Opening Day Recap: Bartolo Colon shuts down Nationals in Mets win

Aug 13, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 13, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /

Bartolo Colon came out on top of a pitchers’ duel and the Mets top the Nationals 3-1 on Opening Day.

For five and two-thirds innings, it appeared as though Max Scherzer was going to start his Washington Nationals career in a big way, with a no-hitter. Unfortunately a two-out walk, followed by a dropped pop-up, knocked the wheels off and Scherzer had to settle for a 3-0 loss against the New York Mets on Opening Day.

Two errors from Ian Desmond paved the way for all three Mets runs. With two outs in the 6th, Desmond called off Dan Uggla on a routine pop-up behind second base, dropping the ball. Lucas Duda delivered a two-run singles into the gap two pitches later. The Mets added an insurance run in the 7th after a throwing error from Desmond, this time with Travis d’Arnaud taking one to the wall in center field. Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor nearly came up with the drive, but crashed into the wall instead.

In a game where offense was at a premium, the Nationals took a 1-0 lead on a Bryce Harper home run. However, the Washington offense was only able to get one more hit (a Harper single) off of Bartolo Colon and the Mets pitching staff from that point forward, and the Nats couldn’t recover from their own mistakes.

Of course, the Mets pitching staff raised some eyebrows when Jenrry Mejia did not get the ball in the 9th inning. Instead, Terry Collins used a combination of Jerry Blevins and Buddy Carlyle to slam the door shut on the Nats. Could there be a closer controversy already in New York or just some smart platoon pitching in effect?

Game Notes:

  • Bryce Harper got the Nationals on the board with his first home run of 2015. Prior to that bomb, he was just 1 for 11 against Mets starter Bartolo Colon with 5 strike-outs. (h/t Jayson Stark)
  • After walking Curtis Granderson to lead off the game, Nationals starter Max Scherzer retired the next 17 batters. How did the streak break, another walk to Granderson. Unfortunately, that led to a defensive breakdown when Ian Desmond called off Dan Uggla on a pop-up and dropped it. Lucas Duda dropped in a two-run single into the game two pitches later.
  • Desmond would have another miscue in the top of the 7th, when he threw one in the dirt on a Juan Lagares grounder. Travis d’Arnaud would hit an RBI triple as the next batter. All three runs against Scherzer were unearned, with the Nats ace giving up 4 hits, 2 walks, and 8 strike-outs over 7.2 innings of work.
  • For all the misfortunes that Scherzer’s Nats put him in, Bartolo Colon did everything in his power to stay out of trouble. The Mets starter was brilliant, tossing six innings of 3-hit ball, striking out 8 and walking 1 on the afternoon.


STARTING PITCHING - NATS . B. Generally, when a pitcher is on the losing side of the game, he doesn’t necessarily throw a great game. That wasn’t the case for Max Scherzer, who dominated the Mets over his 7.2 innings of work, throwing 71 of his 97 pitches for strikes. Unfortunately, he was unable to bail out his defense and gave up timely hits to Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud that plated all three unearned runs.. Game Ball. Max Scherzer

Bartolo Colon. PITCHING - METS . A. Colon drew a lot of questions when the Mets named him the Opening Day starter instead of Matt Harvey, but he answered them in kind. The wily veteran did a good job of keeping Nats hitters off balance by mixing up his speeds and hitting his spots all afteroon. Terry Collins kept things interesting by using a bullpen combination of Carlos Torres, Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins, and Buddy Carlyle to close the door with three innings of perfect baseball..

D. Neither team was able to muster any offense on the afternoon, as both pitching staffs combined for just 8 total hits, 4 walks, and 19 strike-outs. Outside of the Harper home run and the d’Arnaud triple, neither team mustered much hard contact at all.. Game Ball. . BOTH OFFENSES

Next: Blue Jays option Ryan Tepera and Matt Hague to Buffalo

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