Party City.com Deck Top 5:
5. Quick Recap: New York Mets' right-hander Bartolo Colon completed four scoreless on just 52 pitches to start the second game of three with the Washington Nationals in Citi Field. Jordan Zimmermann appeared to have his own fourth scoreless frame on the board when Travis d'Arnaud sent a two-out fly ball to left field after a single by Lucas Duda put a runner on first with two down, but Nats' left fielder Kevin Frandsen flat dropped the ball when it bounced off the heel of his glove and Duda scored from first on the play for a 1-0 lead after four.
The Nationals took the lead in the seventh, however, when they finally got to Colon. Adam LaRoche doubled to right-center to start the frame, took third on a single by Ian Desmond and scored on Bryce Harper's sac fly to right.
Desmond moved up on a single by Wilson Ramos and scored when Kevin Frandsen lined out to left. 2-1 Nationals after six and a half.
In the top of the eighth, Asdrubal Cabrera hit his first home run as a National, taking a 2-2 slider from Mets' right-hander Jeurys Familia out to right field on a line for a solo home run that made it 3-1.
Travis d'Arnaud made it a one-run game with a solo home run to left on a 2-2 fastball up in the zone inside from Rafael Soriano in the bottom of the ninth... but that's as close as the Mets would get. 3-2 Nats final.
4. Zimmermann in Citi Field: Like Washington starter Doug Fister last night, Jordan Zimmermann was facing the New York Mets for the second time in two weeks tonight after holding the Nationals' NL East rivals to seven hits and three runs last week in the nation's capital in a 5-3 Nats' win in which the 28-year-old right-hander received no decision.
Only two of the seven hits Zimmermann allowed in last week's start against the Mets were extra base hits, a fact he pointed to when talking about being happy about the outing.
"I thought it went pretty well," Zimmermann said. "They didn't get too many hard-hit balls. The one that [Daniel] Murphy hit, the double, was about the only one and all the other ones were little ground balls that got through or weak contact that just fell in."
Zimmermann's start left him (4-2) in Nationals Park after 13 starts with a 2.76 ERA, a 2.45 FIP, 13 walks (1.56 BB/9) and 61 Ks (7.32 K/9) in 75 IP.
Zimmermann was back on the road tonight, however, taking on the Mets in Citi Field.
The Nationals' '07 2nd Round pick was winless, personally, in his last five road starts going back to a win in San Diego, California's Petco Park back on June 8th.
The Nats won two of those five starts, but Zimmermann himself hadn't earned a win on the road since he beat the Padres two months back.
Overall on the year, the right-hander was (3-3) in 10 road starts before tonight's with a 3.41 ERA, a 2.94 FIP, eight walks (1.14 BB/9) and 65 Ks (9.24 K/9) in 63 ⅓ IP, holding opposing hitters to a .241/.270/.412 line, which is actually better than his .277/.314/.349 line against in D.C.
Zimmermann remained (5-5) against the Mets in 18 career starts after last week's outing, which left him with a 3.35 ERA, 23 walks (1.98 BB/9) and 82 Ks (7.05 K/9) in 104 ⅔ IP against New York, over which he held Mets' hitters to a combined .256/.297/.388 line.
In Citi Field, before tonight, he was (3-2) in eight starts with a 3.59 ERA, 11 walks (2.32 BB/9) and 30 Ks (6.33 K/9) in 42 ⅔ IP in which New York's hitters have put up a .261/.307/.394 line against him.
The ninth start of his career in the Mets' home began with a broken bat single...
1st: Curtis Granderson got jammed but managed to send a broken-bat single to right to start the Mets' first. Daniel Murphy grounded to second to start a 4-6-3 DP. David Wright lined to left with two down but was thrown out at second by Kevin Frandsen to end a 13-pitch first by Zimmermann.
2nd: Lucas Duda grounded out to first on the first pitch of the second. Travis d'Arnaud lined a 2-2 slider to left for a one-out single. Matt den Dekker sent a weak chopper to Anthony Rendon at third for out no.2. Juan Lagares K'd swinging at a 2-2 slider to end another 19-pitch frame. 32 total for Zimmermann after two.
3rd: Wilmer Flores lined sharply toward third where Anthony Rendon caught the third out of the inning. Bartolo Colon grounded out to short where Ian Desmond dropped the ball but recovered in time to throw Colon out. Curtis Granderson stepped in with two out, fell behind 0-2 quickly and fouled a 1-2 fastball into Wilson Ramos' mitt to end a 12-pitch frame that left Zimmermann at 44 pitches overall.
4th: Daniel Murphy lined out to center on the first pitch of the fourth. David Wright lined to right field for out no.2. Lucas Duda kept the inning alive with a two-out single to center field. Travis d'Arnaud's fly to left field should have been out no.3, but Kevin Frandsen flat dropped it. Duda scored from first on Frandsen's throw in and the Mets took a 1-0 lead. Matt den Dekker's groundout ended a 12-pitch frame, after which Zimmermann was up to 56 pitches.
5th: Juan Lagares lined out to center, where Michael Taylor made a great catch in spite of a twisting, awkward route. Wilmer Flores popped out to second. Bartolo Colon's swinging K ended a 13-pitch fifth that left Zimmermann at 69 pitches.
6th: Curtis Granderson K'd swinging over a 2-2 slider inside. Daniel Murphy popped out to third. David Wright ripped a line drive to left, but Kevin Frandsen made a sliding, two-handed catch to end a quick, nine-pitch frame that left Zimmermann at 78 pitches overall after six.
