Friday night’s matchup promised to be a pitchers duel, and it did not disappoint. The Washington Nationals sent Max Scherzer up against the New York Mets’ Matt Harvey, and the two matched each other — almost completely — for seven innings.
But Jayson Werth misplayed a routine fly ball in the eighth inning, which turned into a three-run double and the Mets topped the Nats 4-0, snapping the Nats modest three-game winning streak.
Scherzer allowed one earned run — Michael Cuddyer’s fourth inning solo home run — on five hits and a walk, striking out 10. Harvey did him one better, throwing seven shutout innings on five hits and a walk, striking out three.
Scherzer routinely hit 95-96 on the radar, with a biting slider. He retired the side in order in the first two innings. He hit Dilson Herrera leading off the third, then with one out walked Curtis Granderson on a full-count high fastball. But he came back to get Juan Lagares swinging at one of those sliders.
Meanwhile, Harvey was mowing down the Nats (10-14). Michael Taylor, who started for Denard Span nursing soreness around his abdominal surgery site, reached on a infield single in the first, but was erased on a double-play grounder from Yunel Escobar. Wilson Ramos reached on two-out infield single in the second, and Taylor doubled with two gone in the third, but both were left stranded.
The Mets finally got to Scherzer in the fourth. After Lucas Duda struck out swinging, Cuddyer ripped a 0-1 fastball to right center that kept carrying over the wall at Citifield, which was moved in as part of the restructure of the outfield configurations.
Both pitchers breezed through the seventh innings, then were removed for pinch-hitters.
The Mets got something going in the eighth against reliever matt Thornton. Granderson struck out swinging to lead off, but Lagares and Duda both singled, and manager Matt Williams went for righty Blake Treinen.
Treinen immediately walked Cuddyer to load the bases. Then, on a 3-1 count, Daniel Murphy hit a soft, routine liner to left. Jayson Werth misread it and broke in on it, then slipped trying to recover and the ball went over his head and to the wall, clearing the bases.
The Nats went quietly in the ninth inning off Jeurys Familia.
HERO: Max Scherzer. Just another tremendous outing that was wasted by no offense and porous defense.
GOAT: Jayson Werth. He blew a routine fly ball that if had played correctly would not have advanced a runner and been the second out of the eighth inning. He’s got to have that at any time, let alone a one-run game.
- The whiff: With 10 Ks, Scherzer notched his 26th MLB double-digit strikeout game.
- No offense: Michael Taylor and Wilson Ramos had two hits apiece. The rest of the Nats combined for two.
NEXT GAME: Saturday at 7:10 pm at Citifield. Gio Gonzalez (1-2, 5.01) faces Jonathan Niese (2-1, 2.74).