Nats bounce right back in first, cruise to win over Mets

Aaron Sanchez throw white

If you turned off tonight’s game after four batters, disgusted by what you saw from the Nationals from a pitching and defense perspective, well, you certainly were justified in being disgusted.

You also wound up missing quite the turnaround by the home club, which managed to come all the way back (and then some) before the first inning even ended.

Yep, after surrendering three runs to the Mets in the top of the first, the Nationals stormed back to score five in the bottom of the inning, then three more in the bottom of the second to take an 8-3 lead that would hold up for the rest of the night.

It was an unexpected, but welcome, comeback in rapid fashion for the Nats, who in the process snapped a nine-game home losing streak that stretched all the way back to April 19, when they eked out a 1-0 win over the Diamondbacks.

"We kept everybody together, we kept the energy," right fielder Juan Soto said. "It always feels good winning games like that and coming from behind. We showed what we have, and it feels great."

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Game 32 lineups: Nats vs. Mets

Aaron Sanchez throw city connect

The Nationals have been playing better baseball, getting much better starting pitching. That hasn’t necessarily translated into a lot of wins, though. After going 3-1 to start their recent West Coast trip, they’ve gone 1-5 since entering tonight’s game against the Mets.

Aaron Sanchez gets the ball for his fourth start as a member of the rotation. All three previous outings have come against National League West opponents (the Giants twice, the Rockies once). Sanchez has his work cut for him in a Mets lineup that ranks first in the league in hits and on-base percentage and fourth in runs scored and OPS.

The Nats also have their work cut out facing right-hander Tylor Megill, who has been surprisingly dominant so far. Megill, you’ll remember, was the emergency opening day starter after both Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer were unavailable, and he proceeded to shut them out over five innings.

Alcides Escobar remains out after being scratched from last night's lineup with an infection under his left pointer finger nail. Dee Strange-Gordon is back playing shortstop and batting eighth.

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: The Team 980,
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 66 degrees, wind 9 mph in from right field

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Nats can't do enough right in loss to Rockies

Aaron Sanchez throws gray

DENVER – For 48 hours, the Nationals experienced Coors Field like they’d never experienced it before. Quality pitching. Quick games. No late-inning drama. Nothing about the first two games of their series against the Rockies felt typical for this unique baseball setting.

Ah, but you can’t leave the Mile High City without experiencing the true Coors Field at least once. And sure enough, today’s sun-splashed series finale provided a far more typical affair.

It took 3 hours, 25 minutes to play 8 1/2 innings. It featured five combined homers. And it ended in a 9-7 loss to the Rockies that was defined both by the Nationals’ inability to keep the ball in the yard and their inability to do the little things right.

"Two costly mistakes," manager Davey Martinez lamented.

Those two mistakes each resulted in a three-run homer, with Garrett Hampson taking starter Aaron Sanchez deep to left in the second and Brendan Rodgers taking reliever Josh Rogers deep to center in the fifth.

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Game 27 lineups: Nats at Rockies

Aaron Sanchez throw gray wide

DENVER – After a cold, rainy Wednesday night here at Coors Field, it’s a beautiful Thursday afternoon for the series finale between the Nationals and Rockies. The Nats have a chance to win their second straight road series, which would be no small feat under the circumstances.

They’ll hope to get the bats going again after getting shut down by left-hander Austin Gomber on Wednesday. Today they face right-hander Antonio Senzatela, who has only a bit of experience against Nationals hitters during his career. César Hernández (3-for-9, double), Josh Bell (3-for-5, double, two walks) and Maikel Franco (2-for-5, triple) have enjoyed the most success against Senzatela.

Aaron Sanchez, meanwhile, makes his third start since joining the Nats rotation. The 29-year-old right-hander faced the Giants each of his previous outings, losing to them once and then beating them in the follow-up game. Today he faces a Rockies lineup that really hasn’t done much so far this series, scoring five of its seven total runs in the bottom of the fourth Tuesday night, an inning that would’ve ended with a zero on the scoreboard if not for Alcides Escobar’s error on a tailor-made double play grounder.

Friendly reminder: Today’s game is available only on YouTube. It’s free and requires no login, only a computer, tablet, phone or smart TV of your choice. Here’s the link to watch it.

Where: Coors Field
Gametime: 3:10 p.m. EDT
TV: YouTube
Radio: 106.7 The Fan,
Weather: Mostly sunny, 62 degrees, wind 8 mph in from center field

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After latest loss, Nats could face decision with Corbin

Patrick Corbin head down white

In 17 seasons since Major League Baseball returned to Washington, the number of Nationals players who have been booed by home fans can possibly be counted on one hand. It’s just not a regular occurrence in these parts.

The number of players from the 2019 World Series roster that have ever been booed? Well, that number stood at zero until 7:53 p.m. tonight, when Patrick Corbin handed the ball over to Davey Martinez and made the long walk back to the dugout having just surrendered seven runs in 1 2/3 tortured innings to set the tone in what would end up a 7-1 loss to the Giants.

A crowd of 23,751, many of whom probably stood behind Corbin throughout his struggles in 2020, 2021 and his first three starts in 2022, finally decided not to hold back any longer. It wasn’t a thunderous round of boos from everyone in attendance – that was reserved for a questionable upholding of a third inning call that saw Juan Soto ruled out trying to stretch a double off the wall into a triple – but neither was it a smattering of boos from a few rogue individuals.

This was the moment those fans chose to voice their displeasure for Corbin, who may have won Game 7 in Houston with three scoreless innings of relief but since that glorious October night 2 1/2 years ago has been unequivocally the worst starting pitcher in baseball.

Corbin has now made 46 starts over the last three seasons. He has delivered 26 losses, most in the majors. He has produced a 5.81 ERA, highest in the majors. And he has compiled a 1.554 WHIP, worst in the majors by a longshot.

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