Thirty-two innings after Ryan Zimmerman hit a walk-off home run to beat the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night in Nationals Park, Washington finally snapped a scoreless inning streak which stretched over the finale with the Phils and the first two of three with the New York Mets in Citi Field. It ended on an RBI groundout by Juan Soto, but whatever, they’ll take it.
It took until the sixth, and was the first run of the game for either the Nationals or Mets in this afternoon’s series finale, in what ended up a 15-0, sweep-avoiding win for the Nats.
Rodriguez vs the Mets: Having faced all of the other NL East opponents over his first seven games and five starts in the majors, posting a 5.46 ERA and a .261/.364/.486 line against in 29 2⁄3 innings pitched, Jefry Rodriguez got an opportunity to go up against New York’s Mets for the first time this afternoon in the series finale in Citi Field.
Coming off his first major league win (5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER vs ATL) and a no-decision (5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER vs MIA) in his last two outings, Rodriguez took the mound trying to help the Nationals avoid a fourth straight loss overall.
He tossed five scoreless to start, on 83 pitches, working around two hits and three walks, and took the mound in the bottom of the sixth with a 1-0 lead and worked around a walk, completing six scoreless on 97 pitches in what was his most effective outing on the hill in the majors to this point.
Jefry Rodriguez’s Line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 Ks, 97 P, 53 S, 8/5 GO/FO.
Six innings marks a career-high for Jefry Rodriguez.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 26, 2018
6 IP // 2 H // 0 R // 0 ER // 4 BB // 3 K pic.twitter.com/ZeQnIL1wPO
Matz vs the Nats: Steven Matz didn’t even make it out of the first inning when he faced the Nationals in the nation’s capital late last month, giving up eight hits, a walk, and seven runs in just 2⁄3 of an inning of work on the mound in what ended up a 25-4 loss in Washington, D.C.
El Niño turns on the burners just to get to this ball.— New York Mets (@Mets) August 26, 2018
And that throw. pic.twitter.com/CLPRQzh09m
That outing followed a 6 1⁄3-inning start against the Nats in which the Mets’ left-hander gave up eight hits, two walks, and three earned runs in 5-4 loss in Citi Field.
On the season, the southpaw was (0-2) with a 7.31 ERA (13 ER in 16 IP) and a .328/.384/.493 line against in four starts against Washington before this afternoon’s outing. He, of course, started the finale of the three-game set with the Nationals with five scoreless frames on 65 pitches.
Trea Turner doubled to start the sixth, however, and moved to third on a single by Anthony Rendon, before scoring on a one-out groundout by Juan Soto as the Nationals scored their first run of the series and snapped their scoreless inning streak at 32-straight frames, 1-0.
Steven Matz: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 97 P, 65 S, 9/5 GO/FO.
Scoreless inning streak ends!!!!: Ryan Zimmerman doubled to start the Nationals’ half of the fourth, but was stranded at second three outs later.
At that point, the Nats were up to 31-straight innings without a run, going back to the walk-off home run Zimmerman hit on Wednesday night in the nation’s capital.
Steven Matz tossed a scoreless fifth to extend it to 32-straight, then...
Trea Turner lined a first-pitch curveball from Steven Matz out to left field and ... it bounced off the top of the outfield wall and fell back onto the field for another leadoff double in the sixth. I mean, c’mon!
Anthony Rendon sent a single through the middle of the infield and out to center in the next at bat, but Nationals’ third base coach Bob Henley held Turner at third. #SENDLEY!!!
Zimmerman got an opportunity to drive in a run and end the streak, but he K’d looking at a 3-2 fastball, so it was up to Juan Soto, whose groundout to first base got the job done, 1-0, bringing a merciful end to the scoreless inning streak.
BULLPEN ACTION: Greg Holland got the bottom of the seventh with a 1-0 lead, and tossed a scoreless, 18-pitch frame to keep it a 1-0 game.
Paul Sewald came on for the Mets in the eighth, and gave up a pair of singles around a walk as the Nationals loaded the bases with no one out, and one out later, Juan Soto took a walk to force in the second run of the game, and Bryce Harper cleared the bases with a pinch hit double to right field that made it 5-0, before Wilmer Difo hit a two-run blast off of a new pitcher, Tyler Bashlor, to make it a 7-0 game.
Adam Eaton lined a no-doubter out to right on a 3-1 fastball later in the eighth, hitting a two-run shot after a walk to Mark Reynolds, 9-0. Eaton’s fifth.
Justin Miller tossed a quick, 1-2-3 eighth inning. Corey Oswalt came on for NY, and gave up leadoff and one-out singles by Rendon and Soto, respectively, and Harper followed with a base-loading single in front of Wilmer Difo, who hit an RBI single to right, 10-0, and after a walk by Spencer Kieboom forced in run No. 11, Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam to make it 15-0.
Kelvin Herrera got the bottom of the ninth for the Nationals and injured himself fielding a grounder towards first. He had to be carted off the field.
Koda Glover took over for Herrera and got the final out.
Final Score: 15-0 Nationals
Nationals now 65-66