Mets first baseman Lucas Duda belted a grand slam in the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Reds, providing all of the offense starter Matt Harvey would need. But the Mets didn’t stop there. Curtis Granderson added a solo home run in the second inning and Michael Cuddyer plated a pair of runs in the third with a double. David Wright put the game out of reach with a three-run home run in the ninth.
Harvey threw 97 pitches over 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on nine hits while walking none and striking out six. He is officially past his innings limit, now at 183 1/3. Harvey left with two outs in the seventh, relieved by Addison Reed. Tyler Clippard worked a scoreless inning and Jeurys Familia nailed down the win with a scoreless ninth. He struck out Jay Bruce swinging to end the game.
With the 10-2 victory at Great American Ball Park, the Mets have officially clinched the NL East and earned their first trip to the playoffs since 2006.
Duda’s grand slam:
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.