WASHINGTON, DC — If this was Juan Soto’s last game as the Washington National, it ended like most of his other games of 2022: with a loss.
The Mets beat Soto and the Nats 7-3 on Monday night, giving the Mets seven straight wins and the Nationals nothing more than an uncertain future. Twisting the knife even further, it was former National Max Scherzer on the hill for the Mets, cutting his way through most of the non-Soto hitters in Washington’s roster like a pair of scissors through paper. packaging.
And, as a reminder, Jacob deGrom is expected to follow Scherzer on Tuesday.
Scherzer went 6.2 innings against his former team, striking out five and allowing three runs, including two scored by Soto. For the second day in a row, the Mets won a game in which their starting pitcher didn’t quite look like himself, but used a cocktail of moxie and trickery to eviscerate a victory.
On Sunday, Taijuan Walker said bluntly that he “didn’t like” his outing in Miami. His team still won 9-3. On Monday, the Nationals went up a run in the first inning, hit four on Scherzer in the fourth, and the Mets ended up winning by four.
It helps to have one of the deepest rosters in all of Major League Baseball.
The Mets have pushed at least six points at home for the fifth time in their last seven games. If there’s one constant in today’s ever-changing world, it’s the top of the Mets order. Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso have held the team’s top four spots all season. Nimmo and Marte’s core skills allowed Lindor and Alonso to feast on RBI, and that’s exactly what was on the menu on Monday.
Eight hits came from that foursome, with five runs and four extra hits. Lindor and Alonso each sent a ball into the Mets bullpen, giving Lindor 18 homers on the season and Polar Bear 27. When it looked like a brief disruption would upset them — a Steve Cishek pitch hit Marte at hand in the sixth inning, forcing the coach out – he simply shook it off and went to first base.
Watching the Nationals, it’s both obvious why they’ve struggled so hard this year, but also immediately noticeable how much Soto means to them. Nationals Park fans, sensing these might be Soto’s last hours with their favorite team, cheered him on as soon as he came out for batting practice. They continued to cheer as he stretched in the outfield before the game and seemed to turn up the volume as he headed home plate for every at-bat. With the Nats down four in the bottom of the eighth, all hope seemingly lost, an organic “We Want Soto” chant escaped from the stadium’s lower bowl.
None of this even mentions the day he got on the plate.
Soto was 1-on-1 with a solo homer and three walks, such a classic Soto line as you’ll ever see. On the third and final step, the 23-year-old received a standing ovation that swelled with each of his slow steps down the line. If he was to be traded, let it be known that it was the upper management of the team that didn’t want him, not the people of Washington, D.C.
Less than three years ago, Scherzer, Soto and a host of other very talented players now on other teams helped Washington win an unlikely World Series title. This Game 7 celebration seems much further away than that now, and if their hero ends up somewhere else after the trade deadline, those who really care about the Washington Nationals have every reason to be furious with the front office of the game. ‘crew.
Those days of vitriol and front office spite have been in the Mets’ rearview mirror all season, a welcome change of pace for baseball’s little brother Big Apple. A 65-37 record, seven straight wins and one of the best rosters in the league will do it.
Also, just to mention it one more time, Jacob deGrom returns on Tuesday.