Scherzer, Nats top Mets

Wash­ing­ton starter pulls even with Nola for league lead in wins

Albany Times Union - - SPORTS -

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.

Up next

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.

Julie Ja­cob­son / As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

Julie Ja­cob­son / As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

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