Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jason Marquis faces Chris Young in today's series finale at Citi Field.
Ryan Zimmerman is not in today's lineup. Not sure yet whether he's just getting a day off, or whether he might have injured himself sliding headfirst into second base last night. Zimmerman appeared to jam his left hand when he advanced in the top of the third inning. He was briefly looked at by a trainer but stayed in the game and actually picked up another hit two innings later.
With Zim sidelined, Jayson Werth gets bumped down to the No. 3 slot for the first time this season. Rick Ankiel bumps up to the 2-hole, and Danny Espinosa (who homered last night) hits sixth.
Jason Marquis gets the start against New York's Chris Young. Plenty of updates to come...
NATIONALS at METS
Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 1:10 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM)
Weather: Cloudy, 51 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to LF
STARTING LINEUPS12:07 p.m. -- Your Ryan Zimmerman update: He did indeed hurt himself sliding into second base last night, though it's not his hand. It's actually his abdominal muscle, the same one Zimmerman hurt early in spring training. Apparently, that strain never fully healed and Zim had been playing with a bit of discomfort. He then re-aggravated it last night. The plan, according to Mike Rizzo, is for Zimmerman to rest today and tomorrow (an off-day) and then re-evaluate the situation before Tuesday's game against the Phillies.
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
2B Danny Espinosa
C Ivan Rodriguez
3B Alex Cora
P Jason Marquis
SS Jose Reyes
LF Willie Harris
3B David Wright
1B Ike Davis
CF Angel Pagan
RF Lucas Duda
2B Brad Emaus
C Josh Thole
P Chris Young
1:11 p.m. -- We're underway on a gray, 54-degree afternoon in Queens. Nats again wearing their red jerseys on the road. I may have to keep track of this: I wouldn't be surprised if they end up wearing these jerseys more than any other this season.
1:33 p.m. -- Didn't take long for the Mets to jump on the board. Jose Reyes beat out a well-placed bunt to start the bottom of the first, then took second when Willie Harris struck out but Ivan Rodriguez couldn't handle the pitch. David Wright followed with an RBI single to center, then Ike Davis beat out a little dribbler and Angel Pagan roped another RBI single to center. Just like that, the Nats are down 2-0.
1:45 p.m. -- The Nats got one back in the top of the second, though it took some finagling to make it happen. With two on, one out and Pudge at the plate, Jim Riggleman had Adam LaRoche and Michael Morse double-steal. It was an unconventional move, but it worked, because it put runners on second and third and took the double play out of the mix. So when Pudge rapped a grounder to second, what normally would have been an inning-ending double play instead was merely an RBI groundout. Mets now lead 2-1 in the middle of the second.
1:57 p.m. -- The Nats have made about three really impressive defensive plays so far and haven't gotten anything to show for it. They keep making throws to first base that are just a split-second late, at least according to umpire Larry Vanover. Jose Reyes sure looked out on Alex Cora's sidearm throw with two outs in the second, and Jason Marquis certainly reacted like he was. Vanover thought otherwise. No harm, though, because Marquis struck out Harris for the second time in as many innings. Still 2-1 headed to the third.
2:12 p.m. -- After a shaky first inning, Marquis has settled in. He's retired eight of nine, and the only man to reach was Reyes on that infield single (when Cora's throw may have beaten him). Nats need to get something going offensive to support the right-hander. It'll be Werth, LaRoche and Morse at the plate in the top of the fourth.
3:02 p.m. -- Sorry for the lack of updates. Was in the stands for a few innings visiting with my best friend from childhood, who lives here now and is a Mets partial-season ticket holder. We're in the bottom of the sixth now, the Mets leading 3-1 and the Nats having done nothing at the plate against Chris Young. Young has retired 15 of the last 16 batters to come to the plate, with only Espinosa drawing a walk in the fifth. Marquis has not pitched poorly, and in fact he just became the first Nats starter to surpass the 100-pitch mark this season. But it's not going to count for much if his teammates can't string together soon hits, and soon.
