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Game 51: Blue Jays at Nats

Jun 2, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

Hey, let’s try this again. After last night’s washout, the Nationals and Blue Jays are back at the park early today, attempting to pull off a day-night doubleheader despite more rain in the forecast at various times during the day. (Actually, there’s rain in the rain in the forecast every day this week.)

Both teams are going with the same lineups and pitchers as planned yesterday. Jordan Zimmermann starts for the Nats against Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Denard Span remains out of the Nats’ lineup, still bothered by a swollen knee. Manager Matt Williams said Span will continue to get treatment during the afternoon and could be able to play in the 7:05 p.m. nightcap.

Also keep in mind that both teams are allowed to add a 26th active player for the second game of the doubleheader. For the Nationals, that most likely would be a reliever (perhaps Rafael Martin).

Stay tuned for updates throughout what could be a long day and night at the park…

TORONTO BLUE JAYS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
 Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183
Weather: Chance of rain, 67 degrees, Wind 11 mph in from CF

NATIONALS (28-22)
3B Yunel Escobar
SS Ian Desmond
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
C Wilson Ramos
LF Tyler Moore
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Michael Taylor
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

BLUE JAYS (23-29)
SS Jose Reyes
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
1B Justin Smoak
LF Chris Colabello
C Josh Thole
CF Ezequiel Carrera
2B Ryan Goins
RHP R.A. Dickey

UMPIRES
HP Toby Basner
1B Brian Knight
2B Vic Carapazza
3B Larry Vanover (cc)

1:07 p.m. — And we’re underway, with a light rain falling and a very sparse crowd in attendance for this makeup game.

1:25 p.m. — Jordan Zimmermann looked sharp in the top of the first, pitching around a 1-out single to Josh Donaldson by striking out Jose Reyes and Justin Smoak. The Nats, meanwhile, got two singles on two pitches from R.A. Dickey in the bottom of the inning, with Yunel Escobar and Ian Desmond get on base. But Bryce Harper didn’t look comfortable facing the knuckleball and struck out looking, then Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos lofted flyballs to end a scoreless first.

1:35 p.m. — A scoreless second inning as well. Zimmermann gave up a 2-out single to Ezequiel Carrera but also benefited from a nice sliding catch by Michael Taylor in center field. The Nats continue to be aggressive at the plate vs. Dickey, with a right-handed-hitting Danny Espinosa singling to left off the righty knuckleballer in the bottom of the second, but Taylor and Zimmermann striking out to end the inning. Still 0-0 here.

1:50 p.m. — Zimmermann is through three scoreless innings on only 38 pitches. The Nats have had more success against Dickey (four singles, two by Escobar) but nothing to show for it. Harper has had some really ugly swings; he actually looked more comfortable facing Aroldis Chapman’s 102-mph fastball the other day than he has so far facing Dickey’s knuckler. To the fourth we go…

2:27 p.m. — The Nats finally broke through in the fifth, with the big names driving in the runs. With runners on second and third and one out, Harper stepped up to bat. Normally, that would be an automatic intentional walk. But Bryce had looked so bad in his first two at-bats, the Blue Jays decided to pitch to him. Mistake, because Harper lined an RBI single up the middle. Moments later, Zimmerman battled his way through a long at-bat to send a sac fly to center. So it’s 2-0 Nats after five.

Chase taking over for Mark as he writes his postgame story

2:47 p.m. — No runs to report on in the sixth inning from either team. The only baserunner was Taylor for the Nats, who walked. That was with two outs as Zimmermann quickly lined out to right field to end the inning.

3:06 p.m. — Both teams threatened in the seventh inning, but it remains a 2-0 game. The Blue Jays got two runners in scoring position before a pinch-hitting Russell Martin grounded into a double play. The Nats saw Harper walk with two outs and steal second, but Zimmerman lined out to right field to end the inning. Zimmermman will go back out there having thrown 95 pitches. Dickey was removed during his at-bat last inning for Martin.

3:19 p.m. — Still 2-0 after eight innings as Drew Storen will take over to pitch the ninth.

3:26 p.m. — Nats beat Blue Jays 2-0 as Drew Storen earns his 17th save of the 2015 season. 1st game of the doubleheader is in the books.

  1. lplipty - Jun 2, 2015 at 12:05 PM

    a great article from FanGraphs about Bryce vs Chapman: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/lets-watch-bryce-harper-face-aroldis-chapman/

    • Doc - Jun 2, 2015 at 12:25 PM

      No time for a leg kick with Chapman throwing.

