After failing to capitalize on an ideal pitching matchup last night, the Mets pounded Joe Ross en route to a 7-3 win over the Nationals. Noah Syndergaard bounced back from his career-worst outing against the Cubs, while J.D. Davis, Jeff McNeil, and Amed Rosario busted out of slumps and Brandon Nimmo returned to the starting lineup in emphatic fashion.
The first inning seemed like it would be another rough day in D.C.. Joe Ross set the Mets down 1-2-3 in the first, and Trea Turner led off the bottom half with a single. Turner, who has always run all over the Mets and especially all over Noah Syndergaard, is always a scary presence on the basepaths, and the pressure was immediately on. Syndergaard was equal to it, however, recording two fly outs and striking out Juan Soto after Turner stole second to keep the game scoreless.
Syndergaard’s effort was immediately rewarded. J.D. Davis and Brandon Nimmo reached on a single and a walk respectively, and a double from Joe Panik two batters later drove in Davis with the first run of the game. A bloop single from Rene Rivera, his first hit in the major leagues this season, drove in another, and the Mets had a two run lead.
After Davis and Nimmo reached base again but were stranded in the third, the offense blasted Ross out of the game in the fourth. With two outs and a runner on first, Jeff McNeil broke out of his mini-slump, launching a two-run home run on the first pitch of his at bat to double the Met lead. Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto followed with singles, moved up a base on an error, then scored on a double by J.D. Davis, stretching the lead to six. After Austin Voth replaced Ross, Nimmo capped the inning off with a double, giving the Mets a 7-0 lead.
That was more than enough support for Noah Syndergaard, who was busy mowing down the Nationals. After Turner’s single in the first, the next 16 Nationals went down in order, not putting another man on base until Andrew Stevenson’s bloop single with one out in the sixth. Syndergaard worked around that hit and a leadoff double from Anthony Rendon in the seventh, finishing a dominant outing in which he gave up only three hits and no runs while striking out ten. It was a great bounceback start from the big right hander, who lowered his ERA on the season to 3.97.
After their outburst in the fourth, the Mets were pretty quiet for the final five innings. They only managed two hits - a fifth inning single from Rene Rivera, and a ninth inning single from Amed Rosario - but they had done enough heavy lifting for the day. Ty Bashlor relieved Syndergaard and looked great in the eighth, retiring the Nationals in order. He struggled in the ninth, however, giving up a single, a walk, and a three-run homer before being pulled for Edwin Diaz. Diaz blew away Matt Adams for the final out without any further issues, however, securing the win.
With the win, the Mets are now three games over .500 at 70-67, keeping pace with the Cubs, who beat the Mariners to stay four games up in the wild card race. Jacob dGrom will take the mound tomorrow against Max Scherzer as the Mets continue to fight to stay in the playoff picture.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Noah Syndergaard, +19.5% WPA; Joe Panik, +12.5% WPA; J.D. Davis, +11.4% WPA;
Big losers: None
Total pitcher WPA: +20.0% WPA
Total batter WPA: +30.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil hits a two-run home run in the fourth, +15.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Amed Rosario flies out in the top of the second, -5.5% WPA