March 28, 2012; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) pitches during a spring training game against the New York Mets at Digital Domain Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
Ryan Zimmerman K'd looking at a 1-2 backdoor bender from Mets' left-hander Jonathan Niese after both Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa reached safely on identical grounders up the middle of the infield that New York Mets' shortstop Ruben Tejada failed to field in the top of the first. Jayson Werth took a two-strike fastball outside for a called strike three and out number two and Wilson Ramos rolled one back to the pitcher as the Nats wasted a two-on, no-out start to this afternoon's game.
Nats' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann retired the Mets in order, making quick work of New York's first three batters in the bottom of the first. After Jon Niese did the same in the top of the second, the Nationals' 25-year-old starter was quickly back on the mound and dealing to 1B Ike Davis, who sent a sharp grounder to short for Ian Desmond for the fourth straight out of the game. A flare to right fell in front of a sliding/diving Jayson Werth for a single by Mets' RF Lucas Duda, but that runner was erased on a 5-4-3 DP and Zimmermann was through two scoreless innings in a hurry...
A sac fly to center by Ryan Zimmerman in the Nats' third scored Ian Desmond from third base after the Nats' leadoff man and Danny Espinosa hit back-to-back one-out singles in each of their second at bats. Espinosa made an ill-advised attempt to take second on the sac, however, and he got doubled up to end the inning. 1-0 Nats. Jordan Zimmermann quickly retook the mound and retired the Mets in order, and he'd faced the minimum through three.
Jayson Werth started the Nats' third with a solo shot to left field off Niese that didn't go quite as far as the mythical HR he hit the other day, but it was a no-doubter off the bat and it gave Jordan Zimmermann two runs to work with as he went back out and mowed the Mets down in another 1-2-3 frame in the fourth that had the right-hander at just 38 pitches after four scoreless. Zimmermann was at 51 pitches when he finished the fifth, again setting down all three batters the Mets sent up. Eight groundouts, two fly ball outs and two K's. Dominant.
The Mets got their first clean hit of the day off Jordan Zimmermann in the sixth when Mets' backstop Rob Johnson lined a 2-2 pitch to center for a one-out double, but the Nats' starter quickly retired the next to batters and finished his afternoon at 69 pitches, 48 of them strikes over 6.0 IP in which he allowed 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB while recording 2 K's, 9 groundouts and 4 flyouts while facing just one batter over the minimum.
• Wrap-Up: Tom Gorzelanny gave up a run on an RBI triple by Lucas Duda in the Mets' seventh. It was 2-1 Nats in the 8th when Ian Desmond dropped a bunt down the third base line and reached first safely to go 4 for 4 and lift his ST AVG to .302 in Grapefruit League action. Mets' infielder Danny Murphy misplayed two grounders later in the Nats' eighth, giving Washington another run, this one off Mets' right-hander Frank Francisco. The Nats end up needing the run as Ryan Mattheus gave up back-to-back singles to start the Mets' eighth. A two-run single by Danny Murphy made it a 3-2 game, but Henry Rodriguez took the ball in the ninth and retired the Mets in order to complete his ninth scoreless inning of the Spring. Nats win, 3-2 final. BOX SCORE.