(ed. note - "New Nationals/Phillies GameThread up at 11:30 am Monday... feat. Blanton, Martis, D. Cabrera, Gammons on Strasburg, and a look at a player DC might take with the 10th pick in this year's draft...")
Jordan Zimmermann threw 103 pitches in today's win, and he was still fooling Mets' batters long after he'd shown them all his pitches in the first few innings. The sharp slider, the slower tight curve, a few random changes and some consistently mid-90’s heat. Zimmermann was a little wild, but unafraid to come inside, he brutalized lefties with a low fastball inside and a slider in on the hands, sawed off some bats, K’d Carlos Delgado twice, David Wright three times, and held the Mets to just 1 run on 4 hits through four innings. Zimmermann worked out of a jam in the fifth after a leadoff walk and a single, popping up Danny Murphy on a jam shot, striking out Carlos Beltran and popping Delgado up to the infield to escape trouble. Lifted after a one-out single by Ryan Church in the sixth, Zimmermann's final line:
Zimmermann, Jordan - (W, 2-0), 2.38 ERA, 5.1 IP, 6 hits, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K's, 103 P, 62 for strikes, 4 GO, 6 FO in front of 40, 023.
NY Media Minute No. 1 -
Washington Post writer Tracee Hamilton's "Sunday Morning Reading, cont." post at the Post's Nationals Journal this morning, had a link to New York Daily News' writer Filip Bondy's article entitled, "Elijah Dukes' errors against Mets epitomize National disgrace", in which Mr. Bondy writes that for the Mets, against, "...a team so ungodly terrible, so Double-A-ish, any result other than a sweep must be considered a setback."
The Washington Nationals, Mr. Bondy continues, "...are a 3-13 disgrace, embodied by their clumsy center fielder and chief curmudgeon, Elijah Dukes." (ed. note - "Clumsy? Is this your first game watching Dukes?) Continuing the humorous vein SNY's been presenting your Washington Nationals in all weekend, Mr. Bondy writes of how the Nationals had come to NY, "...to audition their clown act before a large New York audience." And in conclusion, Mr. Bondy states that the Nationals, who:
"...may be Bud Selig's greatest enduring embarrassment, not involving steroids, (are) uniquely incompetent and unsympathetic. They have a new stadium in the nation's capital, the result of long-term blackmailing. They're owned by a billionaire, Ted Lerner. Their ex-GM, Jim Bowden, has been investigated for skimming bonus money...
...the Nationals now tour the major leagues in generic-looking uniforms, making other teams feel good about themselves."
The Nationals' "clumsy center fielder and chief curmudgeon", Elijah Dukes sat out today, in favor of...
The Leadoff Hitter Of The Future...
J-Max Tracker...Justin Maxwell works a leadoff walk in his first at bat. Maxwell makes a valiant effort on a hard hit fly by Carlos Delgado to right center, but Maxwell comes up empty on the dive, Delgado makes it to third with an RBI triple. J-Max singles and steals second the second time around...Maxwell hits a fly ball to left on the first pitch of the fourth...Two on and two out for Maxwell in the fifth, and a weak grounder to third is thrown through first by Wright, two runs score. Maxwell steals second, and scores on a Ronnie Belliard single. Maxwell grounds out to short in the seventh, and gets a two-out AB in the ninth, and another ground out to Jose Reyes at short...Maxwell finishes the day 2 for 5 with an RBI and a walk.
New York Media Minute No. 2 -
In the Newark Star-Ledger's Sunday Sports section, NY Daily News' writer Peter Botte starts an article entitled, "In return to form, Pelfrey sinks Nats", by wondering if Johan Santana's example had rallied the Mets' starters or if, "...maybe the Washington Nationals are just putrid right now."
At least New York Times' writer Ben Shpigel is funny, as he writes in an article entitled, "Pelfrey, And His Sinker, Return Against Nationals", of how on Saturday, the, "...sloppy Nationals bunch...all but played bugles in announcing why it has the worst record in baseball."
