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Mets vs. Nationals Recap: Home runs, Syndergaard best Scherzer in Murphy's return

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The Mets open the season-long battle against Washington with a win.

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The Mets opened their 19-game season series against the Nationals with 2-0 victory on Tuesday night. Washington ace Max Scherzer was impressive in holding the Mets to two runs, but Noah Syndergaard was better.

Coming off a record-tying, 20-strikeout performance against the Tigers, Scherzer struck out 10, walked three, and gave up just three hits in 6.1 innings of work. Unfortunately for hm, two of those hits were solo home runs. Curtis Granderson, who made the final out in Scherzer's 2015 no-hitter against the Mets, welcomed Scherzer back to Citi Field with a dinger on the first pitch thrown in the bottom of the first. The right fielder had the best day at the plate of any Met, walking twice and lining a single in the eighth to reach base in all four plate appearances. Michael Conforto added a home run in the third and also walked. The only other Mets to reach base were Kevin Plawecki, who singled, and Yoenis Cespedes, who was hit by a pitch in the first.

Playing against the Mets for the first time since signing with Washington in the offseason, Daniel Murphy made his presence felt early. The man with the second-most doubles in Mets history robbed his former team of a run in the bottom of the first after Scherzer walked Conforto and hit Cespedes in the stomach. Eric Campbell, making a start at first in place of Lucas Duda, whose back is ailing, ripped a grounder up the middle that the second baseman managed to glove before turning, firing, and nailing Soup by a step to end the inning. Murph led off the bottom of the second and received a hearty ovation from the Mets faithful.

Though the Mets' offense continued its recent struggles, Syndergaard didn't need much in the way of run support. Thor touched 100 mph on the gun and struck out 10 Nationals, walking none and surrendering five hits in his seven shutout innings. New York's bullpen supported Thor's great start with two perfect innings. Addison Reed struck out two in the eighth, and Jeurys Familia struck out one in the ninth and induced a game-ending groundout out from Bryce Harper—who went 0-for-4 with two Ks—to earn his 13th save of the season.

David Wright was a late scratch, the first time he's had to take an unexpected day off due to his back condition. In his place, the Mets started recent call-up Matt Reynolds. The infielder, who earned an NL Championship ring in 2015 when he joined the team after Chase Utley broke Ruben Tejada's leg, finally got into his major league game, going 0-for-3 out of the nine hole.

SB Nation GameThreads

Amazin' Avenue GameThread
Federal Baseball GameThread

Box scores

Win Probability Added

(What's WPA?)

Big winners: Noah Syndergaard (+36.9% WPA), Curtis Granderson (+15.8%), Michael Conforto (+12.1%)
Big losers: Asdrubal Cabrera (-10.8% WPA)
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wilson Ramos grounds into double play to end the top of the second (+13% WPA)
Teh sux0rest play: Asdrubal Cabrera grounds into double play in the bottom of the third (-6.3% WPA)
Total pitcher WPA: +49.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: +7% WPA
GWRBI!: Curtis Granderson