Max Scherzer worked his way through six scoreless innings, laboring at times, but making the 1-0 lead he took the mound with in Flushing, Queens, NY’s Citi Field hold up while he was in the game.
Then it was up to the Washington Nationals’ bullpen, and they got through seven, but ran into trouble in the eighth, with Kyle Barraclough giving up a one-out double and two-out walk before Sean Doolittle came on and hit Carlos Gómez, loading the bases, before giving up up a base-clearing double to center by Juan Lagares, 3-1 Mets. 6-1 in the end.
Scherzer vs NYM: Max Scherzer faced the Mets twice in March/April, first on Opening Day, and then again 10 days later, giving up 10 hits, three walks, and six earned runs in 14 IP in those outings.
Scherzer took a loss in the season opener against the Mets, then beat the Nationals’ NL East rivals in the second start against New York in Citi Field, where he took the hill tonight with an (8-2) record, a 2.29 ERA, and a .174/.246/.314 line against in 11 starts and 74 2⁄3 IP against the various incarnations of NY’s roster he’d faced in his career.
Scherzer worked around an error in the first, stranding two after the Nationals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the opening frame, and he was up to three scoreless innings on 49 pitches after he worked around a two-out double in the third.
Scherzer picked up three Ks (for six total), working around a one-out double and walk in a 24-pitch fourth, and added three more when he stranded two in a 25-pitch fifth which left him at 98 pitches total on the night after five scoreless.
Even though he was up to 98 pitches after five innings, Scherzer returned to the mound in the sixth and retired the Mets in order in an 11-pitch frame that ended his outing.
Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 Ks, 109 P, 73 S, 6/3 GO/FO.
Max Scherzer, Soul Stealing 80mph Curveball. pic.twitter.com/3oDOUjKzMq— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 23, 2019
deGrom vs D.C.: Jacob deGrom tossed six scoreless against the Nationals in the nation’s capital on Opening Day, walking one and striking out 10 in a 93-pitch outing in a 2-0 win.
Heading into his second start of the season against the Mets’ divisional rivals, the 2018 NL Cy Young award winner was (3-5) on the season after nine starts, with a 3.98 ERA, 14 walks, 67 Ks, and a .235/.294/.400 line against in 52 IP.
Adam Eaton drove in the first run deGrom has given up in the first inning this season when he hit a 96 MPH first-pitch fastball out to right for a one-out solo shot to put the Nationals up 1-0 early in Citi Field. Eaton’s 4th of 2019.
deGrom retired the next 11 batters he faced, completing four innings on just 50 pitches.
Matt Adams ended the streak of retired batters with a leadoff single in the top of the fifth, and Victor Robles took the first walk from deGrom with two down, but both runners were stranded at the end of a 24-pitch inning that left the right-hander at 74 total on the night.
deGrom issued back-to-back walks with one out in the Nationals’ sixth, his second and third free passes of the game, but he picked up his second and third Ks of the inning from Juan Soto and Matt Adams, respectively, to get through a 29-pitch frame at 103 pitches total on the night.
Jacob deGrom, 89mph Changeup and 97mph Fastball, Overlay. pic.twitter.com/xasdax4A08— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 23, 2019
Jacob deGrom’s Line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 Ks, 103 P, 63 S, 4/5 GO/FO.
Nationals’ offensive surge: Though the wins have been hard to come by, the Nationals’ offense has picked up recently, with a number of previously injured players back in the lineup, including Matt Adams, who returned from the Injured List for tonight’s matchup against the Mets.
Davey Martinez’s squad scored 36 runs in the previous seven games before tonight, which was tied for second in the NL (with the Cubs) behind only the Atlanta Braves (39) in that stretch, and the Nationals led the NL in AVG (.290), OBP (.370), and doubles (17), and were ranked second in SLG (.479), and third in walks (27) over that stretch.
Going up against Jacob deGrom tonight, after he’d allowed two runs or fewer in three of his previous four outings, the Nats had just two hits and one run through six, and they ended up with three hits total..
BULLPEN ACTION: Robert Gsellman took over for NY in the top of the seventh inning with the score still 1-0 Nationals, and retired the side in order.
Joe Ross got the first out of the Mets’ half of the seventh, and Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez went to the pen for Matt Grace vs left-handed pinch hitter Dominic Smith, and Smith hit a weak roller to first for out No. 2. Grace stayed on to face right-handed hitting Amed Rosario, who grounded out to short to end the frame. Still 1-0 Nationals.
Drew Gagnon retired the Mets in order in a seven-pitch top of the eighth.
Kyle Barraclough gave up a one-out double to left-center by Adeiny Hechavarria that both Juan Soto and Victor Robles converged on but couldn’t catch, but got out No. 2 on a weak grounder to third from Pete Alonso. Todd Frazier stepped in next with a runner on second and two out and got up 3-0 and walked to put two on and prompt Davey Martinez to go to the pen for Sean Doolittle vs Carlos Gómez, and Doolittle hit him on the elbow, loading the bases in front on Juan Lagares, who cleared the bases with a double to center field, 3-1 NY.
Doolittle issued an intentional walk to Wilson Ramos, and Rajai Davis stepped in with two runners on and ended Doolittle’s night with a three-run blast to left field, 6-1 Mets.
Tyler Bashor came on to end it in the ninth and worked around a one-out single to end it.
Nationals now 19-30