Today's Top 5:
5. Grapefruit Finale Super Quick Recap: Jordan Zimmermann threw five scoreless innings on 71 pitches in his final spring outing, and drove in the game's first run with a bases-loaded RBI infield single, 1-0. The Nationals added two runs in the eighth on a sac fly Jose Lobaton and an RBI single by Bryce Harper. 3-0. Nate McLouth doubled and scored on a wild pitch in the ninth to make it 4-0. Zimmermann, Rafael Soriano, Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen and Jerry Blevins combined on the shutout.
4. Zimmermann: Jordan Zimmermann entered this afternoon's game with a (1-0) record in four starts this spring, having posted 0.69 ERA in 13 IP in which he allowed seven hits, one earned run and one walk while recording 12 Ks and holding opposing hitters to a .156 BAA. Not a bad start after a 2013 campaign in which the 27-year-old right-hander was (19-9) with a 3.25 ERA, 3.36 FIP, 40 walks (1.69 BB/9) and 161 Ks (6.79 K/9) in 32 starts and a career-high 213 1/3 IP.
In the first, Eric Young reached on an infield single, and Daniel Murphy lined a 2-2 change to center to put two on with no one out. It took Zimmermann 16 pitches to get the first out of the inning, when David Wright sent a sharp grounder back to the mound and off the starter's backside. Zimmermann recovered to get the out, however, then struck Curtis Granderson out with 1-2 slider that was ended up at the Mets' outfielder's back heel. Zimmermann got up 0-2 on Chris Young, spike one, and got a pop to Adam LaRoche at first with the next pitch to end a scoreless first inning after 23 pitches.
3. DIY: Zimmermann helped his own cause in the Nats' half of the second, sending a grounder back to the mound for a bases-loaded infield single that drove in that drove in the game's first run, 1-0.
Ike Davis got back-to-back benders, fell behind 0-2, but took a two-strike curve outside to left to foil the dramatic shift the Nationals were in defensively against the left-handed pull hitter. Davis was doubled up on the first pitch to Travis D'Arnaud though, when the Mets' catcher grounded out to second to start a 4-3 DP. Ruben Tejada's pop fly to center ended a six-pitch inning that left Zimmermann at 29 pitches overall after two.
Omar Quintinilla K'd swinging to start the Mets' third on an 0-2 curve, and after Eric Young singled, Zimmermann got a double play grounder out of Daniel Murphy to start an inning-ending 6-3 DP that left the Nats' right-hander at 40 pitches total after an 11-pitch frame.
Zimmermann got a front door slider in for a called strike to go to a full count with David Wright, who popped out to first on the the Nationals' starter's 47th pitch of the game. Curtis Granderson took an 0-2 fastball outside that was close, fouled off a 1-2 pitch, got to a 2-2 count when Zimmermann missed with a fastball, but K'd swinging on a slider down and in that got the Mets' center fielder for out no.2 and Zimmermann's 3rd K. Chris Young fell behind in the count, 0-2, took a fastball up high and in, 1-2, a heater inside, 2-2 and grounded out to second on Zimmermann's 62nd pitch of the game.
Ike Davis flew to left on an 0-1 fastball up in the zone. Travis D'Arnaud flew out to center on a first-pitch fastball. Ruben Tejada took a healthy cut at a 1-1 fastball and came up empty, got to a full count and lined out to first on Zimmermann's 71st pitch.
Jordan Zimmermann's Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 4/3 GO/FO, 71 P.
Jordan Zimmermann's Spring Training: 18 IP, 11 H, 1 ER, 15 K, 1 BB (0.50 ERA) #Nats— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 27, 2014
2.A. Wilson Ramos left this afternoon's game after three innings, prompting questions about whether or not something might be wrong with the Nationals' no.1 catcher, but there were several quick reports on Twitter that said it was just a quick day of work for the 25-year-old backstop:
Wilson Ramos left today's game after three innings, but #Nats say he's fine. Just a short day of work.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) March 27, 2014
Wilson Ramos played only 3 innings today, but that was planned. #Nats say no injury.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) March 27, 2014
Sounds like the Nats just wanted to get Wilson Ramos an easy day. We'll find out for sure later.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) March 27, 2014
2.B. Bryce Harper wasn't running full steam on a fly to left off Scott Rice in the Nationals' sixth, so he had to settle for a single when it bounced off the wall and was quickly thrown back in by Mets' left fielder Chris Young. With Ian Desmond at the plate in the next at bat, Harper was caught off first and thrown out at second by the Mets' left-handed reliever.
1. Wrapping Up: Rafael Soriano gave up a one-out single to right by Eric Young, and Anthony Rendon bobbled a barehand play on a bunt by Anthony Seratteli on what would have been a close play. David Wright popped out to center on a first-pitch fastball which allowed Young to take third, but both runners were stranded when a backboor breaking ball got Curtis Granderson looking for the final out of the frame. Still 1-0 Nats.
Tyler Clippard gave up a one-out single but completed a quick, scoreless seventh.
The Nationals added two runs in the eighth with Denard Span singling, Kevin Frandsen doubling and a sac fly by Jose Lobaton bringing Span in from third. 2-0. Bryce Harper then singled to bring Frandsen in, 3-0.
Drew Storen threw a scoreless eighth vs the Mets.
In the top of the ninth, Nate McLouth doubled, took third one out later on a single by Denard Span and scored on a wild pitch from Kyle Farnsworth. 4-0.
Jerry Blevins gave up a two-out hit, but completed a scoreless inning. Ballgame.
Nationals win, 4-0 final.