      Great link! Thanks!

  2. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 2, 2015 at 12:14 PM

    GYFNG!

  3. Doc - Jun 2, 2015 at 12:16 PM

    The Assassin is back, lurking in the bullpen!

    How many Bluejay K’s have been paid for????

  4. natsfan1a - Jun 2, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    Was out of town and didn’t see any of the Reds series. Probably just as well, I gather. I thought I might have a listen to a game on the drive home from Ohio last night, but then the game was postponed. Eh. Will be watching on the telly this afternoon, should a game actually happen. Here’s hoping that home cooking will help the team and me to feel more normal (whatever that it).

    Speaking of listening to games, at her funeral service, the preacher mentioned how my dear departed Aunt Mary, the nonagenerian Indians fan, went from growing up in a home with no electricity to listening to ballgames via her tablet. As they said on TWIB back in the day, how about that? My Aunt was no Luddite. 😉

    • laddieblahblah - Jun 2, 2015 at 12:38 PM

      I knew it. Someday jinxed ’em. I thought it was I. But it was Barzani, all along.

      • natsfan1a - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:32 PM

        If by Barzani you mean Santangelo, then I agree. 😉

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 2, 2015 at 12:42 PM

      Missed them myself, travelling for a wedding. So it evens up over the course of a season.

      My condolences to you and your family, and congratulations to her on what was doubtless a well-lived life.

      • natsfan1a - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:32 PM

        Thanks, Sofa.

    • tcostant - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:26 PM

      I was out of town Saurday, couldn’t believe my hotel at Natural Bridge didn’t have the Nationals game. I could have watched soccer from two differt locations, but no Nats. This was still Virginia. Hard to understand…

  5. natsfan1a - Jun 2, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    (Oh, yeah. Go Z’nn! Go, NATS!!)

    (And “is” not “it.”)

    (Okay, I’m done now.)

  6. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 2, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    (Actually, there’s rain in the rain in the forecast every day this week.)

    National Weather Service issues a recursive precipitation watch for the area through Friday!

  7. ITGSOT - Jun 2, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    Johnny and/or Ray must have gone on a bender last night. No Nats Xtra on MASN right now. Either that or Angelos doesn’t pay OT for the pregame-postgame crew. Holding my breath now to see if Bob and FP show up to broadcast the game.

    • nats128 - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:14 PM

      You know that.

  8. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:03 PM

    Do you remember 2nd round Draft Pick Andrew Suarez? He looks to be end of 2nd round to a 3rd round pick who won’t even get the money he was offered last year.

    He won’t admit he made a mistake, but he did. A costly one.

    • tcostant - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:16 PM

      Is he hurt or something? I just looked up his stats, and don’t see any for 2015.

      • tcostant - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:20 PM

        Okay, found this http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/miamis-andrew-suarez-searches-for-2014-form/

        Your right, of course.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:22 PM

        He was.

      • tcostant - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:29 PM

        I was keeping track of the P-Nats game yesterday, because I was going tio see Lucas Giolito pitch, but got scaried off by the weather. Well, he went 5 innings with no ER and 9K’s with two hits and two walks. Not to bad…

  9. nats128 - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:14 PM

    Good 1st inning for JZ. Struck out Smoak twice.

  10. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:20 PM

    Harper batting 3rd. Could we see Rendon 4th. I wonder.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:26 PM

      I think Harper’s third in part because Span’s out. If you’ve only got one lefthander in the lineup, doesn’t matter where he hits. But if Span’s leading off, less point in having Harper third, because the opposing manager can use a LHP to face the two of them.

      • jd - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:43 PM

        I agree. I think Rendon needs to hit 2nd behind Span and ahead of Escobar.

  11. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:35 PM

    Game plan must be to swing early at Dickey…

    • nats128 - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:38 PM

      I think you swing at every pitch that looks high or something like that. You get 3 swings at him.

  12. Hiram Hover - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:35 PM

    Dickey clearly hittable today. Need to string a few together.

  13. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    JZim with a nice reachback 95 heater. Such a great pitch to use to go up high in the zone.

  14. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    Did you see Danny tracking that foul pop-up. I’d say he could do well in LF with some reps.

    • natsdial8 - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:03 PM

      For sure Espi could play left at least at above average level. He is a plus glove, arm and speed and a natural ss. Not commenting on whether Nats would consider it or if it makes any sense but he could do it.

  15. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:50 PM

    Nats 0-6 with RISP.

