Washington Nationals Win 7-6 Over New York Mets On Bryce Harper's Walk-Off Single, Defend First Place!!!

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 05: Michael Morse #38 of the Washington Nationals dumps Gatorade on Bryce Harper #34 after he hit the game winning RBI single in the twelfth inning against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on June 5, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

• Support Your Zim(n): Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann got a weak grounder to second with a 95 mph 2-2 four-seamer to New York leadoff man Kirk Nieuwenhuis and got a swinging K from Andres Torres with an 88 mph 1-2 slider before Mets' third baseman David Wright lined a first-pitch fastball to left for a two-out single in the opening frame. The Nats' 26-year-old '07 2nd Round pick got behind Lucas Duda 3-1, but got a foul ball with a 78 mph curve and swinging K no. 2 and out no. 3 with an 87 mph full-count slider to the New York right fielder. 16 pitches, 10 strikes, two K's in Zimmermann's first inning on the hill. In his first start of 2012, New York Mets right-hander Chris Young, who had surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder last May, retired the Nationals in order in an 11-pitch, 8-strike bottom of the inning in Nationals Park.

• Bite, Ike!!: Mets' infielder Daniel Murphy sent a weak grounder to Adam LaRoche at first for the first out of the second. Jordan Zimmermann couldn't get Mets' first baseman Ike Davis to bite on a 2-2 bender in the dirt, but Davis couldn't get a one-hop grounder by Danny Espinosa. Espinosa flagged the grounder down and threw to first for out no.2 and Josh Thole's groundout to third ended a 12-pitch inning for the Nats' right-hander, who was up to 28 pitches after a second scoreless frame. Ian Desmond battled Chris Young in an eight-pitch, two-out at bat in the Nationals' second, but the 33-year-old, 6'10'' right-hander needed just 10 pitches total to complete his own second scoreless in the nation's capital.

• Oppo Single = 1-0 Nats: Jordan Zimmermann struck out the first two batters in the Mets' third, getting Omar Quintinilla swinging at an 0-2 fastball, and the opposing pitcher swinging at a 1-2 heater, and a weak grounder to second from the Mets' leadoff man Kirk Nieuwenhuis ended the right-hander's third scoreless frame. 13-pitch, 1-2-3 third for the Nats' right-hander. Danny Espinosa bunted his way on to start the Nationals' half of the inning, pushing a perfect roller by the mound and past the long-limbed Mets' starter, whose slow motion toward home then allowed the Nationals' infielder to steal second in the next AB. Jesus Flores popped out for the first out of the inning, but Jordan Zimmermann's bloop to short left fell in for a one-out hit that moved Espinosa to third. With runners on first and third, however, Steve Lombardozzi popped to Nieuwenhuis in left for out no.2, before Bryce Harper came through, lining a two-strike fastball outside into left for an RBI single and a 1-0 Nats' lead after three. #oppo

• G.D.O: Grounder. Desmond. Out. Espinosa fields and throws. Jordan Zimmermann had two outs in the fourth and nine-straight set down when Lucas Duda ripped a 1-1 change by Adam LaRoche and into right for the Mets' second hit in four innings. A sharp grounder to third and a throw to second by Ryan Zimmerman for the force ended an 11-pitch 4th though, with Washington ahead 1-0 over New York and Zimmermann up to 52 pitches. Michael Morse was 0 for 1 tonight and 0 for 9 on the year before he doubled to right on a 1-1 fastball from Chris Young for his first hit of the year, but he was stranded at second two outs later when Ian Desmond flew to center in the next at bat and Danny Espinosa went down swinging to end an 11-pitch 4th by the Mets' right-hander.

• Stare at it, Ike!: Nats' starter Jordan Zimmermann got his 5th K in five innings with a 79 mph 2-2 curve that caught Mets' first baseman Ike Davis looking. The Nats' right-hander gave up a one-out single by Josh Thole in the next at bat, but started a 1-6-3 DP on a grounder to the mound by Omar Quintinilla to end his fifth scoreless frame after just 12 pitches. 64 pitches through five for Zimmermann. The Nats' starter then picked up a bat and doubled with one down in the bottom of the fifth, leaving him 6 for 20 at the plate on the season. Lombardozzi worked a walk in an eight-pitch at bat, but Bryce Harper K'd swinging leaving it up to Ryan Zimmerman, who came through with a two-out single to center to bring Zimmermann in from second. 2-0 Nats. The Mets cut the throw home and caught Zimmerman off first, but with Zim in a rundown, Lombardozzi broke for home and Omar Quintinilla's throw sailed high over catcher Josh Thole and allowed Lombo to score. 3-0 Nats on the throwing error.

• Nats' Relievers Run For Cover: Mets' PH Jordany Valdespin ripped a line drive HR to right and off the back wall of the Nationals' bullpen for a solo shot to start the sixth and break up Jordan Zimmermann's shutout bid. Valdespin's second home run of 2012 comes on a 1-0 fastball from Zimmermann. Two outs later, the Nats' starter got behind David Wright, 3-1, and got strike two with a brutal curve before hanging a full-count slider that ended up bouncing off the top of the right-center wall and into the Red Porch seats for the second HR of the inning and Wright's 7th of 2012. 3-2 Nationals after Zimmermann completes a 17-pitch inning. 81 pitches on the night for the Nats' right-hander. Former Nats' reliever Miguel Batista replaced Chris Young and threw a quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth against his former team.

