While trade rumors continue to swirl around the Mets’ pitching staff, Noah Syndergaard’s return from a lengthy DL stint gave the club a glimpse of why they should potentially not deal from their only strength.
Syndergaard wasn’t quite dominant, but he was plenty good enough Friday night, limiting the Nationals to only one run across an abbreviated 75-pitch, five-inning stint. And for a refreshing change of pace, the other segments of the Mets’ roster did their part to make a strong outing from a starter stand up.
After Syndergaard had kept Washington off the board in the first, New York’s offense came out swinging, jumping all over Nationals’ starter Tanner Roark from the get-go. The fist three Mets hitters, Brandon Nimmo, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Bautista all singled, getting the home team a lead before they had even made an out. After Michael Conforto tapped into a fielder’s choice, Wilmer Flores plated a second run with a sac-fly to left field. Catcher Devin Mesoraco then put the icing on the frame, lining the first pitch he saw into right to plate Conforto, and just like that New York was up 3-0.
Syndergaard himself extended the lead the next inning, singling home Amed Rosario who had led off the second inning with a triple, and the Mets’ 4-0 lead had them feeling pretty confident heading towards the middle innings.
Washington got on the board in the road 3rd after a fluke triple off the bat of Roark leading off the frame. He would come around to score on an RBI double from Wilmer Difo, but as was the case all night, Syndergaard limited the damage.
After Syndergaard departed after the fifth, the Mets’ bullpen actually pitched well across the second half of the game. Seth Lugo worked around a pair of walks in the 6th to put up a zero in that inning and the next one, before handing things over to Robert Gsellman. In the eighth, veteran first baseman Matt Adams touched Gsellman for a long solo homer to get the road team within two, but that’s as close as they would come.
New York has now evened their weekend series with the Nationals at one game a piece, and they’ll hope to win their second consecutive contest this afternoon behind Zack Wheeler.