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Washington Nationals eliminate New York Mets from postseason contention with 4-3 win in D.C.

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Andrew Stevenson hit two home runs, one an inside-the-park job, and Max Scherzer finished strong in a 4-3 win.

MLB: Game One-New York Mets at Washington Nationals Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Stevenson extended a hitting streak to 10-straight games with the first of two home runs off New York Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom this afternoon, then hit an inside-the-park homer to tie things up at 3-3 in the fifth.

Max Scherzer gave up three runs on two home runs, a two-run blast to center off of Wilson Ramos’s bat in the third, and a solo shot to center by Amed Rosario in the fourth, but he held it there, striking out back-to-back batters with runners on the corners in the sixth to keep things tied at 3-3.

Brock Holt walked to start the Nationals’ half of the sixth, taking a free pass from Miguel Castro, who gave up a single by Yan Gomes as well, with Holt running.

Edwin Díaz took over with runners on the corners and one out and gave up a line drive to right by Josh Harrison that brought Holt home, 4-3.

Scherzer vs NYM: Max Scherzer came out of his 5 23-inning, 119-pitch outing against the Miami Marlins last weekend with a (4-4) record in 11 starts this season, a 3.67 ERA, 3.18 FIP, 21 walks (3.08 BB/9), 85 Ks (12.47 K/9), and a .261/.320/.412 line against in 61 13 IP.

Today in the nation’s capital, the Nationals’ ace was taking on the NY Mets for the third time in 2020, after facing New York in back-to-back outings in early August, one of which ended an inning in when a hamstring issue forced him from the mound in Nationals Park.

He returned six days later and held the Nats’ NL East rivals to a run on six hits in six innings of work on the mound in Citi Field.

Scherzer tossed two scoreless to start this afternoon’s day half of a doubleheader after last night’s matchup was postponed, but issued a leadoff walk to Luis Guillorme in the third and served up a 1-2 cutter up and over the middle of the plate for Wilson Ramos, who hit it out a ways, 440 ft. to center for a two-run blast and a 2-0 lead.

Amed Rosario got hold of a 95 MPH 1-1 fastball from Scherzer, and hit it out to center for a two-out solo shot in the fourth that put the Mets up, 3-1, a half-inning after the Nats got on the board.

Scherzer kept it there through five, striking out five batters on 90 pitches, and he came out for the sixth in a tie game after an inside-the-park home run by Andrew Stevenson, and got tagged for a one-out double by Robinson Canó in the top of the sixth. Canó’s pinch runner, Guillermo Heredia, took third on a wild pitch in the next at bat.

Pete Alonso walked to put runners on the corners with one down, but Scherzer threw a 97 MPH 2-2 fastball by Amed Rosario for out No. 2, and got Luis Guillorme swinging with a 97 MPH four-seamer for out No. 3 of a 19-pitch frame which left him at 109 total.

Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 2 HRs, 109 P, 74 S, 6/2 GO/FO.

deGrom vs the Nationals: Jacob deGrom and the Nationals avoided one another this year, before today, but the 32-year-old right-hander was in the running (at least) for a third straight Cy Young award, with his 2.14 ERA, 16 walks, 94 Ks, and stingy .184/.236/.303 line against in 11 starts and 63 IP in 2020.

Last time out before today, deGrom tied his season high with 14 strikeouts from 26 batters in a seven-inning, 112-pitch outing against the Tampa Bay Rays.

This afternoon in the nation’s capital, deGrom came out throwing heat, sitting 100-102 MPH with his fastball (which averaged 98.5 MPH this season), as he tossed two scoreless innings on 30 total pitches, striking out three.

deGrom added his fourth and fifth Ks in the first two at bats of the Nationals’ third, but left a 2-2 slider up for a red-hot Andrew Stevenson, who hit a solo home run to right-center field, 2-1 Mets. Stevenson’s first of the season.

The Mets added a run in the top of the fourth, 3-1, but Brock Holt and Yan Gomes hit back-to-back, two-out singles off deGrom in the bottom of the fourth, with Holt taking third on Gomes’s hit, before scoring on a wild pitch that got by catcher Wilson Ramos, 3-2.

Stevenson hit a second home run in the fifth, on a fly to left that Dom Smith tracked to the left field wall but couldn’t catch, and Smith hit the wall hard and went down as the ball bounced around and allowed Stevenson to score for a game-tying, inside-the-park homer, 3-3.

deGrom kept it tied in what ended up a 29-pitch fifth which ended his outing.

Jacob deGrom’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 Ks, 2 HRs, 113 P, 78 S, 1/1 GO/FO.

More like Streakenson: Andrew Stevenson started today’s game with a nine-game hit streak going, over which the 26-year-old outfielder was 10 for 25 (.400 AVG) with five doubles, a triple, seven RBIs, one HBP, two walks, one stolen base and five runs scored, and as the Nats mentioned in their pregame notes, 5 of 10 hits came with runners in scoring position. He extended the streak in the third, with a solo home run off Jacob deGrom that got the home team on the board, down 2-1. He added an inside-the-park home run in the fifth.

BULLPEN ACTION: Miguel Castro took over for NY with the score tied at 3-3 in the sixth and walked the first batter he faced, Brock Holt, who was running on a Yan Gomes’ single in the next at bat, taking third with no one out. Luis García K’d swinging in an unproductive at bat for out No. 1, before Josh Harrison hit a line drive to right to bring Holt in from third, 4-3.

Will Harris came on for the save opportunity and worked around a one-out infield single to end it. Ballgame.

Final Score: 4-3 Nationals

Nationals now 24-34