7th: Lucas Duda reached first safely on an error by Adam LaRoche and after a flyout to right by Travis d'Arnaud, a line drive single to right by Matt den Dekker put two runners on. With Juan Lagares up, Wilson Ramos threw behind den Dekker at first, but no one was covering the bag, so both runners moved up on the error. Lagares took a base-loading fastball to the back on Zimmermann's last pitch... [ed. note - "Action picks up in no.1 of the Top 5."]
The line on Jordan Zimmermann: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 4 K -- 87 pitches, 65 strikes. pic.twitter.com/WWQrip8K2Y— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 14, 2014
• Jordan Zimmermann's Line: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 87 P, 65 S, 6/4 GO/FO.
3. Colon vs the Nationals: Bartolo Colon, 41, held the Washington Nationals to nine hits and three earned runs in six innings on the mound in Citi Field, taking a loss back on April 2nd in his first start after signing with New York this winter. His second start of the year against the Nats took place on May 17th in D.C., where he went eight innings, giving up just five hits, a walk and two earned runs in a 5-2 win.
Those two outings left Colon (2-2) in four career starts against Washington, over which he put up a 2.32 ERA with three walks (0.87 BB/9) and 13 Ks (3.77 BB/9) in 31 IP in which Nationals' hitters have put up a .265/.281/.427 line against the veteran of 17 major league seasons.
Heading into tonight's game, Colon was (5-5) in 10 starts at home this season, with a 3.21 ERA, (vs 4.59 on the road), a 2.93 FIP, seven walks (0.90 BB/9) and 63 Ks (8.10 K/9) in 70 IP in which he'd held opposing hitters to a combined .251/.270/.378 line.
Colon's night in New York started with a seven-pitch, seven-strike, 1-2-3 frame against the Nationals. The Nats went down in order in another seven-pitch frame in the second with Bryce Harper striking out on a 92 mph 0-2 fastball to end the inning. 14 pitches total after two.
Wilson Ramos doubled on a 1-0 fastball for the Nationals' first hit off Colon, then took third on a single to right by Kevin Frandsen. Jordan Zimmermann failed to get a sac bunt down/really gave up an out. Michael Taylor K'd swinging over an 0-2 two-seamer. Asdrubal Cabrera stepped in with two on and two out and grounded into a force at second to end an 11-pitch inning that left the Mets' starter at 25 pitches total.
Anthony Rendon lined a single to center to start the fourth and Adam LaRoche walked to give the Nationals two on with no one out for the second straight inning. Two generous calls on 3-0 pitches outside and questionably low put Ian Desmond in a full count, and after fouling two off, Desmond grounded into a 4-6-3 DP. Bryce Harper took a two-seamer for a called strike three to end a 27-pitch frame. 52 total for Colon.
An eight-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth left Colon at 60 pitches overall after five scoreless. A 12-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth left him at 72.
Adam LaRoche doubled to the right-center gap to start the seventh and took third on a single to center by Ian Desmond, who took second on an error by Juan Lagares on the throw in. A sac fly to right by Bryce Harper brought LaRoche in to tie it up at 1-1. Wilson Ramos lined a single to center for the third hit of the inning, moving Desmond to third and a sac fly to left by Kevin Frandsen brought him in. 2-1 Nats. A weak grounder to third by Jordan Zimmermann ended a 17-pitch frame which left Colon at 87 pitches overall.
• Bartolo Colon's Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 Ks, 89 P, 65 S, 4/8 GO/FO.
2. Hotter and Hotter: Bryce Harper homered for the second time in two at bats against the New York Mets in his first at bat on Tuesday night, connecting for an opposite field blast in the series opener in Citi Field after he'd hit a walk-off out the other way in Nationals Park last week in the series finale with NY.
In an MLB Network Radio interview this morning, Nats' skipper Matt Williams talked once again about seeing signs that Harper, who has struggled offensively since returning from the DL, is turning things around at the plate.
"He's seeing it better," Williams said. "He's a little more calm at the plate. He's driving the ball the other way. Both of his homers in the last week have come opposite field. Hit a line drive to right last night as well, so he's seeing the baseball. He's staying back a little bit better and of course he's making good plays in the outfield too for us, so, I think he's ready to turn that corner on his season, and it's perfect timing for us because we're going to need him down the stretch for sure."
Harper was 0 for 2 with two Ks in his first two plate appearances against Bartolo Colon tonight, but he connected for a sac fly in the seventh that tied things up at 1-1. An infield single in the ninth left him 1 for 3 with two Ks and the sac fly on the night.
1. The Wrap-Up: Just like last week, Drew Storen came on in relief of Jordan Zimmermann with runners on. The Mets loaded the bases in the seventh before the right-handed reliever came on. Wilmer Flores grounded to third, and Rendon took the out at home, but a DP throw to first by Ramos arrived late. Pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis stepped with the bases loaded and two out and K'd chasing a 2-2 change out of the zone. Still 2-1 Nats.
Jeurys Familia retired the first batter he faced in the top of the eighth, but Asdrubal Cabrera crushed a hanging 2-2 slider and sent a line drive home run out to right. HR no.10 for Cabrera in 2014, but his first with the Nationals.
Tyler Clippard took the mound with a three-run lead in the Mets' eighth and gave up a two-out