|Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER|
Jordan Zimmermann gets the start in Game 1 this afternoon against right-hander Jenrry Mejia, making his season debut after dealing with an elbow injury. Davey Johnson is going with his same lineup from yesterday's win, including Steve Lombardozzi at second base and batting second. "I'm not changing a winning hand," the manager said, also speculating that Lombardozzi might try to beat him up if he wasn't playing after a 3-hit performance.
Ryan Mattheus, meanwhile, has been activated off the DL as the 26th man allowed for the doubleheader. The Nats will have to make a decision tonight, removing someone from the roster. They could just send Mattheus back to Syracuse, or they could demote another reliever. Drew Storen, a potential candidate for demotion, is battling the same flu Adam LaRoche had earlier in the week and probably is unavailable to pitch in either game today, according to Johnson.
Lots of updates to come from a long day at the ballpark, so please check back...
NEW YORK METS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS (Game 1)
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 183
Weather: Mostly sunny, 80 degrees, Wind 4 mph in from LF
LF Bryce Harper
2B Steve Lombardozzi
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
CF Denard Span
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
CF Juan Lagares
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
RF Marlon Byrd
1B Ike Davis
LF Andrew Brown
C Anthony Recker
SS Omar Quintanilla
RHP Jenrry Mejia
HP Wally Bell (cc)
1B Dave Rackley
2B Lance Barksdale
3B Vic Carapazza
1:36 p.m. — We are underway for a long day of baseball as Jordan Zimmermann fires strike one to Juan Lagares. Pretty sparse crowd here at the moment, though I imagine it will grow as the afternoon progresses.
1:45 p.m. — Wow, did Daniel Murphy crush a hanging slider from Zimmermann. The pitch was a meatball, right over the heart of the plate, and Murphy responded by sending the ball off the facade of the second deck in deep right-center. The good news: Zimmermann struck out the other three batters he faced, so it's 1-0 Mets heading to the bottom of the first.
1:55 p.m. — Steve Lombardozzi remains hot, recording his fourth hit in two days, then taking third on Ryan Zimmerman's broken bat single. But the Nats again can't complete the rally. Adam LaRoche struck out on three pitches and Jayson Werth grounded out weakly to second base to end the first inning. If you're keeping track, the Nats are already 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position today, beginning a new streak.
2:08 p.m. — Denard Span's penchant for hitting grounders to the right side of the infield continue. He tapped one to the first baseman in the bottom of the second, continuing a season-long trend. Davey Johnson insists the issue is all about timing, saying that Span has been late on his swings; instead of hitting the ball in front of the plate, he's letting the ball get too deep in the strike zone. Whatever the case, it's been a continuing problem. Still 1-0 Mets after two.
2:22 p.m. — Another slider from Zimmermann to Murphy in the top of the third, and another laser over the fence for Murphy. He crushed this one right down the right-field line for a two-run homer. That makes it 3-0 Mets in the middle of the third.
2:33 p.m. — Oy, another squandered opportunity in the bottom of the third. Lombardozzi and Zimmerman again produced back-to-back singles with one out — Lombardozzi now has five hits in his last 12 innings — but LaRoche and Werth again stranded them without getting the ball out of the infield. So the Nats are now 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, with LaRoche and Werth responsible for all four. It's still 3-0 Mets after three.
2:53 p.m. — And another groundball to the right side by Span, this one resulting in a 4-3 double play. He's now made 12 of his l8 outs since the All-Star break on grounders to the right side. Still 3-0 Mets after four.
3:11 p.m. — It's shaping up to be another one of those games. The Nats have done nothing at the plate against Mejia, while Zimmermann has been victimized only by the two Murphy homers. Jordan hasn't been especially sharp, but he's been mostly effective, if not necessarily efficient. It remains 3-0 after five.
3:21 p.m. — It's been an uncharacteristic day for Zimmermann, who has been all over the place. He's already at 105 pitches through six laborious innings. He has managed to keep this game within striking distance, but he has been far from peak form.
3:49 p.m. — Oof. That'll do it for Zimmermann, who couldn't complete the seventh inning. He wound up being charged with two more runs after Fernando Abad entered and allowed an inherited runner to score. So Zimmermann is done after allowing five runs in 6 2/3 innings on 118 pitches. Here's a disturbing stat: Over his first 10 starts this season, he was 8-2 with a 1.71 ERA. Over his last 11 starts (assuming this score holds), he's 4-4 with a 4.81 ERA. 5-0 Mets at the stretch.
3:59 p.m. — Seven scoreless for Mejia, making his first start of the season. Enter Ryan Mattheus for his first appearance in 2-plus months. Still 5-0 Mets.
4:19 p.m. — The Nats finally got to take their hacks against the Mets bullpen in the eighth. Except they didn't do anything. Bryce Harper led off with a single, then was pulled for pinch-runner Scott Hairston (presumably to give him a bit of extra rest before the nightcap). Lombardozzi grounded into a fielder's choice and Zimmerman grounded into a double play, eliciting some boos from the crowd. Still 5-0 after eight.
4:35 p.m. — Oof, times 100. No sense detailing everything, but the Nats now trail 11-0. Mattheus was charged with three of the runs in the ninth. The other three were charged to Drew Storen, whom Davey Johnson suggested was unavailable earlier today because of the flu. Storen entered for Mattheus and immediately gave up a single, a double and a homer. Sweet Fancy Moses.
4:50 p.m. — Mercifully, it's over. Nats lose 11-0. And there's still another game to be played tonight, with Ross Ohlendorf facing Matt Harvey at 7:05 p.m.