The Mets provided some quality run support during Noah Syndergaard's long-awaited return to Citi Field, and he repaid them by setting the tone for a 4-2 win over their division rival on Friday night.
Things you should know about tonight's game...
1) In his first major league appearance since May 25, Syndergaard went five innings, surrendering one run over 75 pitches. He lowered his season ERA to 2.97 in his return from an injury to the index finger of his pitching hand. Syndergaard also had an RBI single in the second inning to extend the Mets' lead.
2) Amed Rosario continued his productive home stand with a triple to lead off the second inning, and a double to lead off the sixth. Rosario added to his night with a stolen base following his double.
3) Seth Lugo came in to relieve Syndergaard and allowed back-to-back walks to start off the sixth inning. He proceeded to record the next three outs without allowing a run. Lugo also pitched a scoreless top of the seventh, striking out two batters.
The Mets entered this series with the Nationals at a far lower point than anyone could have expected. Since the two teams last met in April, not a lot has gone right for the Mets. Yoenis Cespedes has been sidelined with a hip injury since May, and the offense, for the most part, has been unable to pick up the slack.
This all changed against a struggling Tanner Roark on Friday night.
The Mets' offense looked strong in the early innings, led by Rosario and Brandon Nimmo. Rosario has looked like a different player during this home stand. His patience at the plate and hustle on the base paths has provided a spark for the Mets' offense. His double marked his sixth extra-base hit in his last 17 at-bats. He seems to be playing the game hard across the board, something that was not shown by Nationals' all-star outfielder, Bryce Harper. Harper looked lackadaisical throughout the game, failing to run out a double play ball and putting forth a careless effort in center field.
The return of Syndergaard is undoubtedly a huge positive for the team. He will resume his spot as a consistent arm in the Mets' rotation following the All-Star break. His ability to get out of dangerous situations shined through against the Nationals, as he was able to get key hitters out when he needed to.
Jose Bautista drove in the game's first run with a single in the first inning. A positive acquisition for the team overall, Bautista had been flying under the radar before his walk-off grand slam on July 6. On top of his consistent defense, he set the tone for a productive day for the offense.
News and notes...
The Mets are 5-5 in their last 10 games. They also happen to be 12-3 in their last 15 games on Friday the 13th.
Since May 1, Lugo owns a 1.17 ERA as a reliever.
Gsellman recorded his first six-out save of his career tonight.
The Mets scored three runs in the first on four hits, which is the most they have scored since June 20 in the opening inning.
The Mets (38-54) continue their series against the Nationals (47-47) on Saturday night at Citi Field at 4:10 p.m. on SNY.. Zack Wheeler will face Austin Voth, who makes his major league debut for the Nats.