Monday, May 30, 2022

Mets Methodical Offense Wears Down Washington


Soldiers lined the warning track before the game (more information below).  Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets rolled to a 13-5 victory over the Washington Nationals on Memorial Day Monday night at Citi Field. This was the Mets' fourth straight win, and they are now 33-17, right there once again with the Yankees (33-15) and Los Angeles Dodgers (33-14) for the best record in Major League Baseball.

The Memorial Day tributes before the game included a Unites States Navy Color Guard, a ceremonial first pitch by Donald Banks III - US Bataan Navy Sailor of the Year, a United States Navy flyover, and the National Anthem was sung by Lance Corporal Lucido of the US Marines. Over 100 members of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines lined the warning track during the National Anthem. 

David Peterson got the start for the Mets, and he battled through a tough first inning, in which he threw 30 pitches, allowed two hits, two walks, and a hit batsman, and Washington put up three runs on a two-run single by Josh Bell and a sacrifice fly from Lane Thomas.

The Mets responded against Nationals starter Erick Fedde, as Luis Guillorme and Starling Marte opened the game with singles, and Francisco Lindor got an RBI single to bring home Guillorme. Pete Alonso worked out a walk on a nine-pitch at-bat, in which he fouled off a few high pitches, to load the bases for Jeff McNeil.

Fedde got McNeil to hit into a perfect 4-6-3 double play, which did bring in Marte (but no RBI for McNeil), so it was 3-2 Nationals. Eduardo Escobar flew out to left for the third out.

That turned out to only be a pause in the Mets hit parade, as Mark Canha opened the second inning with a single and that brought up new Mets fan favorite Nick Plummer, who hit the game-tying home run in the ninth inning Sunday night against Philadelphia for his first first Major League hit.

Plummer lined a rocket to left-center field that was tailing away from Victor Robles, and it went all the way to the fence for a double to score Canha and tie it at 3. After Tomas Nido flew out to center, in which Robles made a nice diving catch, Guillorme singled home Plummer to make it 4-3.

Marte was up next, and he launched a blast to left field for a two-run homer to make it 6-3 Mets. Lindor then singled, and that was all for Fedde, after just 1 1/3 innings.

Andres Machado came on for the Nats, and he got Alonso to pop one up to the catcher, and McNeil to fly out to center.

In the third, Machado got Escobar to fly out to center, walked Canha, and struck out Plummer. Nido kept the inning alive with a single, and then with the lineup turned over, Guillorme walked, Marte got a two-run single, and Lindor an RBI single to open up a 9-3 lead for the Mets. That was all for Machado, who like Fedde, lasted all of 1 1/3 innings.

Austin Voth came on for Alonso, who faced a third different pitcher in his third at-bat in the third inning - how often can you say that?

Alonso hit a soft liner to shortstop to end the third. Since Alonso saw four pitches in his at-bat, that means the Mets faced 102 pitches in the first three innings. (Fedde threw 52, and Machado 46 to combine for 98)

Voth opened the fourth by getting McNeil to fly to center, and then Escobar singled, which left McNeil as the only Met not to reach base by this point. Canah then singled, and incredibly, Plummer launched a bomb to left for a three-run homer to blow it open and make it 12-3 Mets. That gave Plummer two homers and five RBI in his first two games.

Nick Plummer being greeted after crossing the plate on his home run. Photo by Jason Schott.

Meanwhile, Peterson sailed through the next few innings after the first, with some defensive highlights along the way, including Pete Alonso turning a solo double play on a liner hit to him by Thomas to close out the third inning. In the fifth, facing the Nats' lineup for the third time, he allowed singles to Cesar Hernandez and Keibert Ruiz singled, but then Peterson got Juan Soto to fly to right field, and Yadiel Hernandez, who was hitting for Nelson Cruz, to strike out. 

Bell followed with an RBI single, giving him three ribbies on the night, to make it 12-4 Mets, and then Thomas walked to load the bases, and that was all for Peterson. 

The left-hander looked astonished that Mets Manager Buck Showalter pulled him one out from being credited with a victory, but to that point, he allowed two hits and two walks in the fifth, and if the Nationals don't pull Cruz for a pinch-hitter, could have been worse. He went 4 2/3 innings, and allowed four runs (all earned) on six hits and four walks, with one strikeout, and he threw 88 pitches, with 44 strikes, not the best strike/ball ratio.

Colin Holderman came on for the bases loaded/two out situation, and for Maikel Franco to pop out to second to get out of it. He stayed on for the sixth, and after striking out Victor Robles, gave up a triple to Alcides Escobar, who scored on a single from Hernandez to make it 12-5. Holderman then got Ruiz to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Chasen Shreve pitched a perfect seventh, including a strikeout, and Stephen Nogosek came on in the eighth, and threw the final two innings, in which he allowed no runs and scattered two hits and a walk.

Alonso tacked on another run for the Mets in the eighth with his 13th home run of the season, which made it 13-5.

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