Nats *Starting Pitchers out-pitched the Mets starting pitchers head-to-head in innings 1-7 of each game, and in the end, the results were still 3 losses for the Washington Nationals.
Game 1. Scherzer pitched longer into Monday’s game and gave up the same 5 runs as Niese. The Nats held a 5-3 lead in the 4th inning of that game after Wilson Ramos’ grand slam. We aren’t saying Scherzer pitched well, the point is he certainly out-pitched Niese who didn’t even survive the 4th inning. Scherzer would pitch 6 innings giving up 5 runs.
Game 2. Matt Harvey gave up 7 earned runs to the Nats and Jordan Zimmermann went into the 6th inning only giving up 1 run and left as the pitcher of record with a 7-1 lead.
Game 3. Through 7 innings on Wednesday, Stephen Strasburg gave up 3 hits, 1 run, and had 12 strikeouts. Jacob deGrom gave up 2 runs in his outing. Unfortunately, MW allowed Strasburg to come out for the 8th inning where things unraveled, but for 7 innings Strasburg certainly out-pitched deGrom. MW could have pinch-hit for Strasburg in the bottom of the 7th when den Dekker who had doubled was standing on 2nd base , but he did not and at that moment MW was probably hoping Strasburg could throw a complete game due to his bullpen problems.
Seriously, who would have thought that besides Monday’s match-up of Niese-Scherzer, that JZim would out-pitch Harvey and Strasburg would out-pitch deGrom? We said JZim had to pitch like it was Game 2 of 2014 which he didn’t do but he only gave up 1 run and got the Nats into the 7th inning with a 7-1 lead and Strasburg out-dueled deGrom while both were in the game. Unfortunately, these are set to be 9 inning baseball games and the Nats in Innings 6, 7 and 8 are at a negative run differential.
It happened and in the category of baseball isn’t fair, the inherited runner on 1st that Drew Storen allowed to score last night was technically the winning run at the time and Strasburg took the loss and the extra earned run.
The bullpen meltdowns are well documented between Janssen and Storen and if they had both done their jobs, it’s fairly easy to use the dream scenario that the Nats win all 3 games as we would have hoped for. When you believe in your bullpen, you can pull your starter earlier like on Monday for the pinch-hitter with men on 3rd and 2nd and the similar scenario last night with den Dekker on 2nd in the 7th. If those were the cases, all 3 Nats starters would have been in-line for the wins. In order to do that, you would have needed a stealth bullpen like the Mets had who never relinquished their leads. The Mets bullpen only gave up 1 run all series and that was last night on the HR by Bryce Harper off of Clippard.
Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg did their jobs. They both deserved better fates.