Nationals vie to further bury reeling MetsJul 23, 2012 - 3:07 PM (Sports Network) - Jordan Zimmermann and National League East-leading Washington Nationals kick off a key seven-game road trip tonight in Queens when they take on the reeling New York Mets.
After losing the first two games of a four-game series with Atlanta over the weekend, the Nationals looked like they were in danger of surrendering the division lead. However, they rebounded nicely by closing the series with a pair of wins and leaving the series exactly where they began, 3 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.
Ryan Zimmerman crushed a pair of home runs on Sunday as the Nats routed Atlanta, 9-2. In 25 games since June 24, the third baseman has hit a scorching .392 with 11 homers and 12 RBI.
"Especially after the first couple games of this series...for us to come back and win both of those games, [Saturday] and [Sunday], and even this series out was huge," Zimmerman said.
"We didn't want (the Braves) coming into our house and leave with them feeling that good," manager Davey Johnson added when talking to the Nationals' website. "I gave them one Friday, and then they nipped us on Saturday morning, but I wasn't worried about the club. There's no letdown in this ball club."
The Mets sit third in the East, 8 1/2 games behind the Nationals, who own a 6-3 mark against New York in the season series after taking two of three meetings last week.
Zimmermann, who has a gaudy 2.35 earned run average this season, hurled six scoreless innings in a 4-3 Nats win last Wednesday over the Mets. The right- hander will be searching to win his third straight start and his fifth consecutive decision tonight. He's also been red-hot recently, not allowing a run in his last two starts and compiling an 0.84 ERA in his last five outings.
Zimmerman has also generally fared well against the Mets and is 3-2 with a 3.12 ERA in nine career starts versus New York.
The Mets have been sinking and have lost nine of 10 overall. Pinch-hitter Matt Treanor broke a 12th-inning tie with a two-run single on Sunday as the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of New York with an 8-3 win at Citi Field.
The loss dropped the Mets (47-48) below .500 for the first time this season.
"It's very disappointing," admitted New York manager Terry Collins. "We're not happy with the way things have gone the last 10 days. We gotta buckle down and get after it and get back over (.500)."
It will be Chris Young's job to stop the bleeding tonight.
Young was the loser last week opposite Zimmermann but pitched well, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings in what was his third consecutive loss. Overall, Young is 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight career starts against the Nationals.
- WASHINGTON: 8
NEW YORK: 2
Jul 23 10:26 PM
- Michael Morse one-out, two-run Home Run (6) to center scored Ryan Zimmerman. Tom Gorzelanny due up.
Nationals 8, Mets 2 Top 10, 1 OutJul 23 10:09 PM
- Ryan Zimmerman double to center scored Mark DeRosa, Steve Lombardozzi and Bryce Harper with one out. Runner on second with one out and Michael Morse due up.
Nationals 6, Mets 2 Top 10, 1 OutJul 23 10:08 PM
- Bryce Harper single to right scored Sandy Leon with one out. On the play, Steve Lombardozzi advances to second and Mark DeRosa advances to third. Bases loaded with one out and Ryan Zimmerman due up.
Nationals 3, Mets 2 Top 10, 1 OutJul 23 10:06 PM
- Ike Davis one-out, solo Home Run (15) to right. Daniel Murphy due up.
Nationals 2, Mets 2 Bot 7, 1 OutJul 23 9:05 PM
- David Wright two-out, solo Home Run (15) to left center. Ike Davis due up.
Nationals 2, Mets 1 Bot 4, 2 OutsJul 23 8:18 PM
- Ryan Zimmerman popped out to second. None on with one out and Michael Morse due up.
Nationals 2, Mets 0 Top 1, 1 OutJul 23 7:17 PM
- WASHINGTON: 0
NEW YORK: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jul 23 7:11 PM
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- Reds hope to add to Mets' misery 10:48a
- Nats P Mattheus has broken right hand 2:55a
- Vogelsong breaks hand as Giants down Nats 2:51a
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- Mets take flyer on Aardsma Mon
- Nationals continue western jaunt against Giants Mon
- Cueto returns from DL to face Mets Mon
- Padres club Nationals Sun
- Murphy's homer lifts Mets over Cubs Sun
- Haren, Cashner face off in San Diego Sun
- Series up for grabs, as Mets and Cubs battle at Wrigley Sun