Ryan Zimmerman can't be stopped. With one down in the opening frame in Citi Field this afternoon, the Nationals' hot-hitting, 28-year-old third baseman sent his eighth home run in 40 ABs on the Nats' 10-game road trip and his 23rd HR of the year out to deep center field for a towering 415 ft-ish solo blast off New York Mets' starter Aaron Harang that made it 1-0 Washington early in the finale of the four-game series in Flushing, Queens, NY.
Daniel Murphy's one-out RBI double off Tanner Roark in the bottom of the first drove Mets' leadoff man Eric Young in from second after a single and a sac bunt put him in scoring position. Tanner Roark needed 16 pitches total to get through the first inning after just the second extra base hit he'd allowed through 29 2/3 IP so far this season.
With the scored tied at 1-1, a 56-minute rain delay brought a halt to the proceedings. Once they started up again, Ian Desmond launched the first pitch from Harang to center field, where Juan Lagares made a catch at the track a few feet short of the wall. Adam LaRoche took a 1-0 fastball to left in the next at bat and in spite of Eric Young's leaping effort, it cleared the wall and hit the black fence in front of the PartyCity.com Deck the Nationals have peppered throughout the four-game set in Citi Field. Ruled a home run after it was reviewed, LaRoche's 20th HR made it 2-1 Nationals after one and a half.
Tanner Roark took the mound after the Nationals' 11th home run of the series in New York gave him another one-run lead and threw a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 second. 26 total after two.
Denard Span entered the game with a 22-game hit streak going, but he was hitless through two plate appearances after walking with one down in the Nats' third. Two outs later he was stranded there when Harang popped Ryan Zimmerman up and struck Jayson Werth out. 2-1 Nationals in the third. Eric Young walked with one down in the Mets' half of the inning, but a groundout to short by Juan Lagares and a fly to right by Daniel Murphy ended a 13-pitch inning by Tanner Roark, that had the Wilimington, Illinois-born right-hander at 39 pitches after three in New York.
Aaron Harang was up to 64 pitches after a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth inning. Lucas Duda and Mike Baxter singled off Tanner Roark in the Mets' fourth. Duda scored on a one-out single to left by Anthony Recker, but Baxter was thrown out at third by Bryce Harper on the play. 10th outfield assist by Harper. 2-2 game, two outs. Denard Span caught a fly to center off Juan Lagares' bat for the third and final out of a 21-pitch fourth that had Roark up to 60 pitches.
Wilson Ramos gave the Nats their lead back when he hit his 13th home run of the year and the Nats' 12th home run of the four-game series in Citi Field out to left on a hanging 1-0 slider from Harang in the first at bat of the fifth to make it a 3-2 game after four and a half in NY. After Harang singled on the first offering of the Mets' fifth, Roark got the next three outs with four pitches for a five-pitch fifth inning that had up to just 65 pitches overall.
Aaron Harang was up to 10 Ks on the day after he got Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth swinging to start the sixth, but Bryce Harper singled to center with two down but a grounder to second by Ian Desmond ended the top of the inning. Tanner Roark needed 13 pitches to retire the Mets in order in a quick bottom of the sixth, after which he was up to 78 pitches total with a 3-2 lead.
Adam LaRoche just missed hitting his second home run of the game in the first at bat of the seventh, but he settled for his 19th double of 2013 when his fly ball to center off left-hander Pedro Feliciano bounced off the wall and Mets' center field Juan Lagares as the outfielder made a leaping attempt. LaRoche took third on a groundout by Wilson Ramos and scored on a sac fly to right by Anthony Rendon to make it 4-2 Nats after six and a half.
• Tanner Roark's Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 78 P, 51 S, 3/8 GO/FO.
Anthony Recker walked to start the Mets' seventh and went first-to-third on a two-out single by Eric Young, earning Craig Stammen a visit from pitching coach Steve McCatty. Young stole second with Juan Lagares at the plate, but both baserunners were stranded when Stammen got the outfielder to chase a full-count fastball into the dirt. 4-2 Nats after seven.
Denard Span was 0 for 2 with a walk when he stepped up in the first at bat of the eighth and doubled to the right-center gap off Frank Francisco to extend his hit streak to 23 games. Double no.28 of 2013. Ryan Zimmerman hit the second double of the inning down the line in right to bring Span in and make it 5-2 Nats. After Francisco hit Jayson Werth in the back with a 3-0 pitch, Zimmerman took third when Bryce Harper grounded into a force at second, then scored when Ian Desmond did the same. 6-2 Nationals after seven and a half. Xavier Cedeno threw six straight strikes to Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda and struck them both out. Josh Satin's groundout to short ended the eighth.
Anthony Rendon's 7th HR of the season was the Nationals' 13th in four games in Citi Field and it made it 7-2 after eight and a half in the series finale. Another souvenir for the PartyCity.com Deckers. Ryan Mattheus gave up a one-out single by Anthony Recker in the Mets' ninth. Andrew Brown K'd on a check-swing strike three. Zach Lutz K'd swinging to end it. SWEEEEEP!!!
Nationals now 77-69