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Mets beat Nationals for the second straight night in Scherzer’s debut

Powered by Max Scherzer and a balanced offense, the Mets are now 2-0.

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In what was a day many Mets fans would soon like to forget for the lack of Gary, Keith, and Ron, the Mets picked up their second victory of the season behind the long awaited debut of Max Scherzer in a Mets uniform.

The night got off to an interesting start, as first pitch was delayed due to the lights at Nationals Park not working. After a brief delay, the game was underway, and Scherzer got to work against his former team. In the bottom of the first, he made quick work of the Nationals, with a 1-2-3 inning on just nine pitches.

In the second inning, Scherzer found himself in a bit of trouble after hitting Josh Bell with a pitch to lead off the inning. Bell was able to move first to third on a Keibert Ruiz single, setting up a Yadiel Hernandez sac fly to give the Nationals an early 1-0 lead.

That Nationals lead was short lived, as Jeff McNeil tied the game at 1 in the top of the third with his first home run of the season, making it the second straight season McNeil has hit a homer on his birthday. From there, the Mets’ offense came alive, as it began the streak of the Mets scoring in four consecutive innings. Robinson Canó and Starling Marte were big contributors in those middle innings, as Canó had a two-run single, while Marte had a pair of run scoring hits.

In between the Mets’ offensive breakout, Max Scherzer made his one big mistake of the night. After allowing a leadoff single to Nelson Cruz, Scherzer left a fastball too far over the plate, and Bell took advantage, crushing a ball into the second deck in right field, tying the game at 3-3.

Scherzer finished the game with six innings pitched while throwing 80 pitches. He allowed three runs on three hits, while also striking out six Nationals’ batters. It was an encouraging season debut for Scherzer, whose status for this game was originally in doubt just a week ago due to a hamstring injury.

The most noteworthy event of the night hardly involved baseball, as tempers flared on both sides in the top of the fifth inning. With the Mets already on edge after being hit by pitches three times in Thursday’s game, Steve Cishek threw a fastball up and in on Francisco Lindor, as the ball grazed the c-flap on Lindor’s helmet, knocking him to the ground. Manager Buck Showalter immediately bolted out of the dugout, with the benches and bullpens of both teams following behind him. No fights broke out of this incident, but there were plenty of words exchanged from the two teams, all of which we’re sure was a friendly conversation.

Pitcher Steve Cishek was ejected for the incident, while Lindor exited the game. Luckily, x-ray’s on Lindor’s jaw came back negative, while he also passed concussion protocol.

To close out the night, Drew Smith, Seth Lugo, and Sean Reid-Foley all pitched in relief of Scherzer, posting three scoreless innings. After a brief rain delay in the top of the ninth, Jeff McNeil added on an insurance run with an RBI single to make it 7-3, which wound up being the final score.

The Mets play the Nationals again on Saturday, as Chris Bassitt makes his Mets debut, with the game broadcast by the fine folks over at SNY.

Box scores

ESPN
MLB

Win Probability Added

Fangraphs.com

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Starling Marte, +22% WPA
Big Mets loser: Pete Alonso, -12% WPA
Mets pitchers: +5% WPA
Mets hitters: +45% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Starling Marte’s two-run single in the top of the sixth, +18.4%
Teh sux0rest play: Josh Bell’s two-run home run in the fourth inning, -21.8% WPA

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