Game Recap: Matz, Bullpen Flourish in Resilient 3-2 Win

The New York Mets swiped their fourth straight victory with a 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, improving to 6-1 on the young season.

Pitching:

Steven Matz successfully worked around a Trea Turner bunt hit and steal in his first inning of work, striking out his next three hitters in order.

The second inning began with two more strikeouts as Matz made good use of his curveball, but a lapse in control resulted in a walk and hit in a 25-pitch inning. Juan Lagares gunned down Brian Goodwin at the plate on a single to end the inning.

Matz held his own his second time through the order, however, retiring six consecutive hitters on 21 pitches (including a strikeout and controversial ejection of Anthony Rendon). A high throw by Todd Frazier spoiled a surefire groundout from Michael A. Taylor, who proceeded to advance on a sacrifice bunt, steal third, and score the game’s first (unearned) run on a bloop hit by Pedro Severino.

Matz’s start ended with a strikeout of former teammate Matt Reynolds, his eighth punchout in a much more encouraging three-hit, two-walk, 93-pitch afternoon. His fastball sat at the standard 92-93 miles per hour while he mixed in curveballs (77-78 mph) and changeups (81-82 mph), which comprised 54% of his pitch count.

Hansel Robles entered a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning and immediately allowed an opposite-field home run to Bryce Harper, but exited under his own terms, working past a base hit and recording a strikeout.

AJ Ramos turned in a perfect inning of work in an 11-pitch seventh before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. Jacob Rhame retired his lone batter on a ground ball and was relieved by Jerry Blevins, who walked Bryce Harper before being pulled for Jeurys Familia.

Bryce Harper stole second base to erase the potential double play, but Familia buckled down nonetheless, retiring Ryan Zimmerman and Howie Kendrick on nine pitches, inducing two routine ground balls. Familia finished off his five-out save with a perfect ninth.

Offense:

The Mets had scratched off just three hits entering the sixth inning against Gio Gonzalez, who owned a 14-5 record and 2.93 ERA in 23 career starts against them entering today’s contest.

A Todd Frazier double and Travis d’Arnaud single promptly tied the game, however, and a Jay Bruce single effectively closed the book on Gonzalez’s start. Jose Reyes stepped in to pinch hit with two on and two out against left-hander Matt Grace but grounded out to short. Reyes is now hitless in eight at-bats this season.

After falling behind in the sixth, the Mets again bounced back – this time against Brandon Kintzler. Amed Rosario led off with a base knock up the middle and was quickly brought around to score on a double by Asdrubal Cabrera.

Cabrera shrewdly broke for third in the middle of a 6-3 putout, and would later score on a Frazier groundout. A hit-and-run call protected Michael Conforto (who had been intentionally walked in the previous plate appearance) from being doubled off on the grounder.

With the exception of Yoenis Cespedes, every Met in the original lineup reached base at least once today. Notable contributors included Cabrera (2-for-5) and Bruce (2-for-4).

On Deck:

The Mets will go for a three-game sweep and their fifth straight win at 8:08 pm tomorrow night against the Nationals. Matt Harvey will look to build off his scoreless effort from Tuesday against Tanner Roark on an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecast.

About Jack Hendon 33 Articles
Jack Hendon is a sophomore at Haverford College, special assistant/statistician for the baseball team, prospective English major and psychology minor, and contributor to MetsMerized Online. He was seven when he saw Carlos Beltran take strike three in the 2006 NLCS, and since then has concentrated his love for the Mets through writing about particular fan memories, while also devoting time to recapping games and analyzing players. LGM!