The torture continues for the New York Mets and their fans. Former Met Daniel Murphy did it to his old team again last night, hitting a solo home run in the top of the 10th inning to lead the Nats to a 4-3 victory over the Mets.
In this edition of “Nationals by the Numbers”, we look at the Nats’ dominance of the National League East over the past six seasons, achievements by the team in the current season and outstanding performances at the plate by Nats’ players against divisional foes.
Last night’s win in 10 innings at New York was Washington’s seventh in 11 extra inning contests so far in 2017. The team’s .636 winning percentage in such games has the Nats in line to post the fifth above .500 record in extra inning contests in the team’s 13 year history.
The Nats’ best mark in extra inning games was the 2015 team’s 9-2 record (.818 winning percentage). The 2012 division winning team won 13 of its 20 extra inning games for a .650 winning percentage. In 2011 Washington went 12-8 (.600), and the 2006 squad won 7 of 13 (.538).
While Daniel Murphy is public enemy number one in Flushing, New York these days, teammate Adam Lind is on his way to earning a special place in the hearts of the always vocal Mets’ faithful.
In 40 at bats against the Mets so far this year, Lind has put up a .394 batting average with six homers and 15 RBI. His 1.414 OPS against New York is the highest for any Nationals’ hitter with at least 30 at bats against the Mets. Murphy’s 1.139 OPS against New York, which includes nine homers and 35 runs driven in, is the second best total.
Stephen Strasburg fanned six Mets’ hitters last night, giving him 196 so far this season. Strasburg is on the verge of posting the second 200 plus strikeout campaign of his career. The righthander fanned a National League high 242 batters in 215 innings pitched in 2014. The all-star came close to the 200 mark in 2012 when he struck out 197 opponents.
Matt Wieters’ booming home run off of Matt Harvey last night gave him 10 round trippers on the year, and made him the ninth National with at least that many this season. The Nats, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers are tied among National League teams for the most batters with double digit home runs this year.
Sammy Solis earned the win last night with one inning of shutout pitching. In doing so, he became the 17th Nationals’ pitcher to earn a victory so far this year. The 17 pitchers with a victory on the year is the highest total for Washington since 22 hurlers picked up wins for the 2011 80 win Nationals’ squad (the 2015 Nats’ team also had 17 pitchers with victories).
Sean Doolittle earned his 20th save for the Nats’ this year last night, tying Mike Macdougal (2009 season) for the 10th highest save total in a season for Washington.
The high energy lefty has converted on all 20 of the save situations he’s been presented as a National, and he is in line to top Macdougal’s 95.2 save percentage as the best mark in Nats history for a pitcher with at least 20 saves.
Other Nats’ relievers near the top in save percentage in a season include Drew Storen (89.6 in 2011 while earning 43 saves), Chad Cordero (87.9, 29 saves in 2006) and Rafael Soriano (87.8, 43 saves in 2013).
It’s no secret to anyone who follows Major League Baseball that the Nationals have been the dominant team in the NL East over the past six seasons. But how dominant have they been?
Here are the win-loss totals for NL East teams from 2012 through games played last night (Sept. 23, 2017):
NEW YORK 470-494
The Nats have posted above .500 records in all six seasons from 2012 to the present. The other National League East teams have combined for four (two each by the Braves and the Mets).
An exceptional matchup of starting pitchers will be the draw in today’s finale of the Nationals’ three game set at New York. Washington’s Max Scherzer and New York’s Jacob de Grom square off in a battle of two of the Major League’s finest.
Scherzer is 5-2 with a 1.79 ERA in his career at Citi Field, and has struck out 80 Mets in only 55.1 innings pitched.
de Grom has won five of his eight decisions against the Nats, and has a 2.75 ERA when facing Washington. Anthony Rendon (0-16, five strikeouts), Michael A. Taylor (0-17, 10 strikeouts) and Jayson Werth (1 for 15, five strikeouts) have struggled mightily against the lanky Mets’ hurler.