NEW YORK - The hits might be few and far between for the Nationals tonight.
That is, if they come at all.
Mets right-hander Matt Harvey has been perfect through four innings so far, striking out six and making Nats hitters look pretty silly in the process.
Five of Harvey’s strikeouts have been of the swinging variety. He got Denard Span and Anthony Rendon swinging to open the game, showing both 98 mph fastballs and then getting them to flail at offspeed pitches (the curve got Span, the slider got Rendon) for the strikeout.
In the second, Harvey got Adam LaRoche on a curve in the dirt and then blew 98 mph heat past Jayson Werth. In the third, Ross Detwiler battled Harvey for 10 pitches before going down swinging, and then Harvey dropped a backdoor changeup on Ryan Zimmerman to get him looking to end the fourth.
The young righty has thrown 54 pitches through four innings. He’s brought his A-game tonight (even pitching through the rain), and that’s bad news for the Nats.
Havey on his C game is still pretty tough to hit. Harvey on his A game is just nasty.
The Mets have a 1-0 lead after four thanks in part to Ian Desmond’s first error in 60 games.
Desmond’s throwing error allowed David Wright to come around from second and score the first run of the game, putting the Mets on top.
Ross Detwiler then bounced back very nicely, leaving the bases loaded to keep it a one-run game.
Update: So much for the perfect game, so much for the no-hitter, so much for the shutout, so much for the Mets lead.
With one swing, Desmond made up for his error and tied the game 1-1.
Desmond took an 0-1 changeup from Harvey - who had retired the first 14 Nats he’d faced tonight - and smacked it off the facade of the second deck in left, knotting things up.
It’s Desmond’s 14th homer of the season, and it gets things back even here in the fifth.
Update II: The Mets didn’t waste any time grabbing the lead right back, scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 3-1 ballgame.
Detwiler left too many fastballs over the plate tonight, and the Mets made him pay. They strung together three hits in the fifth, with Marlon Byrd and Josh Satin each plating a run with an RBI knock.
That’ll be it for Detwiler after five innings of work. He allowed six hits and three runs, walked two (one intentional) and struck out four.
Update III: Harvey is finally out of this game. For the Nats, that couldn’t come soon enough.
The Mets right-hander allowed just a run and three hits over seven innings, walking none and striking out 11. The only blemish on his line is the solo homer by Desmond.
His ERA drops to 2.00 with today’s performance. And the Nats are at risk of scoring one run or fewer for the 21st time this season.
They trail 4-1 going to the eighth.
Update IV: Despite being completely dominated tonight through the first seven innings of this game, the Nats have come back in dramatic fashion and managed to tie things up.
Up with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth, Ryan Zimmerman crushed a three-run double to the gap in left-center off Mets righty Brandon Lyon, and it’s suddenly a 4-4 game.
Roger Bernadina singled leading off the frame, and with two outs, Denard Span doubled and Anthony Rendon walked. That brought up Zimmerman, who delivered a huge clutch knock to knot the score. He got an 88 mph fastball over the plate, and he hammered it.
Tyler Clippard is on to work the eighth.
Update V: Back-to-back doubles by Jayson Werth and Desmond leading off the top of the ninth gave the Nats their first lead of the game, and a Kurt Suzuki sac fly made it 6-4.
Drew Storen followed by retiring the side in order in the bottom of the ninth, notching his second save of the season and finishing off the win. With Rafael Soriano unavailable tonight after working the last three days, Storen was called upon, and he got the job done.
Clippard got the win, his sixth of the season, second-most on the team. Yes, you read that correctly.
The Nats could do very little against Harvey, but they teed off against the mediocre Mets bullpen. Tonight tied for the Nats’ largest comeback win of the season (three runs), and they move back above .500 with the victory.