Patrick Corbin put together another solid start in his second outing of the 2020 campaign, giving up eight hits and three runs in 5 2⁄3 innings, and Washington’s Nationals beat the NL East rival New York Mets in the first game of two in the nation’s capital this week, 5-3 final.
Howie Kendrick went 4 for 4 in his return to the lineup, after he was scratched with upper back stiffness last Wednesday.
Kendrick’s first of four hits was a home run. Josh Harrison homered as well, and drove in a run with a sac fly, and Starlin Castro and Carter Kieboom hit RBI singles, as the defending World Series champs improved to 4-4 overall early this season.
Corbin vs the Mets: Davey Martinez went to the bullpen after 6 1⁄3 innings in Patrick Corbin’s 2020 debut last week, with the lefty at an efficient 75 pitches.
“He threw the ball really well,” Martinez said.
“It’s his first time getting up in a game seven times. That last inning he kind of started getting the ball up, so we knew he was at his limit.
“But he threw the ball really well. If he can go out and keep going out and doing that for us every five days, we’re going to win a lot of games.”
Start No. 2, on a week-plus of rest?
Corbin worked around a one-out walk in the first, and came back out for the second with a 1-0 lead and retired the Mets in order in an eight-pitch frame that left him at 26 total in two scoreless.
A 22-pitch third, in which he stranded a runner, left Corbin at 47 pitches, and he came out for the fourth with a 5-0 lead and gave up a one-out single by Wilson Ramos and a two-run shot to left by Michael Conforto, who improved to 8 for 21 with five homers off of Corbin in their respective careers, 5-2.
Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, and Pete Alonso connected for back-to-back-to-back two-out hits in the Mets’ fifth, with Alonso’s RBI line drive to right making it a two-run game, 5-3.
Corbin came back out for the sixth, but was done for the night after giving up back-to-back, two-out singles that pushed him up to 102 pitches...
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 Ks, 1 HR, 102 P, 66 S, 3/3 GO/FO.
Matz vs the Nats: Steven Matz gave up a run on two hits in six innings of work in his 2020 debut, then gave up eight hits and three runs in 5 1⁄3 IP the second time out, throwing 104 pitches in a 4-2 loss. For start No. 3, the lefty was going up against the Nationals in D.C. in the series opener with the Mets’ NL East rivals.
Matz and the Mets fell behind early tonight, when Howie Kendrick hit a 3-2 pitch from the left-hander to left field in Nationals Park for a two-out solo bomb, Kendrick’s 1st, and a 1-0 lead early.
It was 2-0 after Josh Harrison hit a 3-1 fastball form the Mets’ southpaw out to left and over the visitor’s bullpen for the Nationals’ second solo shot, 2-0.
Juan Soto is dancing on the dugout. Normal baseball stuff. pic.twitter.com/WiM4BG80KX— Blake Finney (@FinneyBlake) August 4, 2020
Howie Kendrick was 2 for 2 after a line drive to right field with one down in the third, and an Asdrúbal Cabrera double, Starlin Castro RBI single, and sac fly by Josh Harrison made it 4-0 over the Mets. Castro scored on an RBI single to right by Carter Kieboom, 5-0.
Steven Matz’s Line: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 78 P, 53 S, 3/1 GO/FO.
HOWIE DOING?: Howie Kendrick dealt with upper back tightness last week, but a four-day weekend was enough for the 37-year-old veteran to heal up and return to the lineup for the series opener tonight, and Kendrick got the Nationals on the board with a two-out solo HR early in the nation’s capital, taking a 3-1 changeup from Steven Matz out to left-center for a no-doubter and his first HR of the 2020 campaign.
Kendrick lined a single to right field the second time up, 2 for 2, and scored the Nationals’ first run in a three-run third, and he was 3 for 3 after lining a 1-1 fastball to right field for a leadoff single off Mets’ righty Paul Sewald in the first at bat of the home half of the fifth.
Kendrick was 4 for 4 on the night after he lined a single to left to lead off the bottom of the seventh, taking a 1-1 fastball from Dellin Betances over short and into shallow left field.
BULLPEN ACTION: Paul Sewald took over for NY in the bottom of the fourth, and retired the side in order in a 13-pitch frame.
Sewald returned to the mound in the bottom of the fifth, but he was lifted with two down and the bases loaded with Nationals.
Jeurys Familia took over with Yan Gomes up, and got the third out to keep it a two-run game, 5-3 Nats.
Ryne Harper took over for the Nationals with two on and two out after back-to-back singles off Patrick Corbin, and got the third out on a ground ball to short to keep the Nats’ two-run lead intact.
Familia came back out for the bottom of the sixth inning, and worked around a one-out walk to Trea Turner (who got thrown out trying to steal second) for a scoreless frame.
Harper walked the first two batters he faced in the top of the seventh, before skipper Davey Martinez went to the bullpen for Tanner Rainey with two on and no one out.
Pete Alonso K’d swinging at a 96 MPH 2-2 fastball for out No. 1. Wilson Ramos popped out to short-center on a 95 MPH 2-0 heater for out No. 2.
Michael Conforto sent a fly to right field on a 96 MPH 2-2 fastball for out No. 3.
Dellin Betances worked around Howie Kendrick’s fourth hit before the rain started in D.C. and led to a delay...
An hour or so later, play resumed with Javy Guerra on the mound for the Nationals in the top of the eighth, and worked around two hits (with help from an out at second base) to keep things 5-3 in D.C.
Edwin Diaz retired the Nationals in order in the bottom of the eighth.
Daniel Hudson got the ninth and struck out the first two batters he faced, before walking Pete Alonso, but a fly to center from Wilson Ramos ended it. Mercifully...
Final Score: 5-3 Nationals.
Nationals now 4-4