Bryce Harper started the night 1 for 26 (.038/.133/.038) with three walks and seven Ks in 30 career plate appearances against New York Mets’ starter Matt Harvey.
Harper collected his second hit off Harvey in the top of the first inning tonight in Citi Field, taking a 2-2 fastball to right-center for a two-run blast that put Washington up early in what ended up a 4-3, extra-innings win, in which he also scored the go-ahead run.
Tanner Roark ran into trouble late in his 6 2⁄3-inning start, but put together another solid outing, giving up three runs on seven hits, two of them home runs, one on the first pitch he threw.
Jose Lobaton homered for the first time this season, on his first hit of 2017, to tie things up at 3-3 in the sixth, and it stayed that way until the eleventh before the Nationals loaded the bases with one out and Trea Turner took a four-pitch walk to force in the go-ahead run with a struggling Jeurys Familia on the mound, 4-3.
That’s how it ended. 4-3 final in extras in New York.
Nationals now 11-5
Here’s how it happened:
• Bryce Harper started the night 1 for 26 career vs Matt Harvey, and improved to 2 for 27 with a two-run home run in the first. Harper jacked a 96 mph 2-2 fastball and hit it out to right-center after Harvey hit Wilmer Difo in the head with a heater.
Home run No. 7 of 2017 for Harper, 2-0 Nationals early...
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself surrender a Bryce Harper HR." pic.twitter.com/o6J1795Ubo— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 22, 2017
• Michael Conforto got the fastball he was hunting on the first pitch from Tanner Roark and the Mets’ outfielder cut the Nats’ lead in half with a solo home run to left field, 2-1 Nationals.
• Curtis Granderson snapped an 0 for 16 streak at the plate with a two-out single to right field in the fourth, lining a 2-2 fastball inside out to Harper for an RBI hit that brought Jay Bruce in from second to tie things up at 2-2.
• It wasn’t tied for long, however, as Jose Lobaton stepped in to lead off the fifth and hit a 1-2 fastball up, away to right-center for a solo shot that made it 3-2 Nationals.
Jose Lobaton's first bomb of the year (featuring Anthony Rendon as guest helmet remover). pic.twitter.com/ZrFoxBn2AK— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 22, 2017
• Curtis Granderson tied it back up though, taking a 2-0 fastball to right (into the upper deck) for a game-tying solo home run in the sixth.
• Matt Harvey’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 2 HRs, 108 P, 64 S, 9/7 GO/FO.
• Roark’s outing ended after a two-out double by pinch hitting pitcher Zack Wheeler and back-to-back walks (one half-intentional) loaded them up in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Oliver Perez came on to face Jay Bruce and got a line drive to right to end the threat.
• Tanner Roark’s Line: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 2 HRs, 102 P, 60 S, 6/1 GO/FO.
• Daniel Murphy stepped up 0 for 3 on the night, in the midst of a hitless, 0 for 13 stretch, with a runner on and two out in the eighth (after a two-out walk by Bryce Harper) and grounded out to strand the runner and leave it tied. Make it 0 for 14.
• Joe Blanton took over on the mound in the bottom of the ninth, with the score still tied at 3-3 and issued a leadoff walk to Mets’ catcher Rene Rivera, but stranded that runner and one other at the end of a 20-pitch ninth.
• Enny Romero retired the Mets in order in the bottom of the tenth, battling with Granderson for 11 pitches before popping him up to end a 14-pitch frame. Still 3-3.
• Bryce Harper doubled with one down in the eleventh, taking a 95 mph 3-2 fastball from Josh Smoker to left field for a two-base hit, and after Smoker walked Daniel Murphy intentionally, Jeurys Familia came on to face Anthony Rendon and uncorked a wild pitch that didn’t get far away from Kevin Plawecki, but allowed Harper to take third.
Rendon worked the count full and walked and pinch hitter Trea Turner, fresh off the 10-Day DL, took a bases-loaded, four-pitch walk to force in the go-ahead run, 4-3.
• Shawn Kelley came on to lock it down in the bottom of the eleventh and retired the Mets in order to earn the save.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Washington and New York have dominated the NL East in recent years, with the two teams trading division titles, the Nationals in 2014 and 2016 and the Mets taking the division in 2015.
- The Nationals start this weekend’s three-game set with a 117-104 lead over the Mets in the all-time series between the two teams.
- In today’s “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Washington and New York were tied at 82-82 in their rivalry after the 2013 campaign, but the Nationals are 35-22 vs the Mets since then.
- The Mets were 7-12 against the Nationals last season, with a 4-6 record against the Nats in Flushing, Queens, New York’s Citi Field.
- The Mets start this weekend’s series having lost 5 of their last 6 games overall.
- Washington took the series finale with the Philadelphia Phillies last weekend, and three straight vs the Atlanta Braves this week, giving them [checks math] a four-game winning streak heading into this weekend’s series.
- The Nationals have the highest combined average in the majors heading into this weekend’s series (.285), the highest on-base percentage (.353) and the highest OPS (.825).
- Tanner Roark started the night (6-2) with a 2.14 ERA in 54 2⁄3 innings pitched against the Mets in nine career starts.
Nationals now 11-5