We got what we pretty much expected on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. Marquee pitching matchup? Check. Washington beating the Mets? Check. Nationals taking their final series of the year vs. New York? Check.
Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom matched each other pitch for pitch, but better, more timely hitting by the Nationals allowed Scherzer to come out on top. deGrom pitched six innings, giving up five hits, walking none, striking out 11 and giving up two earned runs. Scherzer went the same distance, giving up two fewer hits, walking one more, striking out one less and surrendering only one earned run, which the Mets got in the first inning. Brandon Nimmo drilled a 2-0 slider over the right centerfield fence. In the third, the Nats’ Trea Turner matched that poke with a man on to give Washington a lead it would not relinquish. They tacked on a run in the fifth, when the speedy Michael A. Taylor beat out a dribber up the third base line, stole second and advanced to third on Travis d’Arnaud’s errant peg and scored on a dunker of a single to left by only-good-against-the-Mets Jose Lobaton.
After that, the Mets specialized in stranding runners and bad judgment. They left runners on in the fifth and sixth, and had Phillip Evans doubled off first in the seventh. It got better the next inning, though. In the eighth, the Mets clawed back a run when Juan Lagares led off with a base hit off Ryan Madson, and after Asdrubal Cabrera struck out pinch-hitting for Robles, consecutive singles by Nori Aoki and Jose Reyes brought Lagares around. Nimmo struck out on a tough 3-2 pitch, but d’Arnaud walked to load the hassocks. That was it for Madson. Sammy Solis came on to face pinch hitter Kevin Plawecki, who worked the count to 3-2 before striking out to end that part of things. Hansel Robles and Paul Sewald each delivered one of their best respective outings of the year, but to no purpose, as the Mets could not deliver enough runs against the Washington bullpen, either. And for good measure, the Mets left two runners in scoring position in the ninth.
Double header against the Braves tomorrow, Lucas Sims and Max Fried taking on Chris Flexen and Seth Lugo.