Nationals Park Washington

New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals Pick & Prediction MAY 12TH 2022

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Logo Washington Nationals

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After finally digging a hole too deep to climb out of Wednesday night, the New York Mets will spend Thursday afternoon trying to avoid an experience they've dodged thus far this season -- losing a series.

The Mets will look to maintain their unbeaten series record when they visit the Washington Nationals in a matinee finale of a three-game set.

Taijuan Walker (0-0, 4.91 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets against Joan Adon (1-5, 6.99 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.

The Nationals earned an 8-3 win in the middle game of the series Wednesday night, when Juan Soto and Nelson Cruz homered against Tylor Megill to bookend an eight-run outburst over the first two innings.

With memories of a pair of big ninth-inning comebacks still fresh in their minds, the Mets weren't fazed by the early deficit Tuesday. New York scored five times in the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 on April 25, and they stunned the Philadelphia Phillies by scoring seven runs in the ninth -- the last four with two outs -- in an 8-7 victory on May 5.

However, while New York relievers Trevor Williams and Stephen Nogosek blanked the Nationals over the final 6 2/3 innings, the Mets -- who scored all their runs Wednesday in the top of the first -- couldn't get any closer against Aaron Sanchez and a trio of Washington relievers.

The Mets stranded two runners in the seventh, when Starling Marte lined out to leaping second baseman Cesar Hernandez for the final out. In the ninth, the Nationals' Paolo Espino retired the final three batters after allowing singles to Eduardo Escobar and Jeff McNeil.

The result put New York -- which went 8-0-1 in its first nine series -- in danger of absorbing a series loss.

"That well is hard to go to every time," Mets manager Buck Showalter said. "I kept thinking we might get back in it, but we just didn't string enough together."

The eight-run outburst against Megill -- who had allowed just nine runs in his first six starts combined -- continued a season-long all-or-nothing stretch for the Nationals, who have scored six runs or more nine times and two runs or fewer 12 times.

The eight runs in the first two innings were more than the Nationals scored in their previous 22 innings combined dating back to a 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.

"I told the guys: 'Hey, just chip away,' " Nationals manager Davey Martinez said. "'Just try to score. Come back with a score right away.' And they scored a lot more. It was awesome."

The Mets' comeback against the Phillies spared Walker the loss on May 5, when he gave up seven runs (six earned) over four innings. Adon took a defeat on Friday, when he gave up three runs over five innings as the Nationals fell 3-0 to the Angels.

Walker is 1-1 with a 5.24 ERA in four career starts against the Nationals. Adon made his lone appearance against the Mets on April 9, when he took the loss after allowing four runs over 4 1/3 innings in New York's 5-0 victory.

--Field Level Media

New York Mets
Washington Nationals

New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals Recap MAY 12TH 2022

Taijuan Walker pitched through some apparent discomfort to toss seven scoreless innings and the New York Mets won another series with a 4-1 victory over the host Washington Nationals on Thursday afternoon.

Mark Canha had three hits -- including a homer -- and three RBIs for the Mets, who are unbeaten in 10 series this season with nine wins and a four-game split with the Atlanta Braves last week. They took two of three from the Nationals.

New York is the first National League team -- and the second one in the majors, after the crosstown Yankees -- to reach 22 victories.

The Nationals have lost six of eight.

Walker (1-0) was stretching constantly on the mound following a two-run top of the first by the Mets and was also pictured wearing a wrap around his back between innings. But the right-hander pitched to contact in throwing just 85 pitches while allowing three hits and one walk with one strikeout.

It was the longest scoreless outing for Walker since he also blanked the Nationals on three hits over seven innings on April 25, 2021.

The Nationals ran their way out of their best scoring chance in the fourth, when Juan Soto doubled before he got caught in a rundown on Josh Bell's grounder to third. Walker applied the tag on Soto and then threw into right field trying to get Bell as he advanced to second. But Starling Marte backed up the throw and fired to shortstop Francisco Lindor, who tagged Bell as he tried reaching third.

Seth Lugo struck out two in a perfect eighth and Edwin Diaz struck out two before giving up a two-out homer to Soto in the ninth.

The Mets provided Walker all the offense he'd need in the first, when Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil drew walks against Joan Adon (1-6) before Canha laced a two-out, two-run single.

Canha sparked the rally that chased Adon in the fourth, when the left fielder legged out an infield single, went to second when J.D. Davis was hit by a pitch, took third on a fielder's choice grounder by Luis Guillorme and scored on Tomas Nido's single.

Canha then greeted Steve Cishek with a leadoff homer in the ninth.

Adon allowed three runs on three hits and five walks while striking out two over 3 2/3 innings.

--Field Level Media

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