Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Werth's return will help, but the Nationals will need better offensive production up and down their lineup, trying to escape the MLB basement in on-base percentage. They drew six total walks over their last seven games, a rate that simply cannot be sustained.
Jordan Zimmermann, meanwhile, takes the mound, trying to forget about his rare poor start last week in Baltimore and get back on track against a poor Mets lineup. If he can do that, the right-hander will earn his ninth win of the season in his third attempt.
[UPDATE AT 5:30 P.M. — You've probably heard by now about the flurry of roster moves the Nationals have made, but here they are in condensed form: Jayson Werth has been activated off the DL, Danny Espinosa (wrist) has been placed on the DL, Henry Rodriguez and Zach Duke have been designated for assignment, Anthony Rendon has been recalled from Class AAA Syracuse and left-hander Ian Krol has had his contract purchased from Class AA Harrisburg. Chase Hughes has the full story here, which he'll be updating shortly with quotes from Davey Johnson and Mike Rizzo.]
Updates to come, so please check back...
NEW YORK METS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 183
Weather: Clear, 75 degrees, Wind 5 mph LF to RF
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
2B Steve Lombardozzi
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
SS Omar Quintanilla
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
LF Lucas Duda
C John Buck
1B Ike Davis
RF Jordany Valdespin
CF Rick Ankiel
RHP Jeremy Hefner
HP Wally Bell
1B Marty Foster
2B Tim McClelland (cc)
3B Marvin Hudson
5:30 P.M. — You've probably heard by now about the flurry of roster moves the Nationals have made, but here they are in condensed form: Jayson Werth has been activated off the DL, Danny Espinosa (wrist) has been placed on the DL, Henry Rodriguez and Zach Duke have been designated for assignment, Anthony Rendon has been recalled from Class AAA Syracuse and left-hander Ian Krol has had his contract purchased from Class AA Harrisburg. Chase Hughes has the full story here, which he'll be updating shortly with quotes from Davey Johnson and Mike Rizzo.
7:05 p.m. — And after a busy day of major roster moves, we're underway with baseball. Jordan Zimmermann fires strike one to Omar Quintanilla. Jayson Werth is in right field, having received a big ovation from the crowd upon his return from the DL.
7:13 p.m. — Solid top of the first for Zimmermann, with only one blip: He drilled David Wright with a high-and-tight fastball, causing a brief scare. Wright, though, was OK and trotted down to first base. Otherwise, Zimmermann was outstanding, getting a couple of popups and a groundball out. We go to the bottom of the first.
7:19 p.m. — Nothing doing for the Nats in the bottom of the first, but that doesn't mean there wasn't a significant development: Jayson Werth drilled a ball to the gap in right-center in his first at-bat off the DL. Rick Ankiel chased it down at the wall (as he always does) but the fans applauded Werth as he retreated to the dugout, recognizing that he just made really solid contact (an encouraging sign, obviously). Scoreless after one.
7:35 p.m. — Ian Desmond with his eighth homer of the season (and second in as many games), a bullet down the left-field line. Unfortunately, there was nobody on base, so it's yet another solo homer. But the Nats are up 1-0 after two.
7:41 p.m. — Nice double play turned by Zimmerman, Lombardozzi and LaRoche to end the top of the third. Zimmermann is now at 43 pitches through three scoreless. FYI on the plan at second base: Davey said he didn't want to throw Anthony Rendon to the wolves tonight because he had just flown in from Syracuse and got little sleep. But he's expected to be at second base tomorrow night and take over everyday duties moving forward.
7:57 p.m. — Well, so much for a dramatic offensive explosion from the Werth-bolstered Nats lineup. The only man to reach base through four innings is Desmond, who homered. Fortunately, Zimmermann is cruising along hmself with four scoreless innings. So the Nats still lead 1-0 as we go to the fifth.
8:14 p.m. — Chase here taking over for a bit as Mark is writing something about the Biogenesis report. The Mets got on the board in the fifth inning, taking the lead of a Quintanilla RBI triple. He batted home Valdespin who reached on a single and Ankiel who reached on a throwing error by LaRoche. Zimmermann got out of the jam with Quintanilla on third, but the Mets now lead 2-1.
8:20 p.m. — You know a lineup is struggling when Jeremy Hefner takes a one-hitter into the fifth inning. Lombardozzi finally got the Nats lineup their second hit with a two-out single, but a Suzuki lineout ended any hope of getting a rally going. Hefner is through five now having thrown only 63 pitches (43 strikes).
8:27 p.m. — 1-2-3 inning for Zimmermann who retired Wright, Duda, and Buck all on balls put in play. The right-hander will now lead off the bottom of the sixth with the top of the order behind him.
8:41 p.m. — Mark back at the con. Be sure to read by article on Gio Gonzalez and the Biogenesis story, just posted on the homepage. Meanwhile, stop me if you've heard this one: The Nats put men in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth and failed to bring them home. Zimmerman struck out at a 92 mph fastball down the middle from Hefner. Then after LaRoche walked to load the bases with two outs, Desmond grounded out weakly to third. That sums up not only tonight but the entire season for the Nats, who still trail 2-1 as we move to the seventh.
8:54 p.m. — Seven innings in the books and the Nats produced all of four hits and a walk against Jeremy Hefner, who entered 1-5 with a 4.74 ERA. So that's now seven TOTAL walks drawn over their last eight games. That's not good. Still 2-1 moving to the eighth.
9:02 p.m. — You couldn't ask for much more out of Zimmermann tonight: 8 innings, 0 earned runs, 4 hits and 1 walk. But barring a late rally, he's in line for the loss. Still 2-1 Mets.
9:10 p.m. — Nothing happening in the bottom of the eighth for the Nats. They've now gone down in order five times in eight innings tonight. They've had two outs and nobody on base in seven of the eight innings.
9:19 p.m. — Last chance for the Nats. It'll be Zimmerman, LaRoche and Desmond in the ninth against Bobby Parnell.
9:33 p.m. — Nats win! Nats win! They stormed back to do it in the bottom of the ninth. Zimmerman doubled, took third on a wild pitch, then scored on LaRoche's RBI single to right. Desmond doubled, and after Bernadina was intentionally walked, Lombardozzi lofted a sacrifice fly to left, scoring LaRoche with the game-winner. Final: 3-2.