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HomeGameNotesGameNotes: April 23, 2021 (Washington Nationals v. New York Mets)

GameNotes: April 23, 2021 (Washington Nationals v. New York Mets)

The Washington Nationals head to New York City for the first time in 2021 to face the New York Mets in a three-game set.

Game Details

Washington Nationals (7-9) vs. New York Mets (7-7)
Pitching Matchup: RHP Erick Fedde (1-1; 5.56 ERA) v. RHP Jacob deGrom (1-1; 0.45 ERA)
Date & Time: Friday, April 23, 2021 | 7:05 pm EDT | Game #17 | Away Game # 
Location: Citi Field, New York, New York 
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Sirius XM Radio: 898
Game Time Weather via Capital Sports Forecast: Clear, temps in the upper 50s. Breezy with winds out of the west around 15 mph

Today in Nationals History: 

2014 – Washington plated four runs in the ninth inning to stun the Los Angeles Angels, 5-4, avoiding a series sweep. Four batters after Jose Lobaton began the ninth with a solo shot, Jayson Werth turned Ernesto Frieri’s 3-0 offering into a game-tying two-run double down the left-field line. After Frieri departed, Adam LaRoche served Fernando Salas’ first pitch into left field to plate Werth and cap the walk-off comeback.

For just the second time since their D.C. arrival in 2005, the Nationals erased a ninth-inning deficit of at least three runs to win (also 7/21/11 vs. SEA/W6-5 after trailing 5-1 in the 9th).

Washington Nationals Game Story Line: 

Way back on April 1st, the Washington Nationals were supposed to open the season on Sunday Night Baseball against the New York Mets with two of this generation’s greatest pitchers on the mound. Then COVID struck and delayed both teams’ Opening Day. Both teams need to find some consistency, and, hopefully, this series will be the start of that for the Nats. 

Pitching Matchup

Erick Fedde

Unfortunately, this is a Nationals/Mets series that will not include another great DeGrom and Scherzer pitching duel. Instead, the Nationals will send out Erick Fedde, who has looked much better in his past two starts. He gave up five runs over 1.2 innings in his first start, but in the two starts since, he has only allowed two runs in 9.2 innings.

Ideally, the Nationals would like more length out of Fedde, but if he gives up 1 or 2 runs over five innings, I am sure they would be fine with that production from their fifth starter as well. Fedde was showing off a much better tempo the last two starts, and fans can look for that to be a key to continued success.

Oddly enough, there are only six Mets that have had more than 3 ABs against Fedde, who has spent his whole career in Washington. Of those six players, Michael Conforto really stands out as he has crushed Fedde to the tune of a .714 batting average and a 1.286 OPS. The matchup is one Fedde must win (or at least tie) to keep the Nationals in this game.  

Erick Fedde has posted a 2.25 ERA (3 ER/12.0 IP) in his last four outings (one start) against the Mets since the 2019 season. His last start against them came on May 21, 2019, at Citi Field. Fedde tossed 5.0 innings of four-hit, one-run ball as the Nationals fell, 6-5.

Jacob deGrom

In his last start, April 17 at Colorado, deGrom tied a career-high with 14 strikeouts for the second consecutive start .deGrom allowed three runs, all unearned, on three hits and walked only one batter in 6.0 innings as the Mets downed the Rockies, 4-3. deGrom became the second pitcher in Mets history to whiff 14 or more in consecutive starts, joining Dwight Gooden (September 12 & 17, 1984).

The last pitcher to walk one or no batters and strike out at least 14 in back-to-back outings was Chris Sale (May 8 & 14, 2019). Since 1995, deGrom, Sale, Clayton Kershaw, and Pedro Martinez (three times) are the only pitchers to have two-straight 14-K outings with no more than one walk.

Today’s GameNotes

We’re Still Fighting It

Despite being 7-9, the Washington Nationals are only one game behind the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies, tied for first place in the NL East. The New York Mets are coming off a three-game losing streak, and the Nationals are coming off two consecutive wins against the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2021, the Washington Nationals are 2-4 when they are away from Nats Park and the New York Mets are 4-1 at Citi Field. 

The Best Shortstop in the Game? 

On Tuesday night against St. Louis Cardinals, Trea Turner recorded his seventh multi-hit game of the season. Trea’s seven multi-hit games rank tied for fourth in the National League and are tied for sixth in Major League Baseball. Turner is 12-for-32 (.375) with two doubles, two home runs, four RBI, two walks, four stolen bases, and three runs scored across the last eight games.

Jackie RobinsonDay Part 2

Tonight, the Mets and Washington will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day at Citi Field, Flushing. Both teams will be wearing number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.

The Bullpen of Strength

Henry Blanco’s bullpen ranks in the National League in ERA (3rd, 3.43) opponents’ batting average (5th, .203) and opponent’s on-base percentage (5th, .305). Across the last eight games, Nationals relievers have combined to toss a 2.59 ERA (9 ER/31.1 IP) with two saves, five holds, and 26 strikeouts. The Nationals bullpen as a whole has given up one run or less in five of the last eight games.

Let’s Give Brad a Hand

Nationals closer Brad Hand has converted 24 consecutive save opportunities dating to Aug. 23, 2019. 

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the longest active streak of consecutive save opportunities converted.In these 24 save opportunities, Hand has pitched to a 0.37 ERA (1ER/24.1 IP) with 29 strikeouts, five walks, and a .139 opponents’ batting average (11-for-81)…The one earned run came on July 28, 2020, vs. Chicago (AL).

Can You find me a Taxi to take to Citi Field, Flushing? 

For this road trip, the Nationals have added these five players to their Taxi Squad: Right-handed pitcher Dakota Bacus, catcher Tres Barrera, left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland, outfielder Gerardo Parra and infielder Adrían Sanchez

Game Lineups (Subject To Change without Notice) 

Washington Nationals 

Andrew Stevenson – RF
Josh Harrison – 2B
Trea Turner – SS
Josh Bell – 1B
Kyle Schwarber – LF
Starlin Castro – 3B
Yan Gomes – C
Victor Robles – CF
Erick Fedde – P

New York Mets

Brandon Nimmo – CF
Franciso Lindor – SS
Dominic Smith – LF
Pete Alonso – 1B
J.D. Davis – 3B
Jeff McNeil – 2B
Jacob deGrom – P
Tomas Nido – C

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