Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Washington plays at New York tonight on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
There will be various remembrances before and during tonight's game. The Mets will wear NYPD and FDNY caps during batting practice. The Nationals will wear their blue stars and stripes jerseys (the first time they've ever worn those on the road). And then they'll play a ballgame, celebrating once again baseball's ability to bring everyone together.
This particular game features a great pitching matchup, with Jordan Zimmermann starting for the Nationals against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who seeks to join Gio Gonzalez as the only 19-game winners in the majors.
Updates to come, so please check back...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at NEW YORK METS
Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Clear, 74 degrees, Wind 3 mph out to LF
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
SS Ruben Tejada
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
1B Ike Davis
RF Mike Baxter
LF Jason Bay
CF Andres Torres
C Josh Thole
RHP R.A. Dickey
HP Rob Drake
1B Joe West (cc)
2B Mike Muchlinski
3B Sam Holbrook
7:20 p.m. -- And the Nats pounce on R.A. Dickey for a first-inning run (only the fourth he's surrendered all year). Jayson Werth got it started with his 12th career hit off the knuckleballer, then Bryce Harper continued it with his first career hit off him: a double down the left-field line. Ryan Zimmerman's sacrifice fly brought Werth home and gave the Nats an early 1-0 lead.
7:37 p.m. -- Wow, crazy bottom of the first for Jordan Zimmermann. He issued two walks and allowed a base hit, loading the bases in the process. But he struck out three, including David Wright on a beautiful curveball and the Mike Baxter and Jason in succession with the bases loaded. It took 33 pitches, but Zimmermann escapes the first inning without allowing a run.
7:48 p.m. -- Much better stuff from Zimmermann in the bottom of the second. He did give up a one-out single to Josh Thole -- though Michael Morse almost made a nifty, sliding catch of the sinking liner -- but forced Dickey into a bad bunt that set up a 3-6-4 double play to end the inning. Still 1-0 Nats through two.
8:10 p.m. -- Zimmermann continues to struggle to find the strike zone, and he continues to struggle with just about everybody in the Mets lineup ... except for Wright. Jordan again struck out the All-Star third baseman in the bottom of the third, this time on an 87 mph slider. Overall, though, he's thrown a whopping 68 pitches through three innings, somehow not allowing a run so far. Still 1-0 Nats.
8:22 p.m. -- Finally a 1-2-3 inning for Zimmermann in the fourth, with some help from Harper and Zimmerman (who each made nice catches on line drives). He's at 83 pitches (51 strikes).
8:29 p.m. -- The good news: The Nats' 1-2 combo owns Dickey tonight. Werth and Harper have combined to reach all six times they've stepped to the plate. The bad news: Everybody else has reached once in 15 plate appearances. Zimmerman in particular is killing them, twice stranding two men on. It's still 1-0 in the middle of the fifth.
8:43 p.m. -- And the Mets finally string together some hits off Zimmermann in the fifth, scoring a couple of runs to take a 2-1 lead. Seemed like only a matter of time before they cashed in against him. Murphy's RBI double into the left-field corner brought home the tying run. Wright's RBI single past a diving Desmond brought home the go-ahead run. Zimmermann has now thrown 104 pitches through five laborious innings, and you've got to wonder if that'll be it for him tonight. Tom Gorzelanny was warming in the pen as the inning came to a close.
8:50 p.m. -- Zimmermann is indeed done, with Gorzelanny taking the mound for the sixth. Jordan's final line: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 104 pitches. Nats still trailing 2-1.
9:05 p.m. -- Whoa, Tyler Moore to the rescue. Comes off the bench cold and crushes the first knuckleball he sees from Dickey into the left-field bleachers. And since Suzuki was on base in front of him, the Nats suddenly own a 3-2 lead at the seventh-inning stretch. That's nine homers for Moore in only 138 at-bats. Not bad for a rookie seeing part-time action. Not bad at all.
9:14 p.m. -- Wow, Christian Garcia. Just filthy. He strikes out the side in the bottom of the seventh. He's got seven K's and zero walks in 4 2/3 major-league innings. Seriously, this guy is making a case for a spot in the October bullpen.
9:36 p.m. -- For the eighth inning, Davey went to Garcia for the first out. Then Michael Gonzalez for the second out. Then Drew Storen for the third out. And it worked. A 1-2-3 inning. Onto the ninth, the Nats still clinging to a 3-2 lead.
10:04 p.m. -- And the red-hot Suzuki delivers again, this time producing a big insurance run in the top of the ninth to put the Nationals up 4-2. And then the even red-hotter Harper delivers his fourth hit of the night, driving in another run to make it 5-2. Here's Tyler Clippard in search of his 31st save.
10:16 p.m. -- Ballgame. Nats win 5-3 after Scott Hairston homered off Clippard with one out. It's their 88th win of the season. Their lead at this moment is 7 games, with a chance to make it 7 1/2 if the Braves (currently trailing 1-0 in the seventh) can't rally. The magic number for the division is currently 14, for the wild card it's 8.