Nats Take Mets to SplitTown
The Washington Nationals earned an important four game split against the New York Mets yesterday. After seven games versus the Mets, the Nats are 4-3. The two clubs won’t face each other again until a four-game set at Citi Field in late July. The Mets and Nats finish the 13-game season series in DC for two games during the first week of September.
According to FanGraphs, the Nats are projected to finish the season 68-94. That doesn’t sound great, but that’s a whopping 13-game improvement from 107 losses last season. My guess is that the Nats will get to at least seventy wins. With a current winning percentage of .439, Washington is on pace for 71 wins.
Game 1: METS 3, Nats 2
In front of a competitive and festive crowd of 31, 904, this game had the look and feel of a pennant race. For a young team on the way up, the experience mattered even with the loss.
MacKenzie Gore escaped a laborious four innings on 96 pitches but was unmarked on the scoreboard. Gore gave up five hits and struck out three. Great catches by Luis Garcia and Lane Thomas closed out Gore’s night in the fourth.
Joey Meneses knocked in the first run for the Nats in the bottom of the first inning. Meneses extended his hit streak to six games, but he didn’t record another hit on the night.
What about the New Guy?
Jake Alu, in his first start at home for Washington, slapped his first MLB hit through the left side. Alu also walked, stole his first base, and made a terrific diving catch down the left field line. Alu would also factor into the Nats second run. Mets SS Francisco Lindor booted an easy grounder hit by Alu and Alex Call (2-4, BB, K) scored from third.
But the Nats were outhit 10-4 and the law of averages caught up with them. With runners in scoring position, the Nats were one out of nine.
Andres Machado came on and in 1.2 innings gave up two runs on three hits in the pivotal sixth inning. With the bases loaded Lindor hit a hard line single to center field. Incredibly, three runs scored on the play. (See Juan Soto in the 2019 Wild Card Game). Mets CF Brandon Nimmo scored all the way from first base when an unsuspecting CJ Abrams took the relay throw from Call.
Carl Edwards Jr. couldn’t stop the relentless Mets and gave up the third run on one hit and a walk in 1/3 of an inning. Erasmo Ramirez (two innings) and Hunter Harvey (one inning) combined to pitch shutout ball the rest of the way for Washington.
Time of game: 3:10
Game 2: NATS 3, Mets 2
In the completion of the suspended game caused by an unconscionable four-hour rain delay, CJ Abrams went two for four with a clutch home run and two runs batted in. Other Nats with two hits included Lane Thomas, Keibert Ruiz, and Dominic Smith. Jeimer Candelario went one for two, scored a run, got hit by a pitch, and walked.
Trevor Williams started the game on Friday night and only logged 2.1 innings, giving up a run on two hits before the game was halted.
The next day, Erasmo Ramirez was the opener and pitched 2.2 scoreless innings. Ramirez allowed four hits and struck out four before handing it over to Andres Machado (1.1 innings, no runs) and Carl Edwards Jr. (.1 innings, 2 hits, one run) for holds.
Hunter Harvey earned his second win even though he blew his second save.
Kyle Finnegan recorded his eighth save thanks to another great running catch by Alex Call in left-center field.
Time of game: 2:30.
Game 3: METS 8, Nats 2
In the night cap, Jake Irvin (1-1) ran into his first horrible inning in the fifth. The Mets scored all eight runs in that frame, with Irvin surrendering six of them. Outside of that lone inning, Irvin pitched effectively. He finished with six hits allowed, struck out six, and walked just one.
Mason Thompson couldn’t stop the bleeding in his third of an inning and the Mets tacked on their final two runs on two hits. CJ Abrams (2-4, 2B) knocked in both Nats runs. Luis Garcia went three for five.
Time of game: 2:58.
Game 4: NATS 10, Mets 3
Patrick Corbin (2-5) threw his third quality start in a row, and fifth in his last six games. Corbin still gave up some hits (8) but continued to keep the scoring to a minimum for his second win. In six innings, he gave up two runs, struck out one, and walked one.
Andres Machado, Carl Edwards Jr., and Hobie Harris pitched the last three innings to finish off the Mets. Only Harris gave up a run in the ninth on two hits.
Joey Two Bagger
Joey Meneses (4-5) had a huge day with three doubles and four RBI. I think it’s safe to say, last season’s small sample size was no fluke. Meneses is now batting a team high .300. In the first 96 games of his MLB career, Meneses is batting .314.
Lane Thomas (3-4) roped two doubles and scored three runs. CJ Abrams (2-4) clobbered a home run to the upper deck in right field. Abrams scored two runs and stole a base. His swing and follow through on the round-tripper resembled that of Ken Griffey Jr. Abrams and Meneses are tied for the team lead in RBI with 22.
Nats record: 18-23.
Time of Game: 2:34.
Next Up: A three game series in Miami against the second place Marlins (20-21).