Washington’s Nationals blew a 5-2 lead in the eighth, but walked off on the New York Mets on Trea Turner’s second home run of the game, avoiding a sweep and earning their first win of the 2019 campaign.
Corbin vs the Metsies: After signing a 6-year/$140M free agent deal this winter, lefty Patrick Corbin posted a 4.88 ERA with 19 Ks and three walks in six starts and 24 innings pitched this Spring, as he prepared for his first season in D.C.
In his first start of the regular season, the southpaw was trying to help his new team avoid a sweep at the hands of their divisional rivals from New York, after the Mets took the first two games of the three-game set in D.C.
Corbin worked around a one-out single in the first and a two-out walk in the second to get through two scoreless on 26 pitches.
Back-to-back hits in the third inning led to the Mets’ first run, however, with Brandon Nimmo (single) and Pete Alonso (RBI double) connecting to get the visiting team on the board, 1-0.
Corbin took the mound with a 3-1 lead in the fourth, courtesy of a three-run homer by Trea Turner, and tossed a scoreless, 17-pitch frame, working around a two-out single, then left a two-out walk on base in the fifth, in an 18-pitch inning that left him at 72 total after five.
J.D. Davis doubled off Corbin to start the top of the sixth, and Michael Conforto followed with a single that put runners on the corners with no one out.
Corbin got a double play with help from second baseman Brian Dozier, who stabbed a sharp ground ball off Amed Rosario’s bat and made a backhand glove flip/toss to Trea Turner to start a 4-6-3, but a run scored on the play, 4-2.
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 94 P, 55 S, 5/6 GO/FO.
Wheeler Dealer: Zack Wheeler went went 10-1 with a 1.96 ERA over his final 12 starts and 82 2⁄3 IP last season, and the ‘09 1st Round pick was second in the majors in ERA over that late stretch (among pitchers with at least 75 IP), behind only teammate Jacob deGrom (1.73).
Opposing hitters hit just .176 against him after July 14th. He came into the 2019 campaign as the Mets’ third starter behind deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, and he was trying to get New York a sweep in D.C. with a win in the series finale.
Wheeler got a 1-0 lead to work with after tossing two scoreless, but he gave up a leadoff double by Victor Robles on the first pitch of the third, and the Nats’ outfielder took third when Adam Eaton singled to center in the next at bat.
Trea Turner got hold of a 98 MPH fastball in the at bat that followed, and hit a three-run bomb into the left field seats for a 3-1 lead.
Turner reached on a force at second in the fifth, stole his fourth base in four attempts this season, and scored on a two-out single by Anthony Rendon, 4-1.
Zack Wheeler: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 1 HR, 95 P, 60 S, 6/2 GO/FO.
TURN, TURN, TURN: Trea Turner started today’s game 3 for 8 with a double in the first two games of the 2019 campaign and 5 for 16 (.385 AVG) with a double off Zack Wheeler in his career. He K’d looking the first time up, but tore in a 98 mph first-pitch fastball the second time he stepped in against the Mets’ right-hander, and hit a three-run blast, his first of the season, giving the Nationals’ their first lead of the year.
Eaton On Base: Adam Eaton started the day 5 for 10 career vs Wheeler, and went 3 for 3 in his first three trips to the plate against the Mets’ right-hander, with all three hits singles.
What do you think of this double play and why does it belong in a museum? pic.twitter.com/VwWAwfhURP— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 31, 2019
BULLPEN ACTION: Robert Gsellman came on for New York in the bottom of the sixth, and gave up a one-out double, two-out HBP, and an RBI two-base hit by Victor Robles, who hit his second double of the game and third of the season to left to drive in Yan Gomes, 5-2.
Justin Miller got the seventh for the Nationals, retiring the Mets in order (and striking out two) in an 18-pitch frame.
Anthony Rendon was 2 for 3 with a walk after he singled with one out in the Nationals’ half of the seventh, knocking Gsellman out in favor of lefty Luis Avilan, who stranded both men he inherited to keep it a three-run game.
Tony Sipp gave up a leadoff single by Robinson Canó, and a one-out single by Michael Conforto (the two lefties he was in to face), and he was lifted for Trevor Rosenthal with runners on the corners and one down.
Rosenthal gave up a sliced single to center by Amed Rosario on the first pitch he threw, 5-3, and Davey Martinez went to the pen again for closer Sean Doolittle(?).
Doolittle, looking for the fourth five-out save in his time with the Nationals, struck out Jeff McNeil on four pitches for the second out of the Mets’ eighth, then gave up an RBI single that just got over Trea Turner at short, 5-4, on the hit by Wilson Ramos, and 5-5 when Juan Lagares did the same, over short again. Dominic Smith popped out to end the inning.
Justin Wilson retired the Nationals in order in the bottom of the eighth. Doolittle came back out for the bottom of the inning, and worked around a one-out single by Robinson Canó to keep it tied at 5-5.
Wilson returned to the mound for the Mets in the ninth and gave up a one-out walk-off home run by Trea Turner... TREA SAVES!!
Nationals now 1-2