When you’re hot, you’re hot and the New York Mets bats are scorching as the calendar turns to August.
Pete Alonso hit a solo shot, the rest of the bats tallied a plethora of clutch, two-out hitting, and the Mets beat the Washington Nationals 7-3. The win is New York’s seventh in a row and the first of a three-game series in Washington this week.
The Mets move to 32-12 against the NL East, a major league-best 76% win percentage in their division.
The franchise’s season-best seven-game winning streak did not start as crisp as the final score would tell.
Starting pitcher Max Scherzer struggled with his command early in the night but didn’t get much help from his defense. A 23-pitch first inning was compounded when a Josh Bell double scored Soto from first thanks to a Starling Marte error. Still, Scherzer continued to battle throughout and kept a feisty Nationals offense at bay.
Scherzer would end up giving up two earned runs in six and two-thirds innings of work. On the season, Scherzer is 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA. With Scherzer battling for most of the game, the future Hall-of-Famer was more than willing to give his offense credit.
“The Offense did great tonight grinding their ABs, and got some big hits…that’s the winning baseball stuff that happens, and that’s why we’re a good team and playing well,” Scherzer said after the game.
Six of the seven runs the Mets scored were with two outs, a statistic that echoed much of the team’s early season success. New York chased National’s starter, Patrick Corbin, out of the fifth inning after giving up four runs on seven hits.
The onslaught began in the second inning when New York recorded four straight two-out hits to take an early 3-1 lead. Pete Alonso would follow that up with his 27th home run of the season in the third.
But after Scherzer gave up a solo home run to Juan Soto and an RBI single to Lui Garcia, the Mets clung to a one-run lead.
That all changed in the sixth inning though.
A two-out double from Nimmo was followed by a Marte hit batsman. Francisco Lindor gave the Mets pitching staff all the runs of support needed with his 18th home run and 73rd RBI of the season to give the Mets a 7-3 lead they would not relinquish.
With Marte having been hit the previous at-bat, the Mets manager gave kudos to his starting shortstop for being prepared before his home run.
“It’s one thing to be that tough mentally to hit period and hit the ball the other way. It was a big cushion for us.” Mets manager Buck Showalter said.
Joely Rodriguez pitched a full inning of relief without giving up a run in the seventh and eighth inning, and Adam Ottavino pitched four out save: his first as a New York Met. Ottavino lowered his season ERA to an impressive 2.21.
Showalter was more than impressed with both relievers today.
“I thought Otto’s outing to stay away from Lugo and Edwin was big too.” Showalter also gave praise to Rodriguez as well. “Joely being able to contribute after six days off. He’s such a quality young man that you want him to have a night and contributes.”
With the win, the Mets improved to 65-37: 28 games over .500 for the first time since the last day of the 2006 season.
The Nationals fell to 35-69 on the year and have major decisions upcoming with the Tade Deadline under 24 hours away and the future of phenom Juan Soto in question.
Game two of the three-game series is set for tomorrow at 7:05 pm. Cory Abbott is expected to start the game for Washington while the Mets welcome back Jacob deGrom for his first start of the 2022 season.
- While Scherzer went in game one Monday, all eyes will turn to Jacob deGrom’s return to the hill tomorrow night. DeGrom has not pitched in a major league game in over a year. Last season deGrom had a 1.08 ERA before right forearm tightness ended his season.
- Former Met, Travis Jankowski was picked up on waivers by the Seattle Mariners before the game on Monday. Jankowski was DFA’d by the team to make room for newly acquired Tyler Naquin.
- With the trade deadline just under 24 hours away, the Mets have reportedly been in talks with a number of difficult ballclubs. New York has been looking for an additional bat and bullpen arm as it looks to continue its dominance of the NL East.
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