Heading into this afternoon’s series finale with the New York Mets in the nation’s capital, Washington Nationals’ starter Aníbal Sánchez had allowed two home runs total over his previous seven starts and 40 1⁄3 IP.
In the third of three with the Mets in D.C., the veteran righty gave up three homers in five innings, and was charged with seven runs total in what ended up an 8-4 loss.
With the win, the Mets took 2 of 3 this week and finished the season series with the Nats with a 12-7 mark against their NL East rivals.
Sánchez vs New York: Aníbal Sánchez faced the Mets last month in Citi Field, giving up seven hits and three runs in five innings on the mound in what ended up a 7-4 Nats’ win.
Sánchez took the mound today with a 17-outing unbeaten streak, over which he’d posted a 3.16 ERA, 28 walks, 77 Ks, and a .225/.286/.356 line against in 94 IP.
Going up against the Mets again this afternoon in the nation’s capital, Sánchez tossed a quick, scoreless 12-pitch first, then worked around a single and a walk in a 19-pitch top of the second inning, but after the Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, he gave up a game-tying home run to center by Juan Lagares in the third, 1-1.
Michael Conforto doubled to lead off the fourth, and scored one out later when Robinson Canó hit a first-pitch change to left field and into the visitor’s bullpen for a two-run home run, and a 3-1 lead. Canó’s 11th of 2019.
Pete Alonso hit a first-pitch home run to left with one out in the fifth, connecting for the third home run of the game off Sánchez, who’d given up two in his previous seven starts and 40 1⁄3 IP. 4-1 Mets. No. 45 for Alonso.
Major League Baseball has a new home run leader. ❄️ pic.twitter.com/8U6LRhe7ki— New York Mets (@Mets) September 4, 2019
Canó walked to start the sixth, and took third on a grounder by J.D. Davis that bounced off the third base bag and shot over Anthony Rendon’s head, and both runners scored on a hit to right-center by Amed Rosario, 6-1 Mets...
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 2 Ks, 3 HRs, 74 P, 46 S, 8/4 GO/FO.
Wheeler vs Washington: Zack Wheeler took the mound this afternoon winless in his last four outings, with a 5.73 ERA, 10 walks, 11 Ks, and a .330/.390/.511 line against in 22 IP. He was, however, coming off a solid start which saw him give up seven hits and one run over six innings in an 11-5 win over the Phillies in which he received no decision.
Wheeler was facing the Nationals for the fifth time in 2019, after giving up 25 hits, 12 walks, and 20 runs in 22 2⁄3 IP in the previous four, with Nats’ hitters combining for a .284/.366/.477 line against the right-hander in those outings.
A two-out rally in the second led to the Nationals’ first run, with Gerardo Parra, Aníbal Sánchez, and Trea Turner connecting for back-to-back-to-back hits off the Mets’ right-hander, making it a 1-0 game, and the Nats loaded the bases but left’em loaded in a 34-pitch inning for Wheeler, who was up to 58 after two.
"I call that a solo shot." - Max Scherzer— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 4, 2019
Come for our 2-out, 2nd-inning rally...
...stay for Max's dugout commentary. pic.twitter.com/4GG2OjZxDZ
It was tied at 1-1 when Wheeler took the mound in the bottom of the third and worked around back-to-back singles that started the frame, and it was 3-1 New York, when the righty returned to the hill and worked around a one-out single in a 15-pitch frame that pushed him up to 91 pitches total after four.
A 10-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth left Wheeler at 101 pitches and ended his outing...
Zack Wheeler’s Line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 101 P, 64 S, 4/4 GO/FO.
RendOBP: With a single in the eighth last night, Anthony Rendon extended his on-base streak to 19-straight games, over which the 29-year-old was 34 for 77 (.442/.506/.818) with eight doubles, seven home runs, and 10 walks (vs 9 Ks).
Rendon extended it the first time up this afternoon, singling with two down in the home-half of the first, though he was stranded.
Soto Rolling: Juan Soto has been tearing things up, going 18 for 41 (.439/.489/.951) with a total of seven doubles, a triple, four home runs, 15 RBIs, three walks, and 16 runs scored in his last 10 games heading into the series finale with the Mets.
Soto had also hit safely in 8 of 10 games with all eight multi-hit efforts. Soto got hit in his third trip to the plate last night, and responded with a home run the next time up.
He walked the first time up today, and singled in his second trip to the plate against Zack Wheeler. He ended up with just the one hit today, 1 for 3, BB.
BULLPEN ACTION: Hunter Strickland took over for the Nationals with a runner on second and no one out in the sixth and walked the first batter he faced, Brandon Nimmo, and Jeff McNeil followed with an RBI single that brought Amed Rosario in, 7-1.
Jeurys Familia came on in the bottom of the sixth and issued back-to-back one-out walks to Gerardo Parra and pinch hitter Andrew Stevenson, and back-to-back, two-out hits, an RBI single by Asdrubal Cabrera, and a two-run double by Anthony Rendon, 7-4 Mets.
Luis Avilán came on to face Juan Soto with Rendon at second, and struck Soto out with an 0-2 change.
Wander Suero got an inning-ending double play out of Joe Panik after a one-out single by Robinson Canó in a scoreless seventh.
Seth Lugo worked around a two-out double by Victor Robles in a scoreless bottom of the seventh inning.
Fernando Rodney gave up a leadoff single by Amed Rosario, a one-out walk to Brandon Nimmo, and an RBI single by Jeff McNeil, 8-4.
Sean Doolittle worked around a two-out walk and single for a scoreless top of the ninth.
Justin Wilson came on for the Mets in the bottom of the inning and worked around a two-out walk to end it. Nats drop 2 of 3 to the Mets in D.C., drop 12 of 19 with NY in 2019.
Nationals now 78-60