Thursday, July 27, 2023

Senga Sensational To Start, & Mets Finish Off Nats Late

Kodai Senga firing one past Joey Meneses in the second inning. Photo by Jason Schott.


Kodai Senga had another sensational outing, and the Mets put up a pair of runs in the eighth inning to pull out a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night at Citi Field to open their four-game weekend series.

Senga went six innings, and allowed just one run on two hits and three walks, with five strikeouts. He got the no-decision, so his record remains 7-5, but he lowered his ERA (earned run average) to 3.17, from 3.27 entering the night.

The only run Senga allowed came in the sixth when C.J. Abrams led off with a walk, and then after Lane Thomas struck out, Jeimer Candelario reached on a catcher's interference.

Joey Meneses then singled to load the bases before Keibert Ruiz hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in Abrams and put the Nats up, 1-0. 

Ex-Met Dom Smith was then hit by a pitch to re-load the bases, and Senga got Corey Dickerson to fly out to left to end the frame.

Up to that point, the Mets had plenty of chances against Washington starter Josiah Gray, but they just couldn't break through.

They loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning for Brandon Nimmo, and he took one to the warning track in the left field corner that Dickerson tracked down.

Then, in the third, Jeff McNeil took one to the track in right, and Pete Alonso blasted one to the track in left, but both were hauled in. 

In the fifth, Omar Narvaez blasted one to left field that Dickerson caught one step in front of the fence. Nimmo then drew a walk, but he was erased in a strike 'em out-throw 'em out double play when he was caught trying to take second base while Francisco Lindor swung and missed on strike three.

Gray ended up going six innings, and allowing no runs on two hits and three walks, with four strikeouts. He lowered his ERA (earned run average to 3.27 from 3.45, and his record remained 7-8.

The Mets turned to David Peterson in the seventh, and he worked around three hits to pitch two scoreless innings to keep it a 1-0 game.

The Nationals got through the seventh with Jordan Weems, who got a pair of outs around a Brett Baty double, and Jose A. Ferrer got Nimmo to line out to left to end the frame.

The Nats turned to Mason Thompson for the eighth, and the Mets rallied. Lindor flew out to left field to open the frame, and then McNeil singled and raced to third base on an Alonso single to center field.

Daniel Vogelbach then laced a single to right field to bring in McNeil and tie the game at 1.

Danny Mendick came in to run for Vogelbach, and he and Alonso moved up to second and third on a wild pitch. DJ Stewart then was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Kyle Finnegan came on for Washington, and at that moment, the massive rain storm that blew threw the area came in, sending the game into a one hour and 37 minute rain delay.

When play resumed at 11:20, Mark Canha was up with the bases loaded, and he did what he had to do, as he hit a sacrifice fly to right field to bring in Alonso and make it 2-1 Mets.

Brooks Raley came on to close it out in the ninth, and he worked around a two-out walk to Alex Call by striking out Abrams to end it to give the left-hander his second save of the season. 

Peterson earned the win, his first as a reliever, to give him a record of 3-7 with a 6.12 ERA. Thompson took the loss for Washington to fall to 3-4 with a 4.70 ERA.

The Mets improved to 48-54, seven games out of a Wild Card spot, while Washington fell to 43-60. 

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