WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 18: Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals leaps for a triple hit by Mike Baxter #23 of the New York Mets in the first inning at Nationals Park on August 18, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
• One Mets Fan's Opinions: "Everyone's up in arms that they're going to shut Strasburg down," I told my Mets fan friend who invited me over to watch tonight's game when a flash of the Nats' right-hander came across the television screen. "Shut him down?" he asked incredulously, "But they're going to bring him back for the post season, right?" "Nope." "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard," my friend said. "Well you're not alone in that opinion," I told him, "Though I don't share it." Jayson Werth dove for a one-out line drive to left-center off Mike Baxter's bat, but the Nats' center fielder came up empty... "Of course he did," my Mets fan friend said. This might be a long night. One-out triple for the Mets' right fielder when Werth misses the diving attempt. Ryan Zimmerman stabbed a one-hop grounder, tried to tag Baxter at third, then threw to first to get David Wright for one out at least when that attempt at a slick double play was unsuccessful. "That was a ****ing rainbow, huh?" my friend said referring to Zim's throw. "Got there in time," I told him, "[Gold Glove,"] I whispered. "Wright has two," he responded. I didn't think he'd heard. Ike Davis' fly to to center ended a 12-pitch first for Edwin Jackson.
• Danny Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman hit back-to-back one-out singles off Jon Niese in the Nationals' first. Espinosa tagged and took third on a flyout to right by Michael Morse and Zim stole second with Adam LaRoche at the plate, but both runners were stranded when the Nats' first baseman grounded to second to end the opening inning. 21-pitch frame for the Mets' lefty. Edwin Jackson needed just 16 pitches to retire the Mets in order in the second, collecting his first two K's of the night. 28 pitches overall through two. Jon Niese threw a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of frame to keep it scoreless after two innings. 0-0.
• Doo-L: Edwin Jackson set seven Mets in a row down, striking Mets' catcher Josh Thole out for the first out of the third and getting a groundout to second from the opposing pitcher, but Ian Desmond misplayed a grounder to his backhand to put Ruben Tejada on with two outs. E:6. E-Jax got ahead of Mike Baxter and dropped a vicious 1-2 slider on the Mets' outfielder for out no.3 and K no.4 in his third scoreless frame. 14-pitch inning. 42 total after 3.0. Still 0-0. Jon Niese struck Danny Espinosa out to end a 13-pitch third after which he'd retired eight-straight Nationals. 46 pitches overall for New York's left-hander.
• Slide Piece: E-Jax went back to his slider to get a swinging K from David Wright on a 2-2 pitch to the Mets' third baseman. No. 5 on the night for Edwin Jackson. Ike Davis K'd swinging through a full-count four-seamer. 6 Ks from six of the last nine batters, all swinging in 3.2 IP. A groundout to second by Daniel Murphy ended a 20-pitch, 1-2-3 frame in the top of the fourth. 62 pitches for Jackson in 4.0 IP. Jordany Valdespin misread a two-out fly to left by Adam LaRoche and had it glance off his glove and fall to the outfield grass. Ruled a double. No. 26 of 2012 for LaRoche. A groundout to short by Ian Desmond ended the bottom of the fourth, however, and the 18-pitch inning had the Mets' lefty at 64 pitches overall.
• Moar Ks!!!!: Andres Torres K'd swinging for out no.2 of the fifth and K no. 7 on the night for Edwin Jackson, who threw a 10-pitch 1-2-3 top of the inning. 72 pitches overall. Jesus Flores singled with one out in the Nationals' fifth then took second on a sac bunt by E-Jax, only to be stranded when Werth popped up to end the inning. Niese finished his fifth scoreless then K'd swinging to start the sixth. E-Jax' 8th K in 5.1 IP with Ian Desmond's error providing the Mets their only baserunner after the first. A swinging K from Ruben Tejada had Jackson up to 9 K's and Mike Baxter made it 10 as Jackson struck out the side. 88 pitches overall.
• 0-0...Then: Danny Espinosa rolled a swinging bunt toward third but just a few feet in front of home. Jon Niese picked it up, but lost control of the ball. No play anyway as the Nats' put the leadoff runner on in the bottom of the sixth, but the Mets' left-hander retired the next three batters without Espinosa ever moving past first. Ike Davis stabbed a sharp one-hop grounder from Adam LaRoche to end the inning and it was six scoreless for each of tonight's starters. 0-0 after six. David Wright got knocked down by a 3-1 fastball inside, taking the first walk of the game when he picked himself up. Ike Davis took a 93 mph 0-1 fastball to left in the next at bat and it kept on flying until it soared over the fence and into the entrance of the visitor's bullpen. Two-run HR. 2-0 Mets on Davis' 22nd of 2012. E-Jax retired the next three Mets and was up to 103 pitches and done after a 15-pitch frame.
• Niese's Night: Ian Desmond grounded out and Tyler Moore K'd looking at an 0-2 curve. David Wright dove for a hard-hit grounder off Jesus Flores' bat and made the play to end Niese's seventh scoreless frame. Ryan Mattheus threw a 14-pitch top of the eighth to keep it 2-0 New York after seven and a half. After Bryce Harper flew out to start the Nationals' eighth, Jon Niese was lifted at 7.1 IP, 5 H, 7 Ks and 109 pitches. Jordany Valdespin raced over and made an awkward catch for out no. 2 of the eighth on a fly to the track by Jayson Werth. Danny Espinosa stepped in with two down and grounded out to end the eighth scoreless inning. Still 2-0 NY.
• Please Don't Get Shut Out: Mike Baxter and David Wright both K'd looking to start the Mets' ninth and Ryan Mattheus' second inning of work. Davey Johnson turned to left-hander Michael Gonzalez against Ike Davis. Davis dumped a bloop single into short left for a two-out hit off the Nats' left-hander. Gonzalez got Daniel Murphy swinging to end the top of the inning. 2-0 New York after eight and a half. Frank Francisco entered the game in the bottom of the ninth. Ryan Zimmerman took a 3-2 fastball to the right field corner where Mike Baxter made a fantastic catch as he crashed into the wall. Francisco threw a 95 mph fastball by Michael Morse for out no.2 and Adam LaRoche grounded to first to end it. 2-0 final. Nats drop one to the Mets.
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• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: COMING SOON! W00T!!
Nationals now 74-46.