September 7, 2015: Mets Come Back to Beat Nationals

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Date: September 7, 2015
Mets starter: Jonathon Niese
Mets: 8
Nationals: 5
Winning pitcher: Dario Alvarez
Key player(s): David Wright, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes
Key play: d'Arnaud's sacrifice fly, Wright's single, Cespedes's double

The Mets faced the Nationals on Labor Day afternoon in Washington. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. The Mets came from behind for an 8-5 win.

Nats' starter Max Scherzer pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. The Mets' Jonathon Niese retired the side in order in the bottom half and Michael Conforto slugged a home run to lead off the top of the second. Travis d'Arnaud grounded out to shortstop Ian Desmond and a homer by Kelly Johnson increased the Mets' lead to 2-0. Scherzer struck out the next two batters to end the inning and Ryan Zimmerman singled to begin the bottom half. Yunel Escobar hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Wilmer Flores and a single by Desmond followed. Niese then got Wilson Ramos on a double play grounder to second baseman Johnson for the inning's final outs.

Scherzer hurled a perfect top of the third. Niese shut down the Nationals in the bottom half and Yoenis Cespedes homered to begin the top of the fourth. Scherzer retired the next three Mets batters to close out the inning and Zimmerman singled against Niese to open the bottom half. Escobar followed with a single and Desmond drew a walk to load the bases. Ramos connected for a grand slam that put the Nats ahead by a run. Michael Taylor singled and advanced to second base on Scherzer's sacrifice bunt. Jayson Werth hit a double to score Taylor for a 5-3 Washington lead. Mets' reliever Carlos Torres fanned Anthony Rendon and issued an intentional walk to Bryce Harper. Torres then got Zimmerman to pop out to third baseman David Wright and finish off the inning.

Ruben Tejada got a one-out double in the top of the fifth. Curtis Granderson doubled to drive home Tejada and cut the Nationals' lead to 5-4. Wright and Daniel Murphy were retired on infield ground balls to close out the inning and consecutive singles by Escobar and Desmond began the bottom half. Ramos flied out to center fielder Cespedes. Taylor grounded back to Torres to move the runners to second and third base. Mets' reliever Erik Goeddel then retired Scherzer on a grounder to second baseman Flores (who had shifted from shortstop) for the inning's third out.

Cespedes got a leadoff double in the top of the sixth. Conforto flied out to right fielder Harper and a balk sent Cespedes to third base. D'Arnaud followed with a sacrifice fly that brought home Cespedes and tied the game at 5-5. Scherzer retired Goeddel on a ground ball to Desmond to end the inning. Goeddel and Mets' reliever Dario Alvarez then combined for a perfect bottom half.

Flores singled against Nationals' reliever Blake Treinen to open the top of the seventh. Tejada followed with a bunt on which Treinen threw to Desmond for an out at second base on Flores. Granderson drew a walk against Washington's Felipe Rivero. Wright hit a single against the Nats' Casey Janssen to plate Tejada with the go-ahead run and move Granderson to third. Against the Nationals' Matt Thornton, Murphy hit a sacrifice fly to score Granderson for a 7-5 Mets lead. Cespedes doubled to bring home Wright with the eighth New York run of the game. Thornton got Conforto on an inning-ending line drive to second baseman Rendon. Mets' reliever Hansel Robles then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Washington reliever Rafael Martin gave up only a single to Flores in the top of the eighth. Robles pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and Martin surrendered just a walk to Granderson in the top of the ninth. Werth singled against the Mets' Jeurys Familia to begin the bottom half. Rendon took a called third strike and Harper was also struck out. Familia then fanned Zimmerman to close out the game. The Mets had a holiday victory to start the series.