Elsewhere in the Sunday New York Times, writer Jim Luttrell manages the only bit of reporting out of New York on the Nationals this weekend that doesn't stoop to insults, writing, in the most recent edition of his column, "The Watch List", about DC closer Joel Hanrahan, who:
"...blew his first two save opportunities with Washington and had an earned run average of 9.00. Then the closer-in-waiting Garrett Mock was promoted, and Hanrahan notched his next two saves, with two scoreless innings. But Mock, who took a loss last week by allowing a run in a second inning of work, has been groomed to close. Last season, he averaged more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings."
Garrett Mock came on in the eighth Sunday afternoon against NY with Washington already ahead 8-1, and picked up where Jordan Zimmermann and then DC lefty Mike Hinckley had left off, with Mock giving up an ill-advised leadoff walk but recovering by inducing a DP grounder out of Carlos Beltran and striking out Carlos Delgado with a mid-90's fastball on the outside corner.
Jesus Flores hit his second HR of the year in the second, singled in a run in the third, and singled and scored in the fifth. Flores finishes the day 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored, 3 RBI's and a .327 AVG on the year. Did I mention that the Nationals stole him from the Mets as a Rule 5 pick?
Austin Kearns ends the day 2 for 3 with his 3rd double and 3rd HR of the year, and he's now hitting .256 with 11 RBI's.
Nationals win, 8-1 final.
For The Completists, Full Game Report (currently unedited) After The Jump.
Nationals now 4-13.
Washington Nationals at New York Mets. Game 17 of 162.
#30 in your scorebook, Justin Maxwell leads off for the Washington Nationals against NY Mets’ lefty Oliver Perez. Maxwell works the count full and takes a leadoff walk. Ronnie Belliard lines a single on one-hop to Daniel Murphy in left. Ryan Zimmerman pops the first pitch out to right. Adam Dunn K’s on three sliders from Perez. Josh Willingham takes a full count fastball for a called strike three and Jordan Zimmermann heads to the hill...Jordan Zimmerman shows Jose Reyes everything and then walks him, and now he’ll have to hold him on. Reyes steals second. Ground ball to third, Ryan Zimmerman throws Daniel Murphy out, but Reyes takes third. Zimmermann saws off Carlos Beltran and the weak groundout to third traps Reyes, who gets tagged trying to get back to third. Carlos Delgado checks his swing on a two-strike curve and then triples to left center, scoring Beltran, 1-0 Mets. Zimmermann gets David Wright staring at a two-strike curve.
Austin Kearns twists Daniel Murphy up with a line drive that almost injures Murphy. Jesus Flores tees off on Oliver Perez and laces one to left field for a two-run HR and a 2-1 lead. Alberto Gonzalez skies one to the corner in left. Jordan Zimmerman K’s swinging over a slider. Justin Maxwell slaps a single up the middle. Maxwell steals second without a throw. Ronnie Belliard rolls the third out to second...Zimmermann hits Ryan Church in the elbow to put the leadoff man on. Omir Santos flies out to Maxwell in center. Zimmermann throws away a pickoff throw to first. Zimmermann looks Church back to second and throws Luis Castillo out at first on a weak chopper to the mound. Oliver Perez sneaks a bunt on the Nationals’ infield and Zimmerman just pockets it. Jose Reyes skies one to right for Austin Kearns. 2-1 DC.
Ryan Zimmerman pops out to his Gold Glove competition, David Wright foul of third. Adam Dunn grounds weakly to second. Josh Willingham gets hit on the toe and takes first with two down. Austin Kearns works the count full and takes a fastball on the outside corner for ball four. Jesus Flores rips a single through short, and Josh Willingham beats the throw home from Daniel Murphy. 3-1 DC. Alberto Gonzalez lines an outside fastball to right and it drops in front of Church. Kearns just beats the throw home, 4-1 DC. Jordan Zimmermann grounds out to end the inning...Zimmermann jams Daniel Murphy with a high inside fastball that gets popped out to right. Carlos Beltran spins a single through second. Zimmermann slips a two-strike slider in over Carlos Delgado’s bat. Carlos Beltran’s running, and Flores guns him without so much as a slide.
Justin Maxwell flies out to right for the first out of the fourth. Ronnie Belliard pushes a fly ball to right for Church to catch. Zimmerman gets down 0-2 and works a walk out of it in the end. Adam Dunn flies out to right to end the top of the frame...David Wright gets a 95 mph heater up high and K’s swinging. Ryan Church flies out to right where Kearns shields his eyes and makes the grab. Omir Santos pokes a single to left to leadoff the fifth. Luis Castillo grounds to short to end the Mets’ fifth.
Daniel Murphy with the unneccessary leap at the wall to rob Willingham. Austin Kearns takes Oliver Perez deep to center and GONE!! Straight center from Kearns for a 5-1 DC lead. Jesus Flores drops a single in front of a diving Daniel Murphy. Alberto Gonzalez beats Ryan Church to the right field corner with a line drive double to chase Oliver Perez. Casey Fossum comes on and gets Zimmermann swinging over a two-strike curve. Justin Maxwell hits a weak grounder to third, Wright’s throw to first sails, two runs score. 7-1 Nationals. Maxwell steals second, and scores when Ronnie Belliard singles to second. 8-1 Nationals. Ryan Zimmerman drops a single in between Beltran and Church in right-center. Adam Dunn lines out to second. 8-1 DC after five....Alex Cora in for Castillo at second, walks to start the NY fifth. Jose Reyes sneaks a single under a lunging Belliard. Zimmermann jams Daniel Murphy and pops him up to the infield with a 2-0 pitch inside. Zimmermann throws a 95 mph strike three right by Carlos Beltran. Ryan Zimmerman catches a pop fly from Delgado just foul of the third base line. 8-1 DC.
Josh Willingham takes a one-out walk from Fossum to start the sixth. Austin Kearns grounds to Wright, Cora at second, and Delgado, double play. Jesus Flores takes a four pitch walk with two down. Alberto Gonzalez pops one over the mound, Delgado grabs it...Jordan Zimmermann strikes David Wright out again. Ryan Church goes back up the middle with a one-out single. Zimmermann’s out, Mike Hinckley’s on in relief. Omir Santos grounds to Zimmerman to Belliard to Dunn, double play to end the sixth.
Mike Hinckley gets a rare AB to start the seventh. Casey Fossum gets the K from the lefty pitcher, who bats from the right side. Justin Maxwell grounds out to short, Jose Reyes fires to first in time. Ronnie Belliard takes a two-out walk from Fossum. Ryan Zimmerman rolls a two-strike curve out to third, Wright takes the force at second...Mike Hinckley sneaks a two-strike curve under Gary Sheffield’s bat. Alex Cora grounds out to Alberto Gonzalez at short. Jose Reyes flies to right, Kearns shields his eyes and closes his glove on the seventh.
Nick Johnson leads off the eighth. Nick Johnson pushes a trademark single over short and on one-hop to Daniel Murphy. Josh Willingham grounds into a force at second and beats out the DP attempt at first. Austin Kearns can’t hold back on a fastball outside and he K’s with a check swing for the second out. Jesus Flores battles Pedro Feliciano but ends up swinging through a fastball outside for strike three...Garrett Mock comes on in the eighth and walks the leadoff batter, Daniel Murphy. Carlos Beltran grounds to Belliard, who pivots, throws to second, Gonzalez to Nick Johnson at first, double play. Mock throws a two-strike fastball by Delgado to end the eighth.
Brian Stokes on for NY, Alberto Gonzalez grounds out to third. Pinch hitter Alex Cintron K’s trying to hold up on a slider in the dirt. Justin Maxwell grounds out to short...Kip Wells vs David Wright in the ninth. Wright grounds to ninth for the first out of the inning. Ryan Church flies out to Willingham in left. Kip Wells bends a two-strike slider into the zone to get Omir Santos looking to end it...Nationals win, 8-1 final.
Nationals now 4-13.