• Attack of the Lefties: After giving up two home runs in the sixth, Nats' skipper Davey Johnson lifted Zimmermann after 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K's, 81 pitches, 53 strikes, 11 ground ball outs. Tom Gorzelanny took over for Washington, retiring the Mets in order in a quick, 13-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the inning. Batista came back out and gave up a leadoff walk to Jesus Flores before retiring Rick Ankiel, Lombardozzi and Harper in order to end the seventh. Sean Burnett was the second-straight lefty out of the pen for the Nationals. Jordany Valdespin, who homered in his first at bat, doubled to right the second time up when Burnett left a hanging slider up inside. Craig Stammen (not a lefty) took over with Scott Hairston up, and walked the pinch hitter to put two on with one out for Andres Torres, who hit a two-run double to center and took third on an errant throw home. 4-3 New York. Stammen got Josh Satin swinging for out no.2 and Michael Gonzalez got a grounder to first to end the Mets' eighth.

• Zim? Morse? What Slump?: Ryan Zimmerman lined to right for a leadoff single off Mets' right-hander Tim Byrdak that left the Nats' 3B 2 for 4 tonight, and Daniel Murphy dropped a potential DP grounder off Adam LaRoche's bat to leave the tying run at second with one down. Mets' manager Terry Collins turned to big right-hander Frank Francisco with Michael Morse due up. Morse grounded weakly to third where David Wright made a Zim-like charging play and throw. Two down for the Mets' closer, but Ian Desmond came through with an opposite field line drive to right that brought Zimmerman in from second to tie it at 4-4 after eight.

• Clipp vs Frank: Tyler Clippard walked Ike Davis to start the ninth. A sac bunt put the go-ahead run at second with Vinny Rottino due up, but Rottino flew to center for out number two and a fly to right by Jordany Valdespin that Harper tracked down ended the top of the inning with the score still tied at 4-4. Jesus Flores K'd swinging to start the Nats' ninth. Rick Ankiel K'd swinging through a fastball for out no.2, but Roger Bernadina kept the inning alive with a line drive single to left. Bryce Harper got ahead in the count in a two-out at bat, but flew out to left to send it to extras. 4-4 after nine. Henry "Lightning" Rodriguez took over in the 10th, giving up a bloop single by Scott Hairston in the top of the inning. Hairston stole second with Andres Torres up. Torres' groundout moved Hairston to third with David Wright due up. The Nationals decided to pitch to Wright with first open. It wasn't Wright, however, but rather a passed ball that scored Hairston when Rodriguez bounced a slider in the dirt off Jesus Flores' shinguard. Run scores, 5-4 New York.

• Parnell ist teh g0at?: Mets' right-hander Bobby Parnell got a groundout to third to start the Nats' tenth, but NY SS Jordany Valdespin booted it, putting Ryan Zimmerman on to start the Nats' half of the inning. Adam LaRoche hit into what should have been a 3-6-3, but Ike Davis dropped the ball before he could throw to second to start the double play. A wild pitch from Parnell got by Mets' catcher Josh Thole, allowing Zimmerman to take third. Michael Morse refused to bite on two-straight sliders outside and walked in front of Ian Desmond. Desmond hits a potential DP grounder sharply to short, but Jordany Valdespin blew it again, committing his second error of the inning and allowing Zimmerman to score. 5-5 game. One out later, after Danny Espinosa K'd in an ugly at bat, Jesus Flores sent a swinging bunt to third that Wright could only pocket. Bases loaded, two outs... Rick Ankiel worked the count full and K'd swinging through a 100 mph fastball. On to the 11th...

• Elvin? Elvin Ramirez?: Ross Detwiler struck the first two batters he faced out before giving up a two-out single by Josh Thole and a two-out walk to Vinny Rottino. Two on, two out for Jordany Valdespin, but Detwiler strikes out the side. 5-5 after ten and a half. Former Nats' Rule 5 pick Elvin Ramirez, who was injured during his time in D.C. and later returned to New York, came on to face the Nationals in the bottom of the eleventh, walking the first batter he faced on four pitches. Xavier Nady was at first when Bryce Harper stepped in, and K'd swinging chasing pitches out of the zone. Ryan Zimmerman K'd looking on a ball outside for out no.2... and Adam LaRoche was K no. 3. On to the 12th...

Hairston!!!: Ross Detwiler came back out for the 12th, and got ahead 0-2 before he gave up a leadoff bomb on a hanging full-count slider to Scott Hairston. 6-5 Mets. Andres Torres walked in the next at bat, took second on a passed ball and third on a David Wright groundout, but he was stranded at third at the end of the Mets' 12th. Elvin Ramirez came back out and gave up a leadoff double to right by Michael Morse, who crushed a 3-1 fastball, bouncing it off the out-of-town scoreboard. Tying run on second and the tying run scores when Ian Desmond ties it with another RBI hit. Desmond's 3 for 3 on the night. The score is tied at 6-6.

• HARPER!!!: Danny Espinosa flew to left unproductively in the next at bat, but with Jesus Flores up, a fastball got by Mets' catcher Josh Thole, allowing Desmond to take third with one down. Ramirez walked Flores intentionally to bring Ross Detwiler up. Another wild pitch allowed Flores to take second. Detwiler kept trying to bunt as Ramirez tried to walk him. Ramirez eventually won. Bases loaded for Xavier Nady, who worked the count full and grounded to first. Ike Davis threw home for out no.2, and it was up to Bryce Harper... who lined to left to win it! Flores scores on Harper's two-out single! Bryce Harper's first walk-off winner!! 7-6 Nationals.

• Miss The Game? The D.C. Faithful Were Watching...

• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: COMING SOON!!

Nationals now 31-22.

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