The headline leading into Tuesday night’s first-of-the-season showdown with the Nationals was Daniel Murphy’s first game back to Citi Field as an opponent. But the night belonged to Noah Syndergaard, who threw one of his best games of the season.
Curtis Granderson kicked things off for the Mets leading off the bottom of the first inning, hitting the first pitch he saw from Max Scherzer over the wall in right to give the Mets an early lead,
Michael Conforto made it 2-0 with a solo shot of his own in the third.
Those were the only two hits Scherzer gave up until one out in the seventh, when Kevin Plawecki singled. He left the game after that. Scherzer was very good, striking out 10 batters in 6.1 innings. The still hated Oliver Perez (he did not get a standing ovation like Murphy did) came in to face Alejandro De Aza, pinch hitting for Syndergaard. He struck him out, and got Matt Reynolds, making his major league debut (he went hitless) to ground out.
Syndergaard also struck out 10 in his seven outstanding shutout innings. He allowed five hits and did not walk anyone.
Addison Reed retired the side in order in the eighth. Jeurys Familia closed out the ninth for his 13th save of the season — that’s tied for second in the National League.
Murphy ended up going 1-3 and made two really nice plays in the field — a diving stop to end the second, possibly saving a run for the Nats, and turning a tough double play in the eighth. Suddenly Murphy knows how to play the field!
Mets win 2-0 to pull to within a half a game of the Nats for first place in the NL East.