Game #16 Recap: Nats Fall in Series Opener at New York

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A game that was supposed to be a pitchers duel between
flamethrowing right-handers; turned in to a one-sided Mets victory Friday
night.  As has been the case for most of
this early season, Stephen Strasburg once again did not have his best stuff and
it ended up being his undoing against a sharp Matt Harvey.

The Mets started the scoring off early when Jordany
Valdespin reached on an error by Ian Desmond, went first to third on a Daniel
Murphy single and then was brought home on a wild pitch by Strasburg. John Buck
later singled in Murphy to bring the score to 2-0 after the 1st.

The Nats recorded their first hit on a Strasburg double in
the 3rd and didn’t record another until Bryce Harper’s single in the
6th, which was subsequently nullified by a Jayson Werth double-play
ball. In the bottom of the 6th the Mets struck for two more runs on
solo shots by Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, bringing the Mets lead to 4-0 after six
innings and ending Strasburg’s night at 111 pitches. Strasburg’s final line was
6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K’s.

The 7th inning brought a fairly sloppy Matt
Harvey to the mound and lead to the Nats best chance to get back into the game.
A LaRoche walk followed by Desmond and Tracy singles made it a 4-1 game and
Lombardozzi reaching on an error loaded the bases with no one out. A Suzuki
strikeout, Bernadina popout and a Span groundout ended that threat without
plating a single runner. Harvey exited the game after 7 IP’s having given up
one run on four hits while walking three and striking out seven.

The Nats bullpen came in to try and keep the game at 4-1 and
allow the offense to try and get to a shaky Mets bullpen. Zach Duke threw a
perfect 7th. Drew Storen had a much rougher 8th, allowing
a triple followed by two home runs to extend the Mets lead to 7-1. The Nats
offense could not mount any charge against the Mets bullpen, going 1-2-3 in
both the 8th and 9th innings.

The Nats are back at it tomorrow with Gio Gonzalez taking
the mound against Jeremy Hefner.