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Nationals fall to Jacob deGrom, Mets on opening day

March 28, 2019

A well-hyped pitcher’s duel lived up to expectations at National Park.

In a battle of the last two Cy Young winners, Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets prevailed with a2-0 winover the Washington Nationals on opening day. Both pitchers were phenomenal, but Robinson Cano’s solo shot off Scherzer in the first inning and another Mets run in the eighth proved to be the difference.

Scherzer and deGrom had 12 and 10 strikeouts, respectively becoming the first pair of opposing starting pitchers to each fan at least 10 batters on opening day since 1970.

The Nationals failed to capitalize in key situations. Twice, Washington (0-1) had a runner in scoring position with zero outs only to come up short. The Nationals left six total on base throughout the game.

DeGrom, last year’s Cy Young winner, flummoxed the Nationals. He pitched six innings, allowing only five hits and walking one batter. More impressive, it was his 30th straight start in which he failed to give up three runs or fewer an MLB record.

Scherzer, though, performed just as well. In addition to his 12 strikeouts, Scherzer threw 76 strikes on 109 pitches. Through 7 ⅔ innings, he gave up just two hits.

“I’ve got to be careful to not be a fan today,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said before the game.“But you can get caught up in the moment seeing those two out there. They show theyre two of the best. It’s going to be a lot of fun, a lot of excitement.”

But in a game with such competitive pitching, mistakes proved to be costly. With two outs in the first, Cano sent a change-up from Scherzer into left-center field. Later in the eighth, Cano racked in an RBI single off reliever Justin Miller.

That earned run went against Scherzer, who allowed Dominic Smith to get on base before he was pulled for the game.

This story will be updated.