Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats host the Mets in a matinee series finale at Nationals Park.
Who cares? It works for both guys, who will be squaring off against each other this afternoon at Nationals Park. Livo is 9-10 with a 3.81 ERA, his numbers having tailed off some over the last month. Dickey, meanwhile, has been a revelation for the Mets, going 9-6 with a 2.91 ERA.
We've got a rare 12:35 p.m. first pitch today, so if you can't make it to the park, sit back in your office and hit the refresh button all afternoon as I provide updates on the game and any other developments...
METS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 12:35 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 88 degrees, Wind 16 mph out to RF
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
LF Roger Bernadina
RF Michael Morse
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
P Livan Hernandez
RF Angel Pagan
2B Luis Hernandez
CF Carlos Beltran
1B Ike Davis
3B David Wright
LF Chris Carter
C Josh Thole
SS Ruben Tejada
P R.A. Dickey
12:20 p.m. -- Nats lineup change: Ivan Rodriguez has been scratched for unknown reasons. Danny Espinosa will move up to the 7-hole. Wilson Ramos will catch and bat eighth. Will pass along info on Pudge once I get it.
12:30 p.m. -- The Nats are saying Pudge was scratched due to illness. He is, however, available to pinch-hit.
12:35 p.m. -- Livan Hernandez starts off Angel Pagan with a fastball for ball one. Very sparse crowd here today for the rare 12:35 p.m. start.
12:40 p.m. -- Add another accomplishment to Danny Espinosa's growing list. He just recorded three assists in one inning, tying a record held by only 248,129,732 others who have ever played this game.
12:47 p.m. -- Nothing doin' for the Nats in the bottom of the first. Dickey struck out Nyjer Morgn, got Ian Desmond to hit a little chopper up to the middle that was handled by Ruben Tejada and then got Ryan Zimmerman to line out to right to end the first inning scoreless.
12:53 p.m. -- 1-2-3 top of the second for Livo, all flyballs to the outfield.
1:01 p.m. -- Six Nats up, six Nats down so far against Dickey, who has had his knuckleball working. Three groundballs, two flyballs and one strikeout through two scoreless innings.
1:14 p.m. -- A base hit by the opposing pitcher opens the door for a Mets rally. After Dickey singled up the middle with one out in the third, Livo served up a single to Angel Pagan and then another base hit to left-center by Luis Hernandez, who took advantage of a weird hop that handcuffed Nyjer Morgan to turn it into an RBI double. A sac fly by Carlos Beltran brought home another run and put the Mets up 2-0 in the third.
1:37 p.m. -- We're halfway through this one, the Mets still leading 2-0, the Nats having done nothing against Dickey and his knuckleball. Only Wilson Ramos has reached safely through four innings, doubling to left-center. Otherwise, nada. Strange moment as the top of the fifth ended. Livo fielded a ball right up the first-base line and thought he tagged Luis Hernandez. First base ump Mike DiMuro, though, ruled him safe, saying Livo missed the tag. Livo argued, just as Dickey took off from second base toward third. Fortunately, the pitcher saw it coming and fired to Ryan Zimmerman for the out, then immediately went back to arguing even though the inning was now over. Strange.
2:20 p.m. -- Just got back from the stands, where I was fortunate enough to run into longtime reader and commenter "cadeck" and spend some time chatting about the Nats. And as an added bonus, we saw Wilson Ramos hit his first career home run, a bullet to center field that tied the game 2-2. Top of the seventh now.
2:31 p.m. -- Curious decision by Jim Riggleman in the top of the seventh, pulling Livo with a man on second, one out and pinch-hitter Lucas Duda stepping to the plate. Could Hernandez, at only 95 pitches, really not be trusted to face the .045-hitting Duda? Apparently not, because Riggleman brought in Sean Burnett to face the lefty. Except Jerry Manuel countered by sending Nick Evans up to pinch-hit for Duda. Burnett still had Evans fooled, getting him to foul off three outside fastballs in a row. Then Evans caught up to one just enough to slip it down the first-base line for an RBI double. Just like that, the Mets have taken a 3-2 lead.
2:53 p.m. -- Nats are down to their final six outs, still trailing 3-2. Bobby Parnell on to pitch the eighth for the Mets.
2:58 p.m. -- Nice, clean takeout slide by Ian Desmond to break up a possible inning-ending double play. That allows Adam Dunn to bat with two outs, Zimmerman on first and lefty Pedro Feliciano entering to pitch for the Mets.
3:04 p.m. -- Oh well, so much for that. Dunn grounded out to second to end the inning. So we go to the ninth, the Mets leading 3-2 and Drew Storen entering to pitch in a non-save situation.
3:11 p.m. -- Last chance for the Nats. Bernadina, Morse and Espinosa due up against Hisanori Takahashi.
3:18 p.m. -- That'll do it. Another frustrating loss for the Nats, this one by a count of 3-2. Livo takes a hard-luck loss and falls to 9-11. His teammates produced only three runs and 10 hits the last two days against Dillon Gee, R.A. Dickey and the Mets bullpen.