Gerardo Parra decided that D.C. needed a hero today and the veteran outfielder, who was added to the Washington Nationals’ roster after he was DFA’d by the San Francisco Giants earlier this month, went 3 for 3 in the series finale with the New York Mets, driving in a run with an RBI double in the first, and hitting a go-ahead, two-run home run in the fifth after the visiting team had rallied to tie it. 7-6 final. It got close in the end...
Sánchez Injured: Aníbal Sánchez threw 89 pitches in just 4 1⁄3 IP last time out before today, when he faced the Dodgers in LA, giving up six hits, two walks, and three earned runs in what ended up a 5-0 game.
Sánchez fell to (0-6) in eight starts overall in the year with that loss, with the Nationals 2-6 in his outings.
After a 1-2-3 first this afternoon, the right-hander gave up a one-out single and walk in the Mets’ second, but something went wrong during his delivery on ball four to Brandon Nimmo and after a brief visit from manager Davey Martinez and the Nationals’ trainer, he was lifted from the outing with what the Nationals announced later was left hamstring soreness.
Wheeler in Washington: Zack Wheeler gave up 10 hits, eight walks, and 11 earned runs in 9 2⁄3 IP in back-to-back starts against the Nationals in his first two outings of 2019. He headed into his third start of the season against the Mets’ NL East rivals unbeaten in four starts (2-0) with a 2.67 ERA, five walks, 36 Ks, and a .257/.286/.305 line against in 27 IP over that stretch.
Wheeler got in trouble early in the series finale, with the first four batters reaching base and one run scoring on an RBI single by Anthony Rendon. Juan Soto took a base-loading walk in the fourth at bat of the Nationals’ first, and Howie Kendrick hit into a double play, on which a second run scored, 2-0.
Gerardo Parra kept the first inning going with a two-out, RBI double to center field on a 2-1 splitter from Wheeler, 3-0, and Kurt Suzuki drove Parra in with a second straight double for a 4-0 lead.
Parra and Suzuki hit back-to-back, two-out singles in the bottom of the third, but both were stranded, and Wheeler worked around a leadoff single in the fourth, but a “double” to right by Howie Kendrick, on which Michael Conforto and Robinson Canó collided and let it drop, set Gerardo Parra up with an RBI opportunity he cashed in with two-run home run on a 96 MPH, 2-2 fastball from Wheeler that ended up in the right field bullpen, 6-4.
Zack Wheeler’s Line: 6.0 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 98 P, 68 S, 6/3 GO/FO.
Wheeler Pwnage: Adam Eaton started today’s game 9 for 11 against Zack Wheeler over the last two seasons, and made it 10 for 12 with an infield single in the first at bat of the bottom of the first.
Anthony Rendon went 5 for 7 with three doubles in the first two games of the series with the Nationals’ NL East rivals, and he made it 6 for 8 with an RBI single to center in his first trip to the plate against Zack Wheeler, against whom he was 10 for 30 with six walks and four Ks in their respective careers before today.
Gerardo Parra was 5 for 12 (.417 AVG) against Wheeler coming into today’s game, and he went 3 for 3 with an RBI double and two-run home run in his first three trips to the plate.
BULLPEN ACTION: Erick Fedde was pressed into duty with two on and one out in the Mets’ second, when Aníbal Sánchez was lifted with an as-yet undisclosed injury (later revealed to be left hamstring soreness), and he got what could have been an inning-ending double play out of Amed Rosario, but a wide throw from Wilmer Difo pulled Gerardo Parra off the first base bag and left runners on the corners before Tomas Nido K’d swinging to end the threat.
Fedde got into another first-and-third jam with one out in the third, and the right-hander fell behind Robinson Canó 3-1 and gave up an RBI ground-rule double that got the Mets on the board, down 4-1, and Michael Conforto followed with a three-run home run to right field on a first-pitch sinker, 4-4. Conforto’s 9th of 2019.
Fedde came out for another inning of work in the fourth, and retired the Mets in order in a 10-pitch frame to keep it a tie game.
Dan Jennings got the fifth for the Nationals, and retired the side in order, striking out two in a 15-pitch frame.
Justin Miller got the sixth with the score 6-4 in the Nationals’ favor after Parra’s blast and he retired the Mets in order in a seven-pitch inning.
Kyle Barraclough came on in the seventh as the Nationals rolled through their bullpen arms, and he worked around a leadoff single in a 14-pitch frame.
Mets’ righty Daniel Zamora retired two batters in the bottom of the seventh, but a two-out walk to Gerardo Parra ended his outing, and Parra stole second with Robert Gsellman on the mound, then scored on an RBI single by Kurt Suzuki, 7-4.
Have a day, Zuk! 3⃣-for-4⃣ pic.twitter.com/DibgUMbckv— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) May 16, 2019
Wander Suero needed 19 pitches in a scoreless eighth.
Sean Doolittle got the ninth with a three-run lead and walked the first batter he faced, in a 10-pitch at bat against Brandon Nimmo, then gave up a one-out double to left by pinch hitter Todd Frazier and an RBI single Wilson Ramos, 7-5, and 7-6 on an RBI single by Juan Lagares.
Doolittle popped up Dominic Smith for out No. 2, but Robinson Canó reached on a ground ball to short that Wilmer Difo got to but bobbled. Bases loaded.
Keon Broxton stepped up in the next at bat ... and ... K’d swinging to end it. [wipes brow] Ballgame. 7-6 final.
Nationals now 18-25