Not much has come easily for the Nationals at the start of the season.
They were unable to score first in any of their first five games. And navigating the final outs of those games was a challenge for manager Dave Martinez — especially in the eighth inning, during which Nats relievers had been tagged for 14 runs. Even the club’s first two victories required a walk-off in the ninth inning.
But Thursday afternoon went much more smoothly. The Nationals jumped out to an early lead, rode a spectacular pitching performance from Stephen Strasburg, and their bullpen shut the door late, leading to a 4-0 victory to spoil the Mets’ home opener at Citi Field.
“The first two victories were a little tougher at the end,” Victor Robles — who launched a solo homer off Noah Syndergaard in the sixth inning for the Nats’ first hit — said through team interpreter Octavio Martinez. “But this team has all the tools to put together some good wins, and today was showing exactly how that can be. It definitely felt good to get this one under our belt.”