NATIONALS WIN CONSECUTIVE 1-0 GAMES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FRACHISE HISTORY
The Washington Nationals have only scored two runs in their past two games. But it doesn’t matter how many you score if you don’t give up any.
For the second day in a row, the Nats shut out the New York Mets 1-0, the first time in Nats/Expos history that’s happened and the first time it’s happened in DC baseball history since 1915.
Doug Fister allowed five hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out three, and the Nats (12-14) made a first inning run against Dillon Gee stand up. The win is the third in four games against the Mets over the weekend, and trims the Nats deficit in the N.L. East to four games.
Fister has had trouble so far this season pitching up in the zone, where his 86-87 MPH fastball has served as batting practice at time. On Sunday, he was able to pitch in the lower half of the strike zone much better, and generated six ground ball outs, to go along with six fly outs. Fister was able to keep his sinker out of he middle of the plate, and Mets batters didn’t make solid contact when they were able to put it into play.
On the other side, Gee was solid as well against the Nats hitters, who after producing back-to-back 13 run games against Atlanta earlier in the week are back to scuffling again. Gee allowed six hits over five innings, but also walked five, which contributed to his early exit.
The Mets pen allowed just one hit and one walk over four innings. The Nats relievers didn’t have to pitch as long, but were just as good. Matt Thornton walked two in the eighth, the only runners to reach against four Nats relievers.
Drew Storen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save of the season.
Washington scored the lone run in the first inning. Denard Span led off with a walk, but was erased on a fielder’s choice grounder by Yunel Escobar. Escobar in turn was erased on Jayson Werth’s grounder to third. Bryce Harper laces a single to center to move Werth up to second, and the veteran left fielder scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s broken bat looper over first base.
The Nationals threatened in the fifth and sixth innings, getting a runner to third with no outs in both frames, but rallies ended with no more runs pushed across.
Ultimately, they weren’t needed.
HERO: Doug Fister. Like Gio Gonzalez Saturday night, the tall righty came through with a stellar outing, helping the Nats take the series against the Mets and cut into what was once close to a double-digit deficit in the division.
GOAT: Everyone but Jose Lobaton a stranded multiple runners, but Denard Span was the biggest culprit, leaving five runners on the bases.
- Ian Desmond went 2 for 3 with two doubles, and is maybe showing signs of life of breaking out of his horrendous hitting slump.
- Jayson Werth, however, is not. His 0 for 4 day drops his season battin average down to .159, a gaping hole in the middle of the order.
- After playing in Friday’s game for AA-Harrisburg, Anthony Rendon did not play again over the weekend, still nursing “tightness” in his right side.
NEXT GAME: The Nats return home for a much-needed homestand. Monday, Jordan Zimmermann (2-2, 4.88) hosts the Miami Marlins and David Phelps (1-0, 3.38)