Victor Robles shines, but Nationals fall to Mets in the rain

September 24, 2018

The sloppy weather, lack of pinpoint control by the pitchers and general malaise at Nationals Park was befitting a home team that had been eliminated from postseason contention about 26 hours earlier.

Washington pitchers walked nine batters while Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil had the game of his life with a career-high 4-for-5 and a walk as New York defeated the Nationals 8-6 on Sunday afternoon. The loss came despite a homer, triple and three RBI from Nationals outfielder Victor Robles.

There were just a few hundred fans in the stands when the game began on Sunday afternoon. Rain delayed the first pitch by 25 minutes and the game was played in a consistent drizzle, with the grounds crew putting drying agents on the infield almost every half-inning.

The third-place Nationals finished the season 8-11 against the Mets (73-83) and are just 38-40 at home and 38-35 against the National League East. The division champion Braves are 47-23 against division foes after beating second-place Philadelphia 2-1 on Sunday.

Washington (78-78) is now at the .500 mark for the 28th time this season and will begin its last home series of the season Monday against the Miami Marlins.

After hitting a two-run triple in the eighth to get the Nationals closer, Robles made the last out in the ninth with a runner on. Trea Turner had cut the Mets lead to 8-6 with an RBI double in the eighth.

The Nationals led 3-1 in the third after Robles, making the start in left, hit a solo homer, Bryce Harper had an RBI double and Spencer Kieboom walked with the bases loaded.

It was the 99th RBI of the season for Harper, who has 34 homers and scored his 98th run in the third. Turner and Anthony Rendon each had two hits.

The Mets’ Jay Bruce drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the first to make it 1-0 off Nationals starter Erick Fedde (2-4), who allowed three runs in 31/3 innings.

The Nationals relievers have allowed 75 homers this season while the Mets bullpen has given up 81, the most in the league. Washington hurlers threw 192 pitches Sunday and the Mets left 13 runners on base.

The Nationals are slated to begin a series at home, weather permitting, Monday at 7:05 p.m. against the Marlins. Stephen Strasburg (9-7, 3.83) is scheduled to start for Washington against the Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara (2-1, 2.35).

Max Scherzer (17-7, 2.57) and Tanner Roark (9-15, 4.34) are the starters for the Nationals on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Marlins.

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