"That's one of my worst nightmares, dropping a series to the Mets," Davey Johnson told reporters after Washington dropped its second straight at home against New York last night in Nationals Park. It's unclear if that's just a general nightmare for Johnson, who managed the Mets, of course, or a nightmare because of the situation it put the Nats in as they struggle to remain relevant in the Wild Card Race. "We just need to turn it around starting tomorrow," the 70-year-old skipper said, "and just almost sweep out, that's what we've got to do." Even after the losses this weekend, the Nationals have still won seven of their last ten and 14 of their last 21 and they find themselves 7.5 games out in the race for the second Wild Card spot.
The Nationals try to salvage the finale of the three-game set with the Mets tonight, when they send Ross Ohlendorf to the mound against NY lefty Jon Niese. Niese, 26, has held left-handed hitters to a .234/.305/.364 line on the year, so Davey Johnson is going right-hand heavy for tonight's game, which is the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast (on ESPN2):
#Nationals lineup vs. NYM: Harper 8, Rendon 4, Zimmerman 5, Werth 9, Desmond 6, Ramos 2, Moore 3, Hairston 7, Ohlendorf 1— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) September 1, 2013
Niese has yet to face the Nationals this season, but over the course of his career, the '05 7th Round pick out of Defiance HS in Defiance, OH is (3-0) in six starts against the Mets' NL East rivals with a 2.37 ERA, six walks (1.42 BB/9) and 39 Ks (9.24 K/9) in 38 IP vs the Nationals and he's (2-0) with a 1.35 ERA in four starts in the nation's capital. The Nationals, of course, have struggled to hit left-handed pitching this season, with .231/.299/.371 line vs lefties in 2013, which is good for 13th in AVG, 12th in OBP and 13th of 15 NL teams in SLG.
• Just a reminder: Tonight's game is on ESPN2's Sunday Night's Baseball at 8:05 pm EDT.
More from Federal Baseball:
- Nationals Announce September Callups: RHP Erik Davis; LHP Ian Krol; C Sandy Leon
- Nats Nightly: Talking Nationals With District Sports Page And Federal Baseball
- Nationals vs Mets On ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball: Preview Q&A With Buster Olney Pt. 2
- Nationals' Davey Johnson: "That's One Of My Worst Nightmares, Dropping A Series To The Mets."
- Game 135 WPA: Not enough beer in the world. Nats 3, Mets 11