On Monday night, the Nationals began a six game home stand after a rough road trip out west. The Nats looked to bounce back against the second place Mets after losing seven straight game and going 3-8 on the road trip. Game 1 of the series featured fireballer Noah Syndergaard and the promising but inconsistent Joe Ross.
The Mets jumped out to an early lead. The scoring began in the first inning when second baseman Neil Walker flew out to center field, scoring Curtis Granderson.
One inning later, Granderson lined a ball to right field, scoring leftfielder Brandon Rimmo. The Mets lead 2-0.
In the top of the third frame, shortstop Wilmer Flores served a 1-2 breaking ball into left-center. Both Walker and veteran first baseman James Loney would score, bringing the Mets out to an early 4-0 lead.
While it appeared that the Mets and Syndergaard were cruising, the Nats would shut down the Mets after the top of third inning. In the bottom half of the third, rightfielder Bryce Harper put the Nats on the board with a sharp liner to right which scored outfielder Ben Revere.Second baseman Daniel Murphy grounded to short and reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring leftfielder Jayson Werth. Anthony Rendon tied the game on a seeing eye single between Walker and Loney. Probable All-Stars Murphy and Wilson Ramos scored. Shortstop Danny Espinosa lined to rightfield, scoring Anthony Rendon. Syndergaard would finish the inning, but his night was over after only three innings, seven hits, and five earned runs. The Nats took the lead, 5-4.
One inning later, with Syndergaard replaced by reliever Sean Gilmartin, Murphy continued this season’s offensive show with a RBI grounder to right field, scoring Revere.
The Nats would tack on another run, bringing the score to 7-4, in the bottom of the fifth inning. Espinosa collected his second of three hits on the night with a laced grounder to left. Rendon scored on Espinosa’s seventh double. Later in the inning, Revere grounded a 1-2 fastball to Loney, who threw home in an attempt to catch Espinosa who was running from third. Espinosa scored as Loney bounced a poor throw to catcher Travis d’Arnaud. In the same inning, Werth scorched a line drive to centerfielder Yoenis Cespedes, scoring Revere. The score was 10-4 after the colossal fifth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Rendon had a productive fly out to center which scored Ramos. It was the final inning in which the Nats scored, but it was the fourth consecutive inning the Nats scored in.
Ross did not look stellar early, but ultimately settled down. He gave up 10 hits, four earned runs, struck out seven, and only walked one over six full innings of work. His ERA sits at 3.30 after the outing. The bullpen looked strong in not surrendering any runs and only four hits in three innings of relief.
Tonight, the Nationals have baseball’s number one Minor League prospect, righty Lucas Giolito, starting in an anticipated debut against the struggling Matt Harvey (4-9, 4.64 ERA), who the Nats have terrorized in some of his recent starts. The game, weather permitting, begins at 7:05 at Nats Park.
Anthony Rendon pokes a single between second baseman Neil Walker and first baseman James Loney. Rendon’s single added to the four runs the Nats scored in the fifth inning.