Nats fall short in Scherzer-Syndergaard pitcher’s duel

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The Washington Nationals and the New York Mets were expected to battle it out for the NL East division crown prior to the season.  Last night these two teams met for the first time and they sent two of their best arms in Noah Syndergaard for the Mets and Max Scherzer for the Nationals.  Scherzer was coming off a 20 strikeout performance in his previous start last week.  The Mets would take game one of the series 2-0.

Syndergaard pitched seven innings allowing five hits and striking out 1o.  Scherzer matched his counterpart with 10 strikeouts as well while allowing two runs on three hits.

Both runs came courtesy of the long ball both ending up over the right field wall.  Curtis Granderson led off with a home run on Scherzer’s first pitch of the night.  The second homer came off the bat of Michael Conforto in the third inning.  Scherzer has allowed 13 home runs, tied for the most in the major leagues.

“The home runs have been his nemesis all year.  If you give up two solo home runs against a lesser pitcher, you usually are not going to lose,” said Nationals manager Dusty Baker.  “Syndergaard was throwing the heck out of the ball so we didn’t have a whole bunch of opportunities.”

Daniel Murphy made his first return to Citi Field since leading the Mets to the World Series last year.  He received standing ovations both before the game during a video tribute and before his first at bat.

“It was really nice.  It was very nice of the organization to play that video montage before the game.  They didn’t have to do that.  The ovation from the crowd left me humbled to say the least,” said Murphy.

The Nats will look to even the series tonight with a pitching matchup between Gio Gonzalez and Bartolo Colon.  First pitch is at 7:10.

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