Marcus Stroman held the Washington Nationals to one hit through five as the New York Mets built up a 4-0 lead, but a leadoff walk, single, and RBI double in the sixth got the Nationals on the board, 4-1, before they loaded the bases, but left them loaded, when a grounder to second off Josh Bell’s bat started an inning-ending, and rally-killing, 4-6-3 double play.
That was the Nats’ best chance to get back in it, in what ended up a 4-1 loss.
Nolin vs NYM: Sean Nolin, who last pitched in the majors in 2015, was called up yesterday for what was supposed to be a doubleheader of sorts with the Mets, but he didn’t pitch in the one game they did play, so Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez decided to get him out there in the first of two today.
“He’s been stretched out. He’s been starting for us at Triple-A and he’s done well, so we’re just going to let him go, keep an eye on him, and see how far he can take us,” Martinez said.
Nolin had a 3.72 ERA in 12 games, nine starts, and 48 1⁄3 IP at Triple-A Rochester in the Nats’ system, walking 15 and striking out 54 before he came up.
Back in the majors this afternoon, the left-hander stranded two in a 19-pitch bottom of the first, after giving back-to-back, one-out singles, but Jonathan Villar singled to center to start the bottom of the second, Marcus Stroman bunted his way on with two out, and Brandon Nimmo stepped in next and lined a 3-2 cutter from Nolin to right field for a three-run blast and a 3-0 Mets’ lead.
Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis hit back-to-back singles off Nolin to start the third, but a line drive to Josh Bell by Jeff McNeil started an unassisted double play at first base, and a liner to right by Jonathan Villar ended a seven-pitch frame.
Michael Conforto singled to start the Mets’ fourth, and that ended Nolin’s outing as the Nats went to the pen for Andres Machado...
Sean Nolin’s Line: 3.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 1 HR, 51 P, 37 S, 0/2 GO/FO.
Stroman vs D.C.: Going up against the Nationals in April in Citi Field, Marcus Stroman gave up eight hits, two walks, and five runs, four earned, in four innings of work on the mound in a 7-1 loss in which he took the L.
Heading into his second start of the season against the Mets’ NL East rivals, the 30-year-old righty was winless in his last three starts, with a 4.60 ERA, three walks, 13 strikeouts, and a bloated .328/.353/.609 line against in 15 2⁄3 IP in those outings, taking him from a 2.59 ERA on the year to 2.83.
Stroman tossed two scoreless on 34 pitches this afternoon, working around a single and a walk, and he extended the Mets’ half of the second inning with a 2-out bunt single, then scored on the three-run home run Brandon Nimmo hit in the next at bat, so he had a 3-0 lead when he returned to the mound in the third inning and retired the side in order, striking out two in the 13-pitch frame.
A 12-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth left Stroman at 59 pitches with just one hit allowed, and he came back out for the fifth and retired the side in order in a 12-pitch frame.
Riley Adams took the second walk of the game from Stroman to lead off the sixth inning, however, and a pinch hit single by Andrew Stevenson and an RBI double by Victor Robles followed as the Nationals got on the board, down 4-1.
Stroman struck Alcides Escobar out for the first out of the inning on his final pitch of the game...
Marcus Stroman’s Line: 5.1 IP, 3 H,
SotOBP: Juan Soto, the Nationals noted in today’s pregame notes, “is the only player in the majors with more walks than strikeouts on the season, leading the Majors with a 1.19 BB/SO ratio (80 BB/67 SO).”
Soto had also, “reached base safely in 22 of his last 24 games (.525 OBP) and 47 of his last 51 (.458 OBP),” going into the first game of the doubleheader today in Citi Field.
Add to that the fact that he’d, “reached base safely in all six of his games against the Mets in 2021 and ... hit safely in five of the six,” giving him a 12-game on-base streak overall against New York, which went back to August 12, 2020, with 16 hits, a hit-by-pitch, and nine walks in those games.
Soto walked the first time up against Mets’ starter Marcus Stroman to make it 81 walks to 67 Ks on the season to that point, 23 of 25 on-base, and seven-straight against NY this season, and 13-straight overall in which he reached base against the Nationals’ NL East rivals.
Bullpen Action: Andres Machado took over with a runner on first and no one out in the fourth and gave up a single to right by Tomás Nido, which allowed Michael Conforto to move around to third, and one out later he scored on a Brandon Nimmo single, 4-0 NY.
Machado hit Pete Alonso on the hand in the next at bat and the two jawed at each other as Alonso took his base, loading them up with one out, but the righty struck out the next two batters to keep it a four-run deficit in the seven-inning game.
Javy Guerra took over for the Nationals in the bottom of the fifth and gave up leadoff and one-out singles before Tomás Nido grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Aaron Loup took over for Marcus Stroman with runners on second and third with one out in the Nationals’ sixth, and Juan Soto at the plate, and walked Soto, to end a nine-pitch battle, and load the bases.
Josh Bell stepped in next, and grounded into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 DP. Still 4-1 Mets.
Jefry Rodríguez came on in the bottom of the sixth, and retired the Mets in order.
Edwin Díaz got the ball in the top of the seventh and gave up a one-out double by Carter Kieboom, but nothing else.
Final Score: 4-1 Mets
Nationals now 50-64