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Washington Nationals drop 7-3 decision to New York Mets on eve of trade deadline...

Juan Soto walked three times and homered in what could be but probably totally won’t be his final game with the Nationals...

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Corbin vs NYM:

Patrick Corbin’s start against the Dodgers in Los Angeles last week was an unmitigated two-thirds-of-an-inning disaster of an outing, in which he gave up seven hits and six earned runs in a 7-1 loss on the road in which he threw 45 pitches before his manager pulled the plug on his appearance.

“He faced 10 hitters. He was behind five, five of them,” Martinez said. “And then the guys he got ahead of, he just couldn’t put them away. That was the big deal right there. And he had a lot of pitches, so we had to go get him.”

“We could’ve gotten him out of there hopefully at 40-something pitches, and then maybe we see what he does the next couple innings,” the fifth-year skipper said.

“But it just wasn’t going to happen, you know. At some point, around the 40th pitch, I was getting a little worried. I don’t want to get him hurt.”

Looking to bounce back from the rough outing, Corbin took on the Mets tonight, and got off to a good start with a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 first, and he came out for the second up 1-0, but a leadoff walk, and one- and two-out hits tied things up with Pete Alonso taking a free pass, taking second on a one-out hit by Mark Cahna, and scoring on a two-out single to right by Jeff McNeil, 1-1. And 2-1 on an RBI single to center by Tomás Nido. Starling Marte followed later in the inning with a bases-loaded RBI hit to right, but after McNeil scored, Juan Soto’s throw in beat Nido home for out No. 3 of a 38-pitch frame. Corbin finished the inning at 50 total after two, trailing 3-1.

Alonso made it 4-1 with a line drive home run to left on a first-pitch slider in a one-out at-bat in the top of the third. Alonso’s 27th had a 17° launch angle, went 390 feet, and was 111 MPH off the bat. It was crushed.

Corbin came back out for the fifth, at 86 pitches, and struck out Francisco Lindor on his 90th and final pitch of the game...

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 90 P, 58 S, 4/4 GO/FO.

Scherzer Back In D.C.:

Max Scherzer wasn’t sure how he’d be welcomed back to the nation’s capital in his first start for New York against the Washington Nationals he pitched for from 2015-2021. Scherzer got traded to the LA Dodgers last July 30th, then he signed with the Mets as a free agent, taking a 3-year/$130M deal to join the Nats’ NL East rivals.

“That’s for the fans,” to decide Scherzer said of what he expected in terms of a reception in D.C. “Whatever they want.”

He was excited about the atmosphere pitching again in his former home park.

“A lot of good memories here, there always will be good memories here, but nothing lasts forever,” the three-time Cy Young award-winner told reporters.

“And as my baseball journey goes on,” he added, “I’m here in New York, and excited about what the future holds.”

Scherzer went six strong in the first outing against his one-time team, giving up six hits, one walk, and three earned runs in a 7-3 win back in early April.

Though he missed time with an oblique strain from mid-May to early July, Scherzer’s put up solid numbers through the first three months of his 15th big league season, with a 2.09 ERA, 2.50 FIP, 15 walks, 104 Ks, and a .201/.256/.306 line against in 82 IP before today.

Juan Soto took the 16th walk in 82 23 IP from Scherzer with two out in the first tonight, and he scored in the next at-bat, when Josh Bell lined a double to right, and Mets’ right fielder Starling Marte threw in to second with no one there as Soto took third, and Soto scored on the play, as Bell took third, with no one there either. Defensive collapse there. 1-0 Nats after one.

It was 4-1 Mets in the fourth, and Scherzer was up to seven-straight Nationals retired, when Juan Soto hit a 96 MPH, 1-1 fastball to center field, 421 feet to center field, for a leadoff shot which made it 4-2 in NY’s favor. Soto’s 21st of 2022.

Yadiel Hernández, Nelson Cruz, and Luis García, on three consecutive pitches, connected for three straight singles one out after Soto’s blast, with Hernández scoring on Garcia’s hit to left field, 4-3.

By the time the Mets’ starter came out in the sixth, at 83 pitches, the Mets were up 7-3, and he worked around a two-out single in a 10-pitch frame, then Scherzer got two outs in the seventh before he was lifted...

Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 105 P, 70 S, 4/6 GO/FO.

Bullpen Action:

Andres Machado took over for Patrick Corbin after the lefty recorded the first out of the fifth inning, and the right-handed reliever put two runners on but stranded them both.

Machado gave up a two-out double by Brandon Nimmo in the sixth, and was replaced by Steve Cishek, who hit Starling Marte (which had Mets’ skipper Buck Showalter using salty language as he checked on his hitter). Francisco Lindor stepped in next, and Lindor hit a three-run shot into the left field bullpen, 7-3 Mets. No. 18 for Lindor. 396-foot shot.

Erasmo Ramirez gave up two singles but completed a scoreless top of the seventh to keep it a four-run game.

Victor Arano worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless eighth.

Mets’ lefty Joely Rodriguez, who finished off the seventh for the Mets, came back out in the bottom of the eighth, and got two outs after a leadoff walk to Juan Soto. Adam Ottavino got the ball next, and got out No. 3.

Hunter Harvey’s scoreless top of the ninth kept it 7-3, but the Nationals came up empty in the bottom of the inning.

Nationals now 35-69