By Michael Marzzacco
After taking two of three from the Mets in New York and doing the same in Miami over the Marlins, the Nationals returned home to The District to take on the Mets. After getting trounced twice in their home ballpark, the Mets were looking for payback and they got off to a good start with a dominating 7-1 win.
Gio Gonzalez took the ball for the Nats while the Mets countered with Bartolo Colon. There was a rain delay for about an hour but at about 8:10 they were ready to play ball.
Washington jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. With two outs and Jayson Werth and Daniel Murphy on base, Ryan Zimmerman singled into the gap right field.
That lead was short lived as Gio struggled throughout the night. The Mets rallied in the third inning. With one out, Curtis Granderson reached first being hit by a pitch. Juan Lagares followed with a single to right field. With runners on first and third, David Wright launched a three-run homer into the left-field stands over the outstretched glove of Werth. It was Wright’s fifth home run of the year and his go-ahead home run was the 86th go-ahead homer of his career which passed Mets great Darryl Strawberry for most in franchise history. It was also his 100th home run against the Nationals.
The hit parade continued with a Yoenis Cespedes single into centerfield. Neil Walker followed with a single to left field. Former Nat Asdrubal Cabrera got a single of his own into right field that scored Cespedes. The Mets tacked on their fifth and final run of the inning with an Eric Campbell sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Walker.
The Mets tacked on two more runs in the fifth with back-to-back homers. Cespedes crushed a home run to right field for his 15th home run of the season which leads the MLB. Walker followed with a solo shot to left field almost to the same spot where Wright homered two innings ago. Werth once again tried to rob it but couldn’t reach. It was Walker’s 11th of the season
Gio went five innings allowing 10 hits and seven runs, three of them home runs. He struck out seven. His New York counterpart, Colon, went seven innings allowing one run on five hits and two strikeouts.
With the Mets win, now they pull to within a half game of the Nationals for first place in the National League. It was a statement win for the Metropolitans and now the Nationals need to respond tomorrow night. They have a great opportunity with Stephen Strasburg taking the mound. Strasburg is 7-0 with a 2.80 ERA. The Mets will counter with Matt Harvey who is looking for redemption after giving up nine runs to the Nationals in his last start. Harvey has struggled all season long as he carries a 3-6 record with a 5.77 ERA. First pitch from Nationals Park is at 7:05.