The Washington Nationals needed just four pitches Saturday to begin forgetting about being on the wrong end of a dominant outing by Jacob deGrom less than 24 hours earlier.
On Sunday afternoon, the Nationals will aim to build on the momentum of Saturday’s victory and win another series when they visit the New York Mets in the finale of a three-game set.
Left-hander Patrick Corbin (0-2, 10.95 ERA) is scheduled to oppose right-hander Taijuan Walker (0-1, 3.21 ERA).
The Nationals put together an efficient offensive attack Saturday afternoon, when Yadiel Hernandez had a pair of RBIs, including the first-inning sacrifice fly, that gave Washington a lead it never relinquished in a 7-1 win.
The Nationals, who had just two hits and struck out 15 times against deGrom in a 6-0 loss Friday night, had 10 hits Saturday — all singles — and put a runner on base in every inning but the sixth and ninth.
“Last night — shake it off, you laugh it off, you shower off and you come back,” said Josh Harrison, who singled on Marcus Stroman’s second pitch and took third on right fielder Michael Conforto’s error before scoring two pitches later on Hernandez’s liner to left. “Still got an opportunity to win a series. (deGrom) threw well (Friday) night, but that had no effect on today and none on (Sunday).”
The Mets lapsed into familiar struggles Saturday, when deGrom wasn’t around to spark the offense — he generated Friday’s first run with an RBI double in the fifth inning and finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored — nor keep the ball from being put into play.
Conforto’s error was the 12th committed by the Mets, whose 16 games played are the fewest in the majors. So, too, are the 52 runs scored by New York, which entered Saturday with the third-highest on-base percentage in the NL (.330) but squandered a two-on, two-out situation in the first and stranded a pair of runners following Conforto’s homer in the fourth.
“We are getting on base at a good rate,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “We’re not hitting with runners in scoring position as we should. We know that’s going to get better.”
Corbin recovered from a rough two-start stretch to open the season on Tuesday, when he didn’t factor into the decision after allowing four hits over six scoreless innings in the Nationals’ 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The 31-year-old entered the outing with a 21.32 ERA.
Walker took the loss Tuesday, when he gave up three runs (two earned) over 3 2/3 innings as the Mets fell to the Chicago Cubs, 3-1. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth, when the Cubs chased him with two singles and three walks, all produced with two outs.
Corbin is 4-6 with a 4.25 ERA in 17 games (16 starts) against the Mets. Walker didn’t factor into the decision in his lone career start against the Nationals on May 2, 2017, when he allowed three runs over 4 2/3 innings in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 6-3 victory.
–Field Level Media