“You play the games because you never know” and A.J. Cole just showed that in sports almost anything can happen. A.J. Cole pitched a 3-hitter of 1-run baseball against the reigning National League champions as Cole struck-out five batters while earning his first career win against the Mets ace, Noah Syndergaard, who only had four strikeouts, and gave up 2-runs to the Nationals.
Your offensive star was Trea Turner who manufactured the first run of the game with a single and two stolen bases to get to 3rd base with no outs and helped frustrate Noah Syndergaard who had to throw 24 pitches in the 1st inning. Turner now has 20 steals on the season. Bryce Harper scored Turner on a shallow popup that gave Bryce a gift of an RBI and a sacrifice fly. That was Harper’s 76th RBI of the season, and Turner’s 35th run scored in the season in only 42 games that he has started. Nationals’ catcher Wilson Ramos put another game winning RBI on his resumé after he singled home the second run of the game in the 4th inning. The Nationals added on 2 runs in the 9th inning with hits by Daniel Murphy and a double by Bryce Harper as they both scored on an Anthony Rendon single to make the score 4-1.
The real save of the game occurred in the 7th inning when Koda Glover was called from the bullpen with 2 outs as Glover had to face switch-hitter Jose Reyes with the tying run on 2nd base and winning run on 1st base. Glover and Reyes battled as Glover mixed in sliders with his fastball and struck him out on a 98.3mph dead-red fastball on the 7th pitch of the at-bat as Reyes swung and missed.
Keep in mind that the lead-off batter in the 8th inning was Asdrubal Cabrera who homered earlier in the game, and on a homer hot streak with six home runs in his last eight games, and Dusty Baker chose to bring Glover back out to begin the 8th inning to face Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes in the 2-1 game.
Glover struck out Asdrubal Cabrera on a 1-2 nasty pitch, and then faced Cespedes and threw him an inside slider that cracked Cespedes’ bat as he hit a weak liner to Daniel Murphy at 2nd base for the 2nd out of the inning. Oliver Perez entered the game to face lefty Jay Bruce to strike him out to end the 8th inning. Melancon nailed down the save.
Bryce Harper was asked to talk about Koda Glover on the postgame: pic.twitter.com/zIbkAUi9pF
— Danny (@recordsANDradio) September 3, 2016
With this win, the Nationals lead in the NL East grew to +10.5 games, and the Magic Number went to 18 with 28 games remaining to play. The Nationals have now won seven of their last eight games against the Mets, and the Nationals move to 39-16 against the NL East this season.
Here is the video game recap which you can view on the link here.