Sean Nolin gave up two runs on two home runs by Kevin Pillar in 6 1⁄3 innings of work in his third start with the Washington Nationals, with the second shot tying things up at 2-2 in the New York Mets’ sixth, but a wild pitch to Juan Soto with runners on the corners in the top of the seventh allowed Riley Adams to score from third, 3-2 Nats.
That lead didn’t last long. Mason Thompson took over for Ryne Harper with two on and one out in the bottom of the seventh, and gave up a three-run home run on a first-pitch sinker to Michael Conforto that went out to left for an opposite field blast, 5-3 Mets.
Nolin vs NY: In two starts this season, in his first outings back in the big leagues since 2015, lefty Sean Nolin gave up 14 hits, three walks, and seven runs, striking out seven, with hitters from the Mets and Brewers putting up a .438/.486/.688 line in seven total innings pitched.
His first start back, was against the same New York Mets that he was facing tonight, in Citi Field both times.
Nolin gave up eight hits and four runs in three innings in that outing, after which he talked about what was a long road back.
“Big league-wise it was almost six years,” Nolin acknowledged in a post game Zoom call that day.
“I think the end of September of ‘15 was my last start. I definitely wasn’t as nervous this time, I feel like I had a lot of positive, good energy.”
Nolin got another start, 10 days later, and gave up six hits, three walks, and three runs in just four innings.
Starting on regular rest tonight, and with a 2-0 lead after one, Nolin retired the first six Mets’ hitters he faced, on just 22 pitches, but the seventh hitter, Kevin Pillar, hit a 2-1 changeup to left field in Citi Field, and over the fence for a leadoff home run that cut the Nationals’ early lead in half, 2-1. No. 11 for Pillar this season.
No. 12 for Pillar on the season came in the bottom of the fifth, when the Mets’ outfielder hit a 1-2 fastball, belt-high inside, out to left as well, for another solo shot that tied things up, 2-2.
Nolin returned to the mound in the sixth, but gave up a one-out single on his 69th pitch, so his manager went to the ‘pen...
Sean Nolin’s Line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 Ks, 2 HRs, 71 P, 51 S, 4/4 GO/FO.
Stroman vs D.C.: Marcus Stroman gave up eight hits, two walks, and five runs, four of them earned, in four innings, when he faced the Nationals for the first time this season back in April in Citi Field, and he got another shot at the Mets’ divisional rivals earlier this month, when he went 5 1⁄3 innings on the mound at home, allowing three hits, two walks, and one earned run.
In five starts this month overall, the 30-year-old right-hander had a 3.72 ERA, eight walks, 32 Ks, and a .236/.287/.443 line against in 29 IP before taking on the Nationals again.
Stroman made a nice play on a bunt by Alcides Escobar, cutting Lane Thomas down at third base after a double by the Nationals’ leadoff man in the first, but Escobar reached base on the fielder’s choice, and Juan Soto and Josh Bell followed with back-to-back singles, before a backwards K on Yadiel Hernández and a lineout to right-center by Carter Kieboom in what ended up a 19-pitch frame by the Mets’ starter.
Luis García walked to start the top of the second, moved up on a one-out sac bunt by Sean Nolin, the Nats’ starter, and scored on a two-out, line drive, RBI double to right-center off of Lane Thomas’s bat, 1-0 Nationals.
And 2 for 2, 2 doubles for Thomas, who took third base on a wild pitch, and scored on a two-out single to short right by Alcides Escobar, 2-0.
Stroman retired eight straight after Escobar’s hit, and stranded Escobar after he singled to snap that streak with one out in the fifth.
A five-pitch sixth, in which he worked around a leadoff single left Stroman at 91 pitches on the night... and that was it for the starter.
Marcus Stroman’s Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 91 P, 61 S, 9/1 GO/FO.
Alcides Escostreak: Alcides Escobar started the night in New York with a nine-game hit streak going, over which he was 13 for 40 (.325 AVG) with three doubles, one hit-by-pitch, two walks, and eight runs scored on the streak, which was his longest hit streak since way back in 2018 when he hit in 11 straight games.
Escobar extended it to 10-straight with an RBI single in his second trip to the plate, after he reached base on a fielder’s choice out in his first at bat, then he singled again in the top of the fifth, and singled again with two out in the seventh, sending Riley Adams over to third base, before he scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch to Juan Soto.
Bullpen Action: Patrick Murphy took over for the Nationals in a 2-2 game, with a runner on first and one out in the sixth, and Pete Alonso at the plate, and he got two quick outs and stranded the inherited runner to keep it tied.
Mets’ righty Trevor May gave up a leadoff single by Riley Adams and a two-out hit by Alcides Escobar in the top of the seventh, and a 1-2 changeup in the dirt skipped by catcher Patrick Mazeika and went to the wall, allowing Adams to score the go-ahead run, 3-2 Nationals.
Ryne Harper gave up a single and hit a batter in the first two at bats of the Mets’ half of the seventh, but he got one out on a popped-up bunt before the Nationals went to the pen for Mason Thompson, who gave up a three-run blast by Michael Conforto on the first pitch he threw, a 95 MPH sinker outside, that Conforto hit out the other way, 5-3 New York.
Seth Lugo worked around a Josh Bell single for a scoreless top of the eighth.
Edwin Díaz came on for the save opportunity in the ninth and hit Riley Adams with one out, putting a runner on in front of pinch hitter Ryan Zimmerman, who grounded out weakly in front of home for out No. 2. Lane Thomas stepped in next, with a runner on second, and K’d looking to end the game.
Final Score: 5-3 Mets
Nationals now 55-73