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Snap Judgments: MLB Game of the Week (Nationals-Mets, 06.15.17)

Robert Cole/ALOST
Like death and taxes, Gio Gonzalez twirling a masterpiece at Citi Field is a guarantee, as he improved to 10-1 in his career at the ball park after a seven-inning gem tonight. (Robert Cole/ALOST)
It might not be exactly like death and taxes, but Gio Gonzalez twirling a masterpiece at Citi Field is almost guaranteed, as he improved to 10-1 in his career at the ball park after tossing a seven-inning gem on Thursday. (Robert Cole/ALOST)

 

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

 

NEW YORK — Once again, Gio Gonzalez took to the mound at Citi Field and turned it into his home away from home. Once again, Daniel Murphy tormented his old employer. Once again, the New York Mets were not able to play nine innings without having another key player suffer a significant injury.

Gonzalez allowed only two earned runs on five hits over seven innings and Murphy added three hits and two runs batted in as the NL East-leading Washington Nationals opened up a four-game series with its closest pursuer in the division with an 8-3 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday night.

The result probably should be of no surprise, especially given who was on the mound for the Nationals. Gonzalez came into tonight’s game sporting a 9-1 record and a 1.62 earned run average in 14 career starts at Citi Field, and, once again, was rarely threatened in his latest outing in Flushing. He took the mound in the bottom of the first already sporting a lead, as Bryce Harper hit a two-out solo home run in the top of the frame off Mets starter Robert Gsellman to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.

The biggest hit of the contest came from another Nationals’ left-handed hitter, but from the bat of Murphy, the 2015 NLCS MVP while a member of the Mets. With runners on first and third and one out in the fifth, Murphy grounded a ball down the line that went under the glove of first baseman Lucas Duda and into right field for a triple, scoring Brian Goodwin and Ryan Zimmerman to give Washington a 4-1 advantage.

Murphy now owns a .394 lifetime batting average against the Mets, the second-highest average by an opponent against New York with a minimum of 100 at-bats, only trailing Hall of Famer Stan Musial’s .405 clip against the Metropolitans.

One batter later, Anthony Rendon blooped a single into center field to score Murphy. On that play, Mets center fielder Juan Lagares dove head first to try and make the catch, but, in the process, broke his left thumb and had to be removed from the game. Lagares is the latest New York Met regular to go down with a significant injury, and it came off the heels of second baseman Neil Walker having to come out of yesterday’s game against the Cubs with a severe hamstring injury and Matt Harvey leaving the same game with what turned out to be a stress injury in his throwing shoulder.

Before coming out, Lagares probably made the biggest play for the Mets in the contest, throwing out Bryce Harper at home to end the top of the third inning on a single up the middle by Murphy.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from tonight’s game, with all photos taken by our senior photographer, Robert Cole. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 34 pictures in total.

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