cespedes improved to 10 for 22 with four doubles and three home runs in five career games in Nationals Park.
- Daniel Murphy collected another multi-hit game last night, giving him 23 multi-hit games in 45 games played for the Nationals this season. He collected his second hit of the game in the ninth, 24 in 46.
- Murphy's hits last night gave him hits in 21 of his last 25 games played with 40 hits in 98 at bats over that stretch (.408 AVG), seven doubles, five home runs and 16 runs scored.
Nationals now 28-19