Joe Ross gave up two home runs over his last four starts and 23 IP before today’s outing, but gave up two in five innings this afternoon, both of them two-run blasts by the Mets’ shortstop Francisco Lindor, who drove in five runs total, all off Ross, in what ended up a relatively quick, 5-1 win over New York’s NL East rivals from Washington, D.C. in Nationals Park.
Ross vs the Mets: Joe Ross gave up five hits, a walk, and one earned run in six innings on the mound in Citi Field when he faced the Mets back in April. Going into today’s start in the nation’s capital, the 28-year-old right-hander was coming off an eight-inning outing at home in Nationals Park which saw him toss eight scoreless, in which he gave up just five hits, in a 108-pitch outing against the Giants.
“Joe was awesome,” Nats’ manager Davey Martinez told reporters after Ross’s start against San Francisco.
“He had a mix of four good pitches, and kept the ball down. His two-seamer was really, really good, very effective, and his slider and changeup were also good.
“His four-seamer he elevated when he needed to, just a great, great day.”
Trying to follow up on that outing, Ross took the mound today and gave up back-to-back hits by the first two batters he faced, with Jonathan Villar singling to left, then scoring on the two-run shot by Francisco Lindor in the next at bat, 2-0 Mets. Lindor’s 7th.
Ross hit the opposing pitcher, David Peterson, with a pitch in the first at bat of the third, and Villar bunted the starter over before Lindor drove him in with an RBI single to right field, 3-0.
Lindor got Ross again in the fifth, with Peterson doubling for his first MLB hit to start the top of the inning and scoring when the Mets’ shortstop connected for his third hit, and second HR of the game, hitting a hanging, 2-1 slider out to right field to make it a 5-0 Mets’ lead.
Joe Ross’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks, 2 HRs, 67 P, 50 S, 7/3 GO/FO.
Peterson vs the Nationals: After giving up three hits, three walks, and five earned runs in just 1⁄3 of an inning against the D-backs three starts back, and allowing eight hits, a walk, and four earned runs in 2 2⁄3 IP against the Orioles in the follow-up to that outing, David Peterson rebounded with six scoreless against the Cubs last time out before today which saw him give up just one hit and two walks.
“It’s about turning the page and getting to the next one,” Peterson told reporters, as quoted by NY Post writer Mike Puma, of moving on from the rough outings.
Peterson took the mound with a 2-0 lead after Francisco Lindor homered in the top of the first, and scored a run himself (after getting on via HBP) in the third, 3-0, and he finished three scoreless on 56 pitches, and then worked around a leadoff hit-by-pitch in a 19-pitch fourth which left him at 75 total after four scoreless.
With the score 5-0 in the fifth, Peterson came back out for the bottom of the inning, but a two-out double by Trea Turner ended the Mets’ starter’s outing.
David Peterson’s Line: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 94 P, 54 S, 4/2 GO/FO.
Streak Lives or Ends?: Washington’s win in Friday night’s series opener with the Mets gave the Nationals a season-long, five-game winning streak, which, the club noted, was their longest win streak since September 23-29, 2019, when they put together an eight-game win streak on their way to the Wild Card Game and eventually the World Series.
“The Nationals have won seven of their last nine games, outscoring opponents 32-14 over this stretch,” the team mentioned in their pregame notes. Would they be able to battle for their sixth straight after falling behind 3-0 in the first game of the doubleheader?
Speaking doubleheaders, they started the day, “0-2-1 (sweeps-swept-split) in doubleheaders this season,” and, “... 15-6-26 (sweeps-swept-splits) in doubleheaders, and 56-38 (.596) when playing twice in a single day since baseball returned to Washington in 2005.”
Bullpen Action: Aaron Loup was the first out of the bullpen for either team, when he took the mound with a runner on second and two out in the bottom of the fifth. Loup battled Soto for seven pitches, but gave up an RBI single to right, 5-1 Mets.
Austin Voth came on for the Nationals in the top of the sixth, and worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless frame.
Miguel Castro gave up back-to-back, one-out walks to Alex Avila and Victor Robles in the Nats’ half of the sixth, but got a groundout from Ryan Zimmerman for out No. 2, before a pitching change brought Seth Lugo on to face Kyle Schwarber with two on and two out.
Lugo got a groundout into the shift from Schwarber to end the threat. Still 5-1 Mets.
Ryne Harper retired the Mets in order in a five-pitch top of the seventh.
Trevor May took over with a four-run lead on the bottom of the inning, and gave up a single by third (and off Jonathan Villar’s glove) for Trea Turner’s third hit of the game (3 for 4, 2B).
Juan Soto walked in the next at bat, 2 on, 0 out. Josh Bell grounded into a 4-6-3 DP in the next AB, however, and Josh Harrison K’d swinging to end the game.
Final Score: 5-1 Mets
Nationals now 31-36