  16. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 2, 2015 at 1:57 PM

    Ugh, I have a 2pm meeting… why does work get in the way when I am trying to list to C and D… Here’s to the Nats scoring 4 runs in my absence…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:00 PM

      Nats need your good thoughts even in your absence away from the game.

  17. manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:01 PM

    Well back in town after traveling with Nats. Enjoyed travelling, but their play was poor except Scherzer who was great.

  18. nats128 - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:02 PM

    Way to fight back JZ! A quick and efficient 4 innings by JZ with only with 54 pitches thrown.

  19. manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:02 PM

    Escobar’s base running is a weak link.

    On second, why no advance on the Desi hit? Then if Harper drounds to second we score.

  20. nats128 - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:07 PM

    Tyler Moore has so few at-bats that a hit just raised his average 16 points.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:09 PM

      Keep rising

  21. natsjackinfl - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    That was a good job by Desmond.

  22. letswin3 - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    It’s not like me to post during a game, but it looks like Zimmermann might be able to give the pen a break today. He’s at like 71 pitches through 6. The pen will likely be needed tonight, so go get em Zimmermann.

    • natsjackinfl - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:40 PM

      You know something about Scherzer we don’t?

      • letswin3 - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:43 PM

        Lol, nothing personal. I love Max.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:43 PM

      Perhaps more importantly, the pitches are piling up for Dickey, so maybe we can force Toronto to use a couple of relievers, making the second game harder for their pen.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:51 PM

      Maybe you’d better keep your day job. Looks like you just jinxed him.

  23. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    Okay, so they got 2… was being greedy in hoping 4… nice shut down inning too by JZim…

    Really hoping Rizzo can work his magic and sign J Zimm to a long term deal…

    • natsfan1a - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:33 PM

      That would be great.

      “Really hoping Rizzo can work his magic and sign J Zimm to a long term deal…”

  24. donkort - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    I hope Harper is out of his mini-slump

    At least, when he’s in a slight slump, he walks.

  25. manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    I go to my car for a minute and 2 guys are on. Come on JZim let’s not give up another late inning lead.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:52 PM

      It’s letswin’s fault. He jinxed Znn.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:57 PM

        Jzimm unjinxed himself.

        I jinxed the team on the road trip going to all 6 games.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:57 PM

        It’s my fault, for gloating over Dickey’s pitch count.

      • natsfan1a - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:34 PM

        No, I jinxed them by not watching. Or, wait, FP jinxed them by not being in the booth. Yeah, that’s the ticket. It was on FP. 😉

      • letswin3 - Jun 2, 2015 at 4:19 PM

        My intentions were good, Sofa. But I somehow wished and cajoled him through 8 innings to then hand it over to the most rested of bullpen guys, Mr. Storen … who managed the save. Good game, and a good start to the home stand.

  26. adcwonk - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:54 PM

    Big time pitching, big time fielding — DP !!

  27. jd - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:55 PM

    OK I can breath again.

  28. scnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:56 PM

    With every start like this JZim puts mad cash in his pocket

  29. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    Man, I never get tired of watching a good knuckleball on X-mo.

  30. manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    The air must be really heavy as Desmond’s ball was smoked and barely made it to left fielder.

  31. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    Nice going Jordan… just what we needed from a SP…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:15 PM

      Had you covered during your absence. Good job!

  32. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:14 PM

    A gem of a game by JZim to save the bullpen. ERA for JZim now at 2.88. Take out the fielding debacle on flyballs to CF in that Bosox game and JZim would be closer to 2.50

  33. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:15 PM

    I would pinchrun with Difo here for Ramos.

  34. TimDz - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:15 PM

    Is Chase an inning behind in his writeups?

  35. Nats_UrbanPlanner - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:17 PM

    When was the last time RZim had a hot and got on base? Dude is struggling.

    • adcwonk - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:23 PM

      he got BABIPed three times this game

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:28 PM

        Plus the SF. He is now 10 for 11 getting the run in from 3rd with < 2 outs. The man is working.

  36. adcwonk - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:22 PM

    Blue Jays lead MLB in runs scored — have not been shut out this entire season.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:24 PM

      Woooooooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooooooo!

      TM Michele Where-R-U?

    • adcwonk - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:24 PM

      until running into our awesome JZ-Storen combo today 😉

      • jd - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:26 PM

        Just what the doctor ordered. 8 innings from JZim and 1 perfect 9th from mr. automatic.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:27 PM

        I was all set to yell at you for jinxing that…

  37. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 2, 2015 at 3:25 PM

    And a snappy 2:24

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