In a 9-0 hole after three and a half in D.C., the Washington Nationals chipped away and tied it up at 9-9 in the seventh, on a two-out, two-run home run to right by Andrew Stevenson.
It went to extras in the first game of today’s seven-inning doubleheader, but neither team scored their free runner in the eighth, then Francisco Lindor hit a two-run shot to lead off the ninth, putting the New York Mets back on top, 11-9.
Fedde vs the Mets: Erick Fedde faced the Nationals’ NL East rivals from New York twice in August, giving up six hits and two runs in four innings in Citi Field back on 8/12, before he gave up eight hits and six runs (five earned) in 5 1⁄3 IP in Flushing, Queens. Those two left the right-hander with a 4.22 ERA, eight walks, 19 Ks, and a .250/.341/.363 line against in a total of 21 1⁄3 IP.
“I think the biggest thing was just my fastball command,” Fedde said when asked about his struggles on the mound last time out against the Mets. “I think it got — I don’t know the percentages or anything, but I think we just really got away from my fastball, just because it was kind of all over the place and I think that letting the guys see my breaking stuff a little too much.”
Going up against the Mets again this afternoon, the 28-year-old, 2014 1st Round pick gave up back-to-back-to-back singles by Jonathan Villar, Brandon Nimmo, and Francisco Lindor, with Villar scoring on Lindor’s hit, and Nimmo coming in on a sac fly by Pete Alonso, 2-0 in the first.
Javier Báez hit a hanging 2-2 curveball out to center field to lead off the top of the second, connecting for his 27th home run of the season, 3-0 Mets.
Alcides Escobar committed back-to-back errors later in the second, putting Jeff McNeil and Patrick Mazeika on, then Jonathan Villar sent a slow roller towards first that Fedde fielded on one hop, looking to home for a second before turning to throw to first, only to find that Josh Bell had charged in for the grounder and no one was home at first base, 4-0, and 5-0 on an RBI single by Brandon Nimmo. Francisco Lindor followed with a sac fly to bring Villar in and make it a 6-0 game.
Fedde’s 42-pitch second left him at 62 total on the day, but he stayed in and gave up a hard-hit double to left by Báez in the first at bat of the third. Báez moved up on a groundout, and scored on an RBI single by Patrick Mazeika, 7-0.
Erick Fedde’s Line: 3.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 80 P, 51 S, 4/1 GO/FO.
Stroman vs the Nats: In two starts against the Nationals in August, Mets’ righty Marcus Stroman gave up three hits and a run in 5 1⁄3 IP, and seven hits and two runs in six total innings, with both starts in Citi Field.
This afternoon, the 30-year-old right-hander was facing the Nats in the second straight start, and he took the mound with a 2-0 lead after the top of the first, and stranded two Nationals in a 25-pitch frame.
It was 6-0 in the Mets’ favor when he came out for the second and stranded a one-out single and double in a 10-pitch frame.
Stroman walked Juan Soto with one out in the Nationals’ third, but made a heads-up, hustle play in the next at bat. Josh Bell grounded into what looked like a force at second base, but Jonathan Villar, in the shift, dropped a toss to second base, and Soto, realizing there was no one over at third, took off from second, only to get outraced to the bag by Stroman, who got the ball and applied a tag for the second out of what ended up a scoreless 26-pitch frame which left the Mets’ starter at 61 total after three.
Keibert Ruiz, Carter Kieboom, and Luis García hit back-to-back-back singles off Stroman in the bottom of the fourth, and a bases-loaded walk by Andrew Stevenson forced in the first run of the game for the Nationals, 9-1, and 9-2 on a sac fly by Lane Thomas, then 9-3 on a second sac fly, this one by Alcides Escobar.
A nine-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth left Stroman at 94 pitches overall.
Marcus Stroman’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 Ks, 94 P, 54 S, 5/6 GO/FO.
SotOBP: Juan Soto came into today’s game having reached base in 19 of his last 21 games, with a .521 OBP over that stretch, and .535 OBP in his last 24 games, in which he’d reached base in 21. Soto walked the first time up against Mets’ starter Marcus Stroman to make it 20 of 22 and 22 of 25.
Bullpen Action: Wander Suero took over for the Nationals in the fourth and gave up a single by Francisco Lindor and a one-out, two-run home run to the upper deck in right by Michael Conforto, 9-0.
Suero came back out for more in the fifth, and retired the side in order to keep it a 9-3 game in the Mets’ favor.
Ryne Harper worked a scoreless top of the sixth, with help from a diving Juan Soto in right for out No. 3.
Miguel Castro took over for New York in the bottom of the sixth, and an ROE, single, and misplay on a potential DP grounder loaded the bases with one out. Alcides Escobar hit a double to left to drive in two runs, 9-5, and knock Castro out.
Brad Hand took over with two on, one out, and Juan Soto at the plate, and two more runs scored on a grounder to first when Pete Alonso fielded it on the outfield grass and threw high to Hand covering at first base and off his glove, 9-7. A passed ball with Josh Bell up moved Soto to second base, and he took third base on a single by Bell, bringing Ryan Zimmerman up with two on and one out, but Zimmerman grounded into an inning-ending, rally-killing 5-4-3 DP.
Alberto Baldonado retired the Mets in order in the top of the seventh.
Seth Lugo gave up a one-out double by Carter Kieboom ... and a two-out, two-run, game-tying home run to right by Andrew Stevenson, 9-9. Lane Thomas K’d swinging to end the bottom of the seventh and send it to extras.
Baldonado came back out for more in the top of the eighth and stranded the free runner to set up a potential walk-off win.
Lane Thomas was the Nationals’ free runner with Trevor May on the mound. May retired Alcides Escobar, on an unproductive pop to second, walked Juan Soto intentionally, but then fell behind Josh Bell, 3-0, and walked him. Gerardo Parra stepped in next and K’d swinging on a high fastball for out No. 2, and Keibert Ruiz popped out to leave’em loaded.
Kyle Finnegan took over in the top of the ninth, and gave up a two-run shot by Francisco Lindor on a 2-1 sinker that Lindor hit out to right field and into the upper deck, 11-9.
Heath Hembree came on for NY trying to mercifully end this game, and stranded the free runner at third.
Final Score: 11-9 Mets
Nationals now 55-79