Scherzer, Nats top Mets
Washington starter pulls even with Nola for league lead in wins
Max Scherzer isn’t going to begin a debate over who should start the All-star Game for the National League.
He is content to let others sort that out while he keeps winning.
Scherzer made a final pitch to start the Midsummer Classic on his own mound, Anthony Rendon hit two homers and Bryce Harper also connected, leading the Washington Nationals over the New York Mets 5-4 on Thursday night.
Scherzer (12-5) didn’t dominate over his seven innings, but managed to tie Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola for the NL lead in wins. He struck out five, boosting his league-leading total to 182. His first half assessment? “Pretty good,” he said. “I’ve been pretty consistent, giving the team a chance to win.”
The three-time Cy Young Award winner exited with a 2.41 ERA, and perfectly lined up to pitch on regular rest next Tuesday night in the All-star Game at Nationals Park.
Scherzer def lected a question on whether he should get the start, saying it was “an All-star question” that he’d talk about at the right time. Before the game, Nationals manager Dave Martinez was more definitive.
“I don’t want to be biased,” he said, “but Max Scherzer, yeah, of course.”
Fans at Citi Field would rather see Mets ace Jacob degrom make the start — he tops the
majors with a 1.68 ERA, but is just 5-4 in 19 starts because of poor run support.
“I know how good he is,” Scherzer said. “He’s having a great year.”
Washington won for just the sixth time in 17 games and nudged back over .500 at 47-46. The Mets fell to 37-54, their most losses before the All-star Game since dropping 60 in 1993.
Scherzer gave up three runs and five hits, including home runs by nemesis Jose Bautista and Kevin Plawecki.
Rendon hit a two-run homer off Steven Matz (4-7) in the first and added a solo drive in the third. His fourth career multihomer performance gave him six homers in 13 games.
Matz was pulled after striking out Juan Soto to start the seventh, and left with a 3.38 ERA.
“He’s just maturing as an overall major league pitcher. And his stuff has gotten better,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “He’s been fantastic for us.”
Rendon singled in the seventh off Tim Peterson and then Harper, already assured a starting spot in the All-star outfield, greeted lefty Jerry Blevins with his 23rd homer to make it 5-2.
Bautista hit an RBI single in the first and a solo homer in the fourth. He is 11-for-23 lifetime against Scherzer with two home runs and four doubles.
Plawecki homered in the seventh off the Washington ace. Kelvin Herrera relieved to begin the eighth and gave up a solo homer to Asdrubal Cabrera.
Ryan Madson closed for his fourth save.
Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (3-11, 4.76 ER A) is tied for the major league lead in losses.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (4-1, 3.06) is expected to come off the disabled list for his first start since May 25.
Washington’s Anthony Rendon is congratulated by Juan Soto after hitting a two-run home run against the New York Mets during the first inning of the teams’ matchup in New York. Rendon hit two home runs in the game.
mets starter Steven matz walks off the field after the top of the sixth inning against the nationals. matz gave up three runs and took the loss.