Sunday, July 30, 2023

Verlander Continues Dominance As Mets Take 3 of 4 From Nats

Justin Verlander firing one in to Ildemaro Vargas in the second inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

Justin Verlander delivered another superb performance, as the Mets beat the Washington Nationals, 5-2, on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field, and take three out of four in their weekend series.

The Mets are now 50-55, now 6 1/2 games out of the final Wild Card, with the trade deadline two days away on Tuesday, August 1. They already have traded their closer, David Robertson, and one of their aces, Max Scherzer, which means that this quite possibly could have been Verlander's last appearance in a Mets uniform.

The Nationals came out with an edge, as C.J. Abrams and Jeimer Candelario opened with singles, and then they executed a double steal, with Abrams taking the plate to put them up 1-0. Verlander retired the next three hitters to keep it right there.

Trevor Williams, who left the Mets in the offseason, got the start for Washington. He opened his afternoon by walking Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor, and then Pete Alonso got an RBI single to tie the game at 1.

In the third, Francisco Lindor doubled and then Jeff McNeil snaked one inside the first base line for a triple to bring him in. Alonso then got a sacrifice fly to bring in McNeil and make it 3-1 Mets. That was Alonso's 75th RBI, just two nights after he hit his 30th home run of the season.

The Mets kept it going, as Daniel Vogelbach singled, Mark Canha walked, and Brett Baty singled to load the bases. Omar Narvaez got a sacrifice fly to bring in Vogelbach and give the Mets a 4-1 lead.

Lindor then opened the fourth inning with a monster home run, his second in as many games and 21st of the season, and that opened up a 5-1 lead for the Mets.

Williams would exit after the fourth, as he allowed five runs (all earned) on seven hits and four walks, with two strikeouts. He went on to take the loss for Washington, as he fell to 5-6 on the season, with a 4.72 ERA.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, as he was pulled after 103 pitches, and he allowed just that one early run on five hits and a walk, with five strikeouts. He improved to 6-5 and lowered his ERA (earned run average) to 3.15. It was his 250th career victory.

Justin Verlander getting Dom Smith to pop out to right field in the second inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

Verlander pitching to Ildemaro Vargas in the fourth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

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