WASHINGTON (AP) - Even when the New York Mets win this season, they end up losing.
Jacob deGrom had 10 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings against Washington’s makeshift lineup, and the Mets beat the Nationals 4-2 on Friday night.
However, New York lost outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in the first inning with a right hamstring strain that could prove season ending based on the schedule, general manager Sandy Alderson said after the game.
This followed fellow outfielder Michael Conforto’s dislocation and tear of his left shoulder Thursday against Arizona. Both injuries came after a relentless string of bumps, bruises and worse that have helped derail New York’s season.
“This is new for me, for anybody else that’s probably ever managed to have these kind of things pop up,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “There’s no way really to describe it except figure out who is going to play tomorrow.”
DeGrom (14-7) allowed one run on five hits. Working with his best fastball on the season, He upped his strikeout total to 201 this season by fanning the side in the seventh.
“Been working on mechanics,” deGrom said. “Tonight was the closest it’s been to where I want it.”
Washington came close to rallying against Mets closer AJ Ramos after trailing 4-1 after eight innings.
Adam Lind homered in the ninth off Ramos, who then loaded the bases with one out on a hit and two walks. Anthony Rendon took a base on balls after his deep drive into the left field corner hooked foul shy of the fair pole. Ramos retired Howie Kendrick and Andrew Stevenson to earn his 24th save in 26 opportunities.
“In that last inning, we were threatening and thought Anthony’s ball had a chance to leave,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. “Just perseverance to not wanting to lose, that’s what I attribute that last inning to.”
New York’s Matt Reynolds and Dominic Smith drove in runs during the eighth for a 3-0 lead.
A.J. Cole (1-4) allowed one run and four hits over six innings for Washington.
Both teams fielded unfamiliar lineups because of numerous injuries. There were also nicknames on the back of jerseys as part of Major League Baseball’s Players Weekend.
Daniel “Murph” Murphy, the only member of Washington’s Opening Day lineup who started Friday, went 0 for 4.
The NL East-leading Nationals returned home following a 5-2 road trip that concluded with an 11-inning win at Houston on Thursday night.
DeGrom allowed 10 runs in 13 2/3 innings over his previous two starts, both losses. Against the Nationals, “Jake” kept Washington scoreless until Adrian Sanchez’s two-out RBI single in the eighth.
New York scored in the first on Asdrubal “Chiquitin” Cabrera’s RBI single. Smith’s grounder up the middle could have driven in another run, but the ball caromed off second base umpire Andy Fletcher, who immediately ruled the play dead.
Cespedes pulled up while rounding third on the play. He immediately began hobbling and struggled to put weight on his right leg until reaching home plate. Reynolds replaced Cespedes and returned to third, loading the bases.
Cole, recalled from Triple-A Syracuse for the start, got out of the jam with consecutive strikeouts. He struck out eight, matching his career high.
“Instead of trying to let them get themselves out, I was trying to get them out with one pitch,” Cole said of his first-inning struggles. “I was a little too fine.”
Mets: RHP Jeurys Familia (blood clot in right arm) was activated from the 60-day disabled list. … Collins did not have an update on Conforto. “I just hope that (Conforto) comes out of this and resumes his pursuit to be one of the best players in baseball,” Collins said. … David Wright (cervical disc herniation) played five innings at third base for Single-A St. Lucie at Palm Beach on Friday. He went 1 for 3 with a single and a fielding error.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (neck inflammation) tossed a bullpen session before Friday’s game. Scherzer (12-5, 2.25 ERA) could return from the DL to start on Sunday. … Washington opened a roster spot for Cole by optioning C Pedro Severino to Triple-A Syracuse. … 1B Ryan Zimmerman did not play after apparently hurting his shoulder Thursday. “I think he hurt his arm and shoulder and he couldn’t swing after the headfirst slide into the plate,” Baker said.
WHERE IS EVERYONE?
Exemplifying their missing in action scenario, the Nationals’ Single-A affiliate Potomac had more players from Washington’s Opening Day lineup - SS Trey Turner and OF Jayson Werth - than the parent club. Turner (wrist fracture) and Werth (foot contusion) both played in parts of Potomac’s doubleheader.
Mets: RHP Robert Gsellman (5-5, 5.65 ERA) allowed seven earned runs and 11 hits in five innings at Washington on June 15.
Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (12-5, 2.39) is 3-0 with a 0.46 ERA in three August starts.
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