Washington’s Nationals scored two runs off New York Mets’ righty Noah Syndergaard on just one hit, and Stephen Strasburg dominated the Nats’ NL East rivals, throwing 6 2⁄3 scoreless in a 4-0 win in the series opener in Citi Field.
Strasbunny in NY: Stephen Strasburg gave up seven hits, two walks, and four earned runs in six innings against the Mets last week in D.C., throwing 96 pitches in his 2019 debut.
This afternoon he was starting in Citi Field, where he was (7-1) with a 2.37 ERA over 10 career starts, with the Nationals 9-1 in those outings.
Strasburg got off to a good start in Flushing, Queens, New York, working around an error in the first to complete three scoreless and hitless on just 43 pitches, and a two-out walk in an 18-pitch bottom of the fourth to make it four scoreless and hitless on 61 pitches total.
Upon further review: he went. pic.twitter.com/4akZQ1bWSC— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 4, 2019
Former battery-mate Wilson Ramos broke up the nascent no-hit bid with a leadoff single to left in the first at bat of the fifth, but he was erased on a force at second base, and an error by Anthony Rendon at first put two on with one out, but Strasburg threw a filthy 1-2 change by Juan Lagares for out No. 2 and his 6th K on the day, then got the opposing pitcher with a 2-2 curve for out No. 3 and K No. 7.
Given a 2-0 lead to work with in the top of the sixth, Strasburg retired the Mets in order in a 16-pitch frame that left him at 93 pitches overall, but gave up back-to-back, two-out singles that ended his outing after 108 pitches...
Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 Ks, 108 P, 67 S, 8/3 GO/FO.
Thor-ing: Going into today’s home opener for the Mets, Noah Syndergaard had faced various incarnations of the Nationals’ roster seven times in Citi Field in his career, and managed to avoid giving up more than three runs in any of those outings.
Syndergaard went up against New York’s NL East rivals in Washington last week, giving up seven hits and four runs in a six-inning outing in which he threw a total of 103 pitches.
Syndergaard didn’t walk anyone in his first outing, but he put Juan Soto on in the first at bat of the second inning this afternoon, then fell behind Ryan Zimmerman and walked him in a four-pitch at bat as well.
A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, and one out later, Wilmer Difo got a safety squeeze down that brought Soto in, 1-0.
Syndergaard retired 12 in a row after the back-to-back walks in the second to keep it at 1-0 through five, but Victor Robles ended that streak with a solo home run to left in the first at bat of the sixth, sending a hanging curve over the outfield wall to make it a 2-0 game, with what was the Nationals’ first, and only, hit off the Mets’ starter all afternoon.
Noah Syndergaard’s Line: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 98 P, 61 S, 6/2 GO/FO.
Sneaky Power: As mentioned in the Mets’ pregame notes, Noah Syndergaard doesn’t give up many long balls.
In fact, the right-hander started the day leading, “all of baseball since the start of 2016 with a 0.50 HR/9 rate (min. 300.0 innings over the last three seasons).”
Apparently, Victor Robles didn’t get the memo.
Robles hit an 0-1 sinker out to left off Syndergaard in Nationals Park last week, and got the right-hander again this afternoon, sending a first-pitch curve out to left in Citi Field to put the Nats up 2-0 on the Mets after 5 1/2.
BULLPEN ACTION: Justin Wilson came on for the Mets in the top of the seventh inning, and picked up two Ks in a 1-2-3 frame.
Matt Grace took over for Stephen Strasburg with two on and no one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, after the starter gave up back-to-back two-out singles, so the Mets’ manager Mickey Callaway hit for pinch hitter Dominic Smith (a lefty) with right-handed hitter J.D. Davis, who K’d looking at a 1-2 sinker to end the threat. Still 2-0 Nationals.
Jeurys Familia walked Adam Eaton with two down in the top of the eighth, and Eaton stole second base in the next at bat, before he was stranded when Brian Dozier K’d looking to end the inning.
Justin Miller got the eighth for the Nats, and gave up a one-out walk to Brandon Nimmo, but he picked up his second K of the inning with a 2-2 fastball that he threw by Pete Alonso.
Tony Sipp took over with one on and two out and Robinson Canó at the plate, and got the veteran looking to end the threat.
Anthony Rendon (1 for 4) doubled to right-center to lead off the ninth with the Nats’ second hit of the game (and his 3rd double this season). Juan Soto (1 for 3, BB) lined an 0-1 change to right for hit No. 3 in the next at bat, sending Rendon over to third, and Ryan Zimmerman hit a sac fly to short left for a 3-0 lead. Soto took second on a wild pitch with Yan Gomes at the plate, third when Gomes singled to center, and scored on an RBI single by Wilmer Difo, 4-0.
Sean Doolittle got the ninth in a non-save situation and worked around a one-out single to end it. Ballgame. 4-0 Nationals final.
Nationals now 3-3