Nats’ Scherzer has rough outing vs. Mets

By Bill Ladson

WASHINGTON — After Monday’s 8-5 loss to the Mets, Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer said he was going to have a sleepless night trying to figure out why he has allowed so many home runs lately.

“I think it’s frustrating because everybody thinks they could have done something better today. It starts with me,” Scherzer said. “I know I can pitch better. I give [the Mets] credit for what they were able to accomplish. I’m not taking anything away from them. … When I’m up, they were able to punish me. I accept that. I’m not here to shy away from that.”

The Mets were able to get to Scherzer early by taking a 3-0 lead after 3 1/2 innings. All three runs came on solo home runs by Michael Conforto, Kelly Johnson and Yoenis Cespedes. In fact, Scherzer has allowed 14 home runs and three homers in a game three times during the second half of the season.

Scherzer then was given a 5-3 lead in the fourth inning, thanks to the grand slam by Wilson Ramos and RBI double by Jayson Werth. But Scherzer couldn’t hold on to the lead.

Curtis Granderson had an RBI double an inning later to make it a one-run game in favor of the Nationals. After Cespedes led off the sixth inning with a double, Scherzer balked Cepedes to third and that allowed Travis d’Arnaud to tie the score with a sacrifice fly.

Scherzer acknowledged he was disappointed that he couldn’t hold on to the lead.

“I was making mistakes in the zone,” Scherzer said. “I’m leaving the ball thigh-high instead of getting the ball down in the knees. That’s something that has been systematic in the second half. That’s something I have to get better at. I have to get the ball down in the zone, getting it back at knee level. That’s what is going to keep me up late tonight. I have to figure out how to do that.”

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