Sep 8, 2015, 3:18 PM EDT
Monday’s series opener was a letdown for the Nationals, as they blew a sixth inning lead and lost ground in the NL East. But they have a chance to bounce back on Tuesday night and give themselves an opportunity for a big series win.
Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.38) will start for the Nationals against Matt Harvey (12-7, 2.60), who has had quite the tumultuous week. Harvey has been at the epicenter of lots of media scrutiny surrounding the plan to potentially shut him down this season due to an innings limit.
Zimmermann is coming off two strong outings at home. He has allowed only two runs in 13 total innings against the Marlins and Braves. The last time he faced the Mets was Aug. 2 when he gave up five earned runs off three homers in six innings of work.
UDPATE: Ryan Zimmerman is out of the lineup for the second time in three days.
One would imagine this also has to do with his sore left foot. Matt Williams revealed pregame that Zimmerman has soreness in his left oblique. For more on that, click here.
Both Mark and I are back at the park again, so please check back for updates…
NEW YORK METS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183/857
Weather: Sunny, 87 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from RF
LF Jayson Werth
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
3B Yunel Escobar
1B Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
CF Michael Taylor
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
RF Curtis Granderson
CF Yoenis Cespedes
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
1B Lucas Duda
C Travis d’Arnaud
RF Michael Conforto
SS Wilmer Flores
RHP Matt Harvey
HP Dana DeMuth (cc)
1B Mike Estabrook
2B Ed Hickox
3B Paul Nauert
7:05 p.m. — We are underway on a 92-degree night here in D.C.
7:26 p.m. — Wow, quite a first inning for the Nats. They got a pair of highlight-reel defensive plays from Ian Desmond and Michael Taylor to ensure a 1-2-3 top of the first for Jordan Zimmermann. Then they pounced on Matt Harvey for two runs and four hits in the bottom of the inning. All the hits were singles, from Anthony Rendon, Yunel Escobar, Clint Robinson and Desmond. The last three all came with two outs, with Robinson and Desmond driving in the runs. Big start to this game for the Nats, who were quite aggressive against Harvey; he only threw 18 pitches despite facing seven batters. 2-0 Nats after one.
7:43 p.m. — Zimmermann left a 3-2 fastball over the plate to David Wright, and the Mets’ captain crushed it down the left-field line for a solo homer. The Nats, though, bounced right back to get the run back in the bottom of the inning thanks to Taylor’s leadoff walk, Zimmermann’s tough sac bunt on a fastball up and in, and Rendon’s RBI single down the third-base line. That’s three 2-out RBI hits for the Nats in two innings so far. They lead 3-1 after two.
7:58 p.m. — So, Harper hasn’t exactly had much success in his career against Harvey. Like, no success at all. After grounding out weakly to second to lead off the third, he’s now 0-for-20 in his career vs. the flamethrower. Yikes. Still 3-1 Nats after three.
8:10 p.m. — Zimmermann continues to look sharp. He has five strikeouts through four innings, the only baserunners allowed coming on Wright’s homer and Granderson’s walk in the third. His pitch count is a bit high, though, at 66. Still 3-1 after four.
8:25 p.m. — Zimmermann is still cruising, through five innings of 1-run ball. His pitch count is at 84, which is still a bit on the high end. This will be a big sixth inning for him now. The Nats would really love to get him through seven tonight. Still 3-1.
Chase here taking over for Mark as he begins his game story
9:01 p.m. — The Nationals pushed four more runs across in the sixth to make it a 7-1 game and knocked Harvey out of the game along the way. All four came home on one swing, a single up the middle by Taylor with the bases loaded. But the groundball straight to center got past Cespedes for an E8 and Taylor – sore right knee and all – came all the way around to score. Zimmermann also left the game after giving up a triple to Granderson. That was with one out and he then got Cespedes to go down swinging, much to the delight of the crowd at Nats Park. Matt Williams brought in Matt Thornton in for the third out. On to the sixth we go where Blake Treinen will take the mound.
9:51 p.m. — Oh my, where to start? We’ve seen the Nationals have trouble in the seventh inning, but this one has to top them all. And we’ve seen Drew Storen implode in big games before, but we’ve never seen anything quite like this. Treinen gave up the first run on a single to Flores. Felipe Rivero then came in and issued back-to-back walks for the second run. That brought in Storen, who just couldn’t find the strike zone. He allowed a bases-clearing double to Cespedes and then walked Duda with the bases loaded to allow the Mets to tie it. Storen walked three batters in total and ended up with only seven strikes on 22 total pitches. It was a complete disaster and Williams didn’t warm anyone up in time to replace him. They went from 7-1 to tied at 7-7 all in one inning. Unbelievable.
10:08 p.m. — Yeah, it got even worse in the eight. Jonathan Papelbon came in and served up a pinch-hit, go-ahead homer to Kirk Niewenhuis. That gave the Mets an 8-7 lead. Tyler Clippard then came in for the Mets and carved up the bottom of the Nats’ order to push it to the ninth. Man, that was awkward.
10:28 p.m. — Game over. Escobar grounds into a double play for the final out. Nats lose, fall to 6 games back in NL East.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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