Nationals

Quick Links

Nationals to play Mets in Syndergaard's return from DL

roark-severino-nats-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports

Nationals to play Mets in Syndergaard's return from DL

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets are getting their Opening Day starter back Friday. The Washington Nationals may have watched their former National League Most Valuable Player begin to return to form Thursday.

Two of the game's brightest stars will be on display Friday night, when Noah Syndergaard is scheduled to come off the disabled list when the Mets host Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals in the second contest of a four-game series at Citi Field.

Syndergaard (4-1, 3.06 ERA) is expected to make his first start in seven weeks when he opposes the Nationals' Tanner Roark (3-11, 4.76) in a battle of right-handers.

The Nationals won the series opener Thursday night, when Anthony Rendon homered in his first two at-bats before Harper accounted for the decisive runs by launching a long two-run homer off Mets left-hander Jerry Blevins in the seventh inning of a 5-4 victory.

Harper is in the midst of a difficult campaign for the Nationals (47-46). He has 23 homers and 53 RBIs, but is batting .213, which would be a career-low by 30 points, and his .840 OPS is 168 points lower than a year ago. Washington manager Dave Martinez, though, said he thought the left-handed-hitting slugger might have unlocked something against Blevins.

"He was really quiet (in the at-bat)," Martinez said. "Those are the kind of at-bats that might turn things around for him. Left on left, Blevins is not an easy guy to face, and he crushed the ball. So hopefully that'll get him going here the next few days. He gets the All-Star break and then we'll see what happens after that."

Getting Syndergaard going is likely one of the few things the Mets (37-54) have to look forward to the remainder of the season. New York has gone 12-32 since Syndergaard's most recent start May 25, when he gave up three runs over six innings against the Milwaukee Brewers and didn't factor into the decision as the Brewers earned a 4-3, 10-inning win.

Syndergaard was placed on the disabled list four days later with a right index finger ligament sprain suffered against the Brewers. The Mets hoped Syndergaard would miss only one start, but he went nearly a month without throwing from a mound and didn't make a rehab appearance until Sunday, when he allowed one run over five innings for Class-A Brooklyn.

His return has been long-awaited by the Mets, who skipped Syndergaard's spot in the rotation whenever possible over the last seven weeks and went 2-5 in the seven games started by stopgap solutions Jason Vargas, Corey Oswalt and Blevins. The trio combined to post a 6.99 ERA in their appearances.

"I love that we're getting Syndergaard back from the disabled list," Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters prior to Thursday's game. "That's really going to help us."

Syndergaard is 2-4 with a 3.53 ERA in 10 career starts against the Nationals, whom he's faced more than any other opponent.

Roark lost his fourth straight start and fifth straight decision in his most recent appearance Sunday, when he allowed four runs over four innings as the Nationals fell to the Miami Marlins 10-2. He is 0-5 with a 7.76 ERA in six starts since his most recent win on June 6.

Roark is 7-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 19 career appearances (13 starts) against the Mets.

Quick Links

Nationals Roundup: Late Victor Robles magic not enough as Braves walk-off Nats

victor-robles-7-19.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Nationals Roundup: Late Victor Robles magic not enough as Braves walk-off Nats

As you would expect a first-place NL East team to do, the Atlanta Braves bounced back to even the series with Washington Friday night inside SunTrust Park. Josh Donaldson erased Victor Robles' game-tying, two-run home run with his walk-off single in the ninth. Atlanta improved to 59-40 and increased its lead over the Nationals to 6.5 games with a 4-3 final. 

Consider these notes as Washington grinds through a pivotal series in Atlanta: 

Player Notes:

Washington's first-year lefty didn't have his best stuff going Friday night in Atlanta. Patrick Corbin tossed just five innings allowing eight hits, two runs, two walks on 100 pitches. He struck out five Braves on his 30th birthday. 

The Nationals' third baseman has brought new meaning to the word 'consistency' all year long in his first season as an All-Star. Two games into this four-game series in Atlanta, Anthony Rendon has five hits, a walk, and 2 RBI.  

Victor Robles brought the fireworks in the ninth at SunTrust Park. The 22-year-old delivered a game-tying, two-run home run off Luke Jackson. The long-ball traveled a whopping 446 feet. 

The Fernando Rodney experience was alive and well. Davey Martinez made the questionable decision to bring his 42-year-old back out in the ninth for a second consecutive inning. It backfired. Just 14 of his 32 pitches were thrown for strikes. 

Injuries: 

SP Max Scherzer: Back, Expected to be out until at least Jul 25

RP Jonny Venters: Back, Expected to be out until at least Jul 26

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, Expected to be out until at least Jul 20

RP Justin Miller: Shoulder, Expected to be out until at least Jul 20

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, Expected to be out until at least Aug 7

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, Expected to be out until at least Jul 26

Coming Up:

Saturday 7/20: Nationals at Braves, 7:20 p.m., SunTrust Park 

Sunday 7/21: Nationals at Braves, 7:20 p.m., SunTrust Park 

Monday 7/22: Nationals vs. Rockies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park 

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: 

Quick Links

Donaldson's 9th-inning single lifts Braves over Nats 4-3 despite Robles' heroics

robles_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports images

Donaldson's 9th-inning single lifts Braves over Nats 4-3 despite Robles' heroics

Donaldson's 9th-inning single lifts Braves over Nats 4-3

ATLANTA -- Josh Donaldson's bases-loaded single off Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning lifted the Atlanta Braves over the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Friday night after Luke Jackson allowed a tying, two-run homer to Victor Robles in the top half.

Ronald Acuna Jr., who had three hits, led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk off Rodney (0-3) and took second on Dansby Swanson's single. Freddie Freeman walked on four pitches, loading the bases.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez brought in left fielder Juan Soto as a fifth infielder, including three on the left side against the right-handed hitting Donaldson.

Donaldson hit a 2-0 pitch over Robles to center-field warning track, and the Braves boosted their NL East lead to 6 games over the second-place Nationals. Atlanta had lost its previous five home games against Washington.

Robles' homer went 446 feet to left, giving Jackson his seventh blown save in 24 chances.

Julio Teheran gave up one hit through five scoreless innings and retired 14 consecutive hitters before pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra singled with one out in the sixth. Anthony Rendon chased Teheran with a two-out RBI single.

Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin couldn't win on his 30th birthday while paired with catcher Yan Gomes, who turned 32. Corbin and Gomes became only the second pitcher-catcher tandem to start together on their birthdays since 1900, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Chicago Cubs pitcher Dave Hillman and catcher Jim Fanning did it against Pittsburgh on Sept. 14, 1957.

Corbin allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out Ozzie Albies with the bases loaded in the first and fanned Albies to end the fifth with two out.

Albies hit a two-out double in the fourth and scored on Austin Riley's double. Freeman was 2 for 20 in his career against Corbin before his RBI single in the fifth.

Acuna's RBI double against Tanner Rainey gave the Braves a 3-1 lead.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer, on the 10-day IL since July 10 with an injury originally announced as a mid-back strain, was given a cortisone shot on Tuesday to address inflammation in the bursa sac under his right shoulder blade. Scherzer still has some discomfort and must throw a bullpen session before cleared to pitch in a game. With Scherzer unavailable, RHP Austin Voth is expected to start in Sunday night's series finale.

Braves: RHP Patrick Weigel, who had Tommy John surgery in 2017, was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to make his major league debut Saturday. RHP Wes Parsons also was recalled from Gwinnett. RHPs Kyle Wright and Touki Toussaint were optioned to Gwinnett.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Anibal Sanchez (5-6, 3.71) is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts this season against the Braves, his former team.

Braves: Rookie RHP Mike Soroka (10-1, 2.24) will try to win his sixth straight decision on Saturday night. The 21-year-old right-hander became the youngest pitcher in franchise history to be selected an All-Star.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: