Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The rain should clear from Citi Field in time for tonight's game.
As you can also tell from the above photo, it's raining here in the Big Apple. We're experiencing the last stages of the tropical storm that swept through D.C. yesterday. The good news is it's all supposed to clear out well before gametime, so we should be good to go at 7:10 p.m. as scheduled.
Not exactly a pair of "A" lineups from either team for the first game of this season-closing series. Feels more like a split-squad game in Port St. Lucie. But it'll be interesting as always to see Jordan Zimmermann pitch and see if he can end his season on a high note.
Updates to come throughout, so be sure to check back along the way...
NATIONALS at METS
Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 61 degrees, Wind 14 mph in from LF
STARTING LINEUPS6:48 p.m. -- There is nobody -- I mean NOBODY -- in the stands here right now, 20 minutes before first pitch. There are more men wearing lederhosen dancing on the warning track at this moment than paying customers in the stands. Seriously. Men in lederhosen, twirling around to some kind of oompa music from an Oktoberfest band. Meanwhile, there have been reports all over New York today that Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya are getting fired. Which comes as no surprise. Except for the fact neither man has been told he's being fired yet. Any time you complain about the Nationals being a poorly run franchise, thank your lucky stars you don't root for the Mets. These guys are a disaster right now.
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
1B Adam Dunn
RF Michael Morse
C Ivan Rodriguez
LF Justin Maxwell
3B Alberto Gonzalez
P Jordan Zimmermann
SS Jose Reyes
RF Jesus Feliciano
CF Angel Pagan
1B Ike Davis
LF Lucas Duda
3B Mike Hessman
C Josh Thole
2B Ruben Tejada
P Pat Misch
7:11 p.m. -- And we are underway with a fastball for ball one from Pat Misch to Danny Espinosa. The rain has long since cleared out, but it's a bit chilly at 64 degrees with a nice wind blowing in from left field.
7:17 p.m. -- Two-out single from Ian Desmond, but nothing else in the top of the first. Espinosa and Nyjer Morgan each grounded out, and Adam Dunn struck out (for the 196th time this season, for whatever that's worth). Jordan Zimmermann taking the mound now for the bottom of the first.
7:26 p.m. -- Mostly clean bottom of the first for Zimmermann, the only blemish a two-out single by Angel Pagan that turned into two bases after Justin Maxwell booted the ball. Not the kind of thing that's going to help Maxwell's cause in the long run. Zimmermann, though, otherwise looked strong and got out of the inning with a weaker grounder to first. Scoreless after one.
7:45 p.m. -- Solid second inning from Zimmermann. He allowed a bloop single to Josh Thole but locked up Lucas Duda's knees with a great curveball for his first strikeout of the night, and induced a couple more groundballs. Still scoreless here after two.
7:58 p.m. -- Another good inning for Zimmermann, who has now put up three zeroes, allowing two weak singles. He's recorded seven of nine outs on groundballs and has thrown only 45 pitches through three. Still waiting for tonight's first run.
8:08 p.m. -- Ike Davis puts the Mets on the board, blasting a solo homer to right in the bottom of the fourth. The homer came on an 89-mph pitch from Zimmermann, which I have to presume was a fastball (though not nearly as fast as his other fastballs have been). Maybe it was a sinker. May have to ask Jordan afterward about that one. Mets lead 1-0 in the fourth.
8:35 p.m. -- Offense is at a serious premium tonight. Through 5 1/2 innings, there have been five combined hits. Just nothing from either side. Zimmermann has been solid, especially when using his curveball. Fastball velocity, though, has seemed down. Low-90s at best. It is kind of chilly here, maybe that has something to do with it. Or maybe the radar gun here is slow. Not sure. Mets still up 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth.
8:42 p.m. -- Remember Adam Dunn's walk-off homer Tuesday night against the Phillies? Don't lose that memory, because it may be the last positive one you'll have of him in a Nats uniform. Since that game-winner, he's 0-for-7 with six strikeouts. Wore the Golden Sombrero on Wednesday, and tonight's he's 0-for-3 with two more whiffs.
8:44 p.m. -- Michael Morse to the rescue. Just crushed a 2-1 pitch from Pat Misch into the center-field bleachers for his 14th homer in 262 at-bats this season. We are tied 1-1 in the top of the seventh.
8:50 p.m. -- Put a wrap on Jordan Zimmermann's season, which ends on a definite high note: six innings of one-run, three-hit ball. Overall, he'll finish with a 1-2 record and 4.94 ERA in seven starts, with 27 strikeouts and 10 walks in 31 innings. Basically, he had three really good starts (at Florida, vs. Atlanta, at New York) and four not-so-good starts. Definitely some encouraging signs for next season. Now, you just want to see him display some consistency and build up stamina to pitch deeper in games.
8:57 p.m. -- Um, why did Nyjer Morgan just try to catch a routine fly ball to LEFT field? And worse, why was Justin Maxwell charged with the error when all he did was attempt to make a routine play to his actual position on the field? Just wretched defense there from Nyjer, allowing the Mets to stay alive in the bottom of the seventh.
9:02 p.m. -- Peralta gets out of it by striking out Thole and getting Tejada to pop out to second. Amazingly, Nyjer Morgan didn't call Espinosa off. Still 1-1 through seven.
9:13 p.m. -- Roy Halladay's final pitching line against the Nats: 8 ip, 3 h, 1 r, 1 bb, 10 k. Oh wait, it wasn't Halladay out there tonight. It was Pat Misch. Sorry, was difficult to tell the difference. Still 1-1 as we go to the ninth.
9:24 p.m. -- One-out walk for Desmond in the top of the ninth, but neither Dunn nor Morse could drive him in. So we go to the bottom of the ninth, with Sean Burnett still on the mound trying to send this one to extra innings.
9:29 p.m. -- As he has so often done this season, Burnett shuts 'em down. Six up, six down tonight. So we go to the 10th inning of a 1-1 game.
9:40 p.m. -- That's now 14 strikeouts for the Mets pitching staff in 10 innings. The Nats have three hits to this point. Three.
9:44 p.m. -- Tyler Clippard. Josh Thole. Right-field bleachers. Nats lose 2-1 in 10.