Rapid Reaction: Nationals' Max Scherzer no-hits Mets

NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey dominated in his final regular-season start. Opposing pitcher Max Scherzer countered with a historic performance.

Scherzer tossed his second no-hitter of the season, and the New York Mets were swept in a split doubleheader, with a 2-0 loss to the Washington Nationals in the nightcap on Saturday at Citi Field. Scherzer struck out a Nationals-record 17 batters, including nine straight, until Curtis Granderson popped out to complete the no-hit bid.

Scherzer retired the first 15 Mets batters. Third baseman Yunel Escobar then bounced a throw to first base on Kevin Plawecki's leadoff grounder in the bottom of the sixth. The error ended Scherzer’s perfect-game bid. Daniel Murphy replaced Plawecki at first base after a fielder’s choice that frame, but Scherzer did not allow another baserunner.

Scherzer also no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 20. Five days ago, he took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds.

Scherzer became the first pitcher with two no-hitters in the same regular season since Nolan Ryan with the California Angels in 1973. Including the postseason, Roy Halladay is the most recent to perform the feat twice in a year. He did so in 2010 with the Philadelphia Phillies, with the latter coming in the Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Mets were no-hit June 9 by San Francisco Giants right-hander Chris Heston. The Amazin’s join the Dodgers in being no-hit twice this season. Previously, the latest team to be no-hit twice in a season was the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010.

The Mets (89-72) have lost five straight games. They have scored one run in their past 35 innings.

If the Los Angeles Dodgers (90-70) beat the San Diego Padres late Saturday night, the Mets will open their Division Series at Dodger Stadium on Friday.

In both games of the doubleheader, a fielding letdown by the Mets helped decide the game. In a scoreless game in the top of the sixth in the nightcap, Michael Taylor sent a leadoff grounder to third base. Kelly Johnson failed to field the baseball for an E-5. Taylor eventually scored on Wilson Ramos’ sacrifice fly against Harvey for a 1-0 lead.

In the afternoon game, second baseman Daniel Murphy and shortstop Ruben Tejada each had letdowns on a would-be inning-ending double play in the eighth. Bryce Harper followed with a tiebreaking two-run homer against Addison Reed in Washington’s 3-1 win.

Harvey departed after six innings. He allowed one unearned run on four hits while striking out 11 in a 91-pitch effort. Harvey finished the season with a 13-8 record and 2.71 ERA. He logged 189 1/3 innings, considerably more than the 180-inning limit advocated by his agent, Scott Boras.

Noah Syndergaard had 10 strikeouts in the matinee. Syndergaard and Harvey became the first Mets pitchers to produce double-digit strikeouts on the same day since Jon Matlack (10) and Jerry Koosman (11) on April 14, 1974, against the Phillies, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Hansel Robles, who appealed a three-game suspension for throwing in the direction of Cameron Rupp's head Wednesday in Philadelphia, surrendered a solo homer to Dan Uggla in the seventh as the Nats opened a 2-0 lead.

What’s next: The Mets complete their regular season and again bid for that elusive 90th win at 3:10 p.m. ET Sunday. Jacob deGrom (14-8, 2.60 ERA) opposes right-hander Tanner Roark (4-7, 4.63).