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Washington Nationals drop series opener with New York Mets, 3-2 final: David Peterson outduels Patrick Corbin...

Davey Martinez’s club fell to 23-34 on the season with a 3-2 loss to the Mets in the series opener in Nationals Park.

New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

New York Mets’ rookie David Peterson outdueled Patrick Corbin in battle of lefties in the series opener in Nationals Park, and New York’s Mets took the first of four in the season-ending series in D.C. by a final score of 3-2.

Corbin vs NYM: Patrick Corbin gave up seven runs on a career-high 14 hits in the Nationals’ 7-3 loss to the Marlins last weekend in Miami, extending a seven-start winless streak over which the 31-year-old lefty was (0-6) with Washington 0-7 in his outings. He had a 5.75 ERA and a .341/.381/.545 line against in 40 23 IP in that stretch.

Tonight in the nation’s capital, Corbin was facing the Mets for the third time this season and the first time since early August, when he faced the Nationals’ NL East rivals and earned two wins in back-to-back outings in which he gave up 13 hits and five runs (four earned) in 11 23 IP.

Corbin tossed four scoreless on 54 pitches to start his final outing the 2020 season, then gave up a leadoff hit by Guillermo Heredia in the fifth and a two-run home run to right by Robinson Chirinos on a 3-2 sinker Chirinos powered out to right for an opposite field shot and a 2-1 Mets’ lead.

Robinson Canó singled to start the sixth, and Amed Rosario walked with one down, then a two-out grounder to the right side by Chirinos beat the shift when Jake Noll ranged too far to his right for a ball Luis García could have fielded, and had no one at first base to receive his throw.

Patrick Corbin sprinted over, but got turned around by a throw behind his left shoulder and was late with the tag, 3-1 Mets when Canó scored.

Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso hit back-to-back, one-out singles off Corbin in the seventh, as his pitch count hit 97, and pitching coach Paul Menhart came out for a chat as a hurried Kyle Finnegan warmed quickly in the pen. Corbin fell behind 2-0 on Canó in the next at bat, but got a grounder to first for out No. 2.

A walk to Todd Frazier loaded the bases for Amed Rosario, but the shortstop K’d looking to end a 24-pitch frame which ended Corbin’s outing after 113 pitches.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 7.0 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 113 P, 71 S, 10/3 GO/FO.

Peterson vs D.C.: David Peterson’s fourth big league start, after he debuted in the majors back on July 28th, was a solid, five-inning outing at home in Citi Field in which he gave up just one hit and two walks, with an unearned run scoring while he was on the mound in an 8-2 win over the Nationals.

In five games (and four starts) since the Nats last saw him, the 25-year-old left-hander was (2-1) with a 4.71 ERA, 15 walks, 19 Ks, and a .200/.341/.360 line against in 21 IP, but tonight he was up against a Nationals’ roster that started the outing with a .293/.348/.517 line vs lefties this season, which was good for 2nd/5th/2nd across the line in the majors.

Peterson tossed three scoreless on 43 pitches to start the game, but gave up a two-out RBI single by Josh Harrison in the fourth after Yan Gomes grounded out to second base with a runner (Kurt Suzuki) on first, and Robinson Canó fielded it and threw to first base instead of second base, leaving Suzuki out there in scoring position before Harrison’s hit, 1-0.

It was 3-1 Mets when Peterson stranded Juan Soto at second after Soto’s one-out double in the sixth, and the lefty’s pitch count was up to 93 overall, with just one run on three hits on his line.

Peterson came back out for the seventh with a 3-1 lead, and gave up a leadoff single on a 1-0 changeup to Josh Harrison, who took second on a wild pitch with Jake Noll (1 for 2) at the plate. Noll K’d swinging on the lefty’s 100th pitch. Michael A. Taylor moved Harrison over to third with a groundout on pitch No. 105, a season high, and the southpaw got a groundout from Luis García with his 107th and final offering of the night...

David Peterson’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 107 P, 68 S, 8/3 GO/FO.

Soto ❤️s NY: Juan Soto started the night leading the National League with a .352 AVG, and he had the NL’s highest SLG (.703), OBP (.486), wRC+ (201), and wOBA (.478), and he’d done some real damage against the Mets in 2020, with a .474/.500/1.211 line in five games and 20 PAs against the Nationals’ NL East rivals over which he’d hit two doubles and four home runs. Soto went 1 for 2 with a double and a walk the first three times up tonight, lining a 2-1 fastball from lefty David Peterson into the right-center gap for a two-base hit with one down in the sixth for double No. 13 of overall and his third against the Mets this season.

Soto finished the night 1 for 3 (.351 AVG) with a walk.

BULLPEN ACTION: Kyle Finnegan took over for Corbin in the top of the eighth inning, and got back-to-back Ks, and then a fly to foul territory in left on which Michael A. Taylor made one heck of a leaping catch over the top of the railing.

Justin Wilson walked Trea Turner with one out in the Nationals’ half of the eighth, but after a 12-pitch, two-out battle with Kurt Suzuki ended with a groundout, he had himself a 26-pitch scoreless frame.

Will Harris gave up a leadoff single by J.D. Davis and a two-out single by Robinson Canó, but he stranded both runners to keep it a 3-1 game.

Edwin Díaz gave up a one-out double to right-center by Andrew Stevenson in the bottom of the ninth. [ed. note - “Nine-game hit streak for Stevenson.”] Eric Thames chased a two-strike fastball up high for out No. 2.

Yadiel Hernandez got a two-out opportunity and drove in run No. 2 for the Nationals, 3-2.

Opposite field single on a 100 MPH 1-2 sinker up high outside for Hernandez. Luis García stepped in next, and grounded out to second to end it.

Final Score: 3-2 Mets

Nationals now 23-34