Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
But they'll also hope to string some more hits together, with a lineup that tonight will include Anthony Rendon making his first big-league start (and only ninth career professional start) at second base. All the Steve Lombardozzi fans out there need not worry: Lombo is scheduled to start in left field tonight, so he's not being cast aside to the bench 24 hours after driving in the game-winning run last night.
Meanwhile, Stephen Strasburg and Ross Detwiler are each supposed to throw bullpen sessions this afternoon, after which the Nationals will determine when each injured starter will be ready to return to the mound. So stay tuned for updates there, and right back here for game updates throughout...
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, 77 degrees, Wind 10 mphRF to LF
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Anthony Rendon
LF Steve Lombardozzi
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Dan Haren
SS Omar Quintanilla
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
LF Lucas Duda
RF Marlon Byrd
1B Ike Davis
C Anthony Recker
CF Juan Lagares
RHP Dillon Gee
HP Marty Foster
1B Tim McClelland (cc)
2B Marvin Hudson
3B Wally Bell
5:08 p.m. — Breaking (though not surprising) news: Stephen Strasburg is being placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right lat muscle. Full story here.
7:07 p.m. — And we're underway on a gorgeous night at Nationals Park. Dan Haren fires strike one to Omar Quintanilla. There is, unfortunately, black smoke rising from several blocks behind the center-field fence. Rumor is it's a hardware store on fire.
7:13 p.m. — It only figures Anthony Rendon gets two chances in his very first inning at second base. Neither grounder was particularly tough, but he fielded each flawlessly. So, a 1-2-3 inning for Haren, a nice start to this game.
7:28 p.m. — And the Nats strike first, thanks to Ian Desmond's two-out RBI single to left. It all began with Denard Span's leadoff double over the head of a mystified Marlon Byrd. Span wound up on third base with two outs, then Desmond drove him home with a nice, controlled base hit to left. So the Nats take a 1-0 lead after one. Momentum, baby!
7:43 p.m. — Though he's been much better over the last month or so, Haren still has been victimized by the long ball, and he just was again in the top of the second. Byrd crushed a 1-1 cutter into the Red Porch, which is the 13th home run allowed by Haren in only 64 2/3 innings this season. That's not a good rate. The Nats now trail 2-1.
7:53 p.m. — The Nats tried to mount a two-out rally in the bottom of the second, on a double by Haren (?!) and a single by Span. But Werth was rung up on a check swing, so that quashed any hope of a run there. Still 2-1 Mets after two.
8:04 p.m. — You know what the Nationals really didn't need to have happen tonight? Haren really struggle. So much for wishful thinking. He's been rocked for three homers in three innings, which makes it 15 for the season surrendered by the right-hander. Marlon Byrd has gotten him twice. Yes, Marlon Byrd. It's 5-1 Mets, and there's no action in the Nats bullpen. Given the injury woes and need to save some relievers for upcoming games, Haren may have to stay out there and wear it for a while tonight.
8:15 p.m. — Adam LaRoche just bunted for a base hit. Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle.
8:30 p.m. — And that'll do it for Haren. He's done after four innings, having allowed five runs on seven hits (three of them homers). It'll be Craig Stammen in to replace him in the fifth, the Nats trailing 5-1.
8:50 p.m. — And Stammen only makes things worse. He walked the very first batter he faced on four pitches, walked another batter, gave up a pair of singles, let two runs score and threw a total of 32 pitches to record three outs. It's 7-1 Mets in the middle of the fifth as Momentum laughs at everyone in the ballpark tonight.
9:02 p.m. — Here's Ian Krol to make his MLB debut in the sixth inning of a 7-1 game. The 22-year-old left-hander was one of the players acquired from the A's in the three-team Michael Morse trade over the winter.
9:11 p.m. — Well, Krol gave up a leadoff double but then he delivered big-time, striking out Murphy, Wright and Duda in succession. Nice job by the kid in his MLB debut. Still 7-1 Mets heading to the bottom of the sixth.
9:19 p.m. — The Nats have put six men in scoring position so far in six innings tonight. And only one of them has scored. They just can't get anything going.
9:38 p.m. — Oof, it's 10-1 Mets at the stretch as Erik Davis gets lit up by the bottom of the lineup in the seventh. Seriously, Anthony Recker, Juan Lagares and the No. 9 hitters are a combined 6-for-11 with four RBI tonight.
9:53 p.m. — Hey, a scoreless inning from Fernando Abad.
10:04 p.m. — Three outs from a sub-.500 record and third place in the NL East.
10:19 p.m. — It's over. Final: 10-1. The Nats are in third place for the first time since the final day of the 2011 season.