3:10 p.m. -- When did Jason Marquis turn into Stephen Strasburg? He's got nine strikeouts in six innings. That's only the third time in 246 career starts he's recorded nine K's. Pretty impressive.
3:23 p.m. -- Chad Gaudin has gotten into the strikeout act as well. Got both Harris and Wright in the bottom of the seventh. Can't really complain about Nats pitching today. The lineup has simply been overwhelmed by Chris Young. ... But wait, what's this? Young is done. D.J. Carrasco has entered from the bullpen to pitch the eighth. Bottom of the order due up. This might be the Nats' chance.
3:27 p.m. -- For those wondering, I don't believe Ryan Zimmerman is available to pinch-hit today. Didn't get the sense the Nats want to take any chance with his abdominal.
3:35 p.m. -- How about that, the Nats have tied the game. Pudge led off the eighth with a double to right-center, Matt Stairs drew a walk to put two on with one out for Ian Desmond, who blooped an RBI single to center. Desmond then stole second without a throw, and with the infield back, Rick Ankiel delivered an RBI grounder to second. Just like that, we're tied 3-3, and the go-ahead run is on third with Jayson Werth at the plate.
3:48 p.m. -- Just a terrible at-bat from Morse with the bases loaded and two out. Taylor Buchholz had just walked both Werth and LaRoche, and Morse went and swung at three straight curveballs, two of them out of the strike zone. Killer K right there, leaving the game tied as we go to the bottom of the eighth.
3:58 p.m. -- Another 1-2-3 inning of relief from Tyler Clippard, who has now allowed only three hits in 7 2/3 innings of work this season, striking out nine. The pitching staff has done its job today, putting the Nats in position to win. Can the lineup find a way to squeeze out one more run and leave town with a victory?
4:12 p.m. -- Nope, at least not in the top of the ninth. Despite a leadoff walk from Espinosa, the Nats couldn't drive him in. Pudge sacrificed him to second, but Nix struck out looking at a 2-2 fastball at the knees and Hairston flied out to right. We go to the bottom of the ninth, still 3-3, Clippard still on the mound.
4:22 p.m. -- And for the third time on this six-game road trip, the Nats are going to extra innings. Not one of these games has been completed in less than 3 hours and 11 minutes. It's like a Yankees-Red Sox game on Fox!
4:30 p.m. -- The Nats and Mets have now combined to produce a total of four hits over the last eight innings. Four hits! We go to the bottom of the 10th...
4:41 p.m. -- The Mets almost broke through in the 10th. Jose Reyes led off with a single against Drew Storen. Then with one out and David Wright at the plate, Reyes took off. When Wright grounded to third, Reyes kept going and advanced to third without a throw. I don't know if he did that specifically knowing about Adam LaRoche's injured shoulder, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. Either way, brilliant hustle play by Reyes, putting the winning run on third with two outs. But Storen calmly issued an intentional walk to Ike Davis and then got Angel Pagan to ground out to LaRoche. No harm done. We go to the 11th.
4:50 p.m. -- Well this just got really interesting. Not only did the Nats just take a 4-3 lead, they did so on an RBI single by Ivan Rodriguez to score Wilson Ramos, who had to pinch-run for Adam LaRoche, who had to come out of the game after sliding into second base. There's a lot to digest there, and we'll have to see what exactly happened to LaRoche. But for the moment, the key here is that Pudge is going to have to play first base up a run in the bottom of the 11th, with Ramos taking over at catcher. Wow.
4:53 p.m. -- Um, that may not be as much of an issue anymore after Laynce Nix just CRUSHED a ball into the Mets' bullpen. Three-run bomb makes it 7-3 Nats. It's not even going to be a save situation for Sean Burnett anymore.
5:04 p.m. -- Ballgame. Nats win a wild one, 7-3 in 11 innings. They win the series and they head home with a 4-5 record (not to mention injured No. 3 and No. 4 hitters).