Rick Porcello earned his 150th career win by throwing seven strong innings Wednesday night, and the New York Mets earned a 3-1 victory over the Washington Nationals, who lost ace Max Scherzer after just one inning.
The victory salvaged a split of the two-game series for the Mets, who got two RBIs from Dominic Smith.
The Nationals appeared to have the advantage beforehand with Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner with 21 strikeouts in his first two starts this year, going against Porcello, who gave up 11 runs (nine earned) over six innings in his first two starts with the Mets.
But television cameras captured Erick Fedde throwing alongside Scherzer during the latter's warmups, an indication Scherzer's night could be a short one. Scherzer, 36, appeared to labor throughout his lone inning, during which he issued a leadoff walk to Brandon Nimmo and allowed a single to Michael Conforto before Smith lofted a sacrifice fly two batters later.
Scherzer struck out one while reaching 92-93 mph with his fastball. He also appeared to grimace after throwing his final pitch to J.D. Davis, but the team did not announce the reason he left the game.
The brief outing marked just the second time in 359 big league starts Scherzer has lasted fewer than two innings. He exited a start against the Miami Marlins after one inning on Aug. 1, 2017, due to neck spasms.
The Nationals tied the game in the bottom of the first when Adam Eaton doubled with one out and Juan Soto, making his first appearance of the season after missing the first 13 days due to a positive coronavirus test, doubled with two outs.
Porcello (1-1) allowed just three more hits, all singles, and retired the final 10 batters he faced. He walked none and struck out four in becoming the 10th active pitcher to reach 150 wins and the 263rd to do so in big league history.
Seth Lugo threw two perfect innings for his second save.
Luis Guillorme's RBI single off Fedde (0-1) gave the Mets the lead in the fourth, and Smith laced a run-scoring double in the seventh. Billy Hamilton, making his Mets debut, went 0-for-4 but stole his 300th career base in the fourth.
Soto finished 2-for-4.
--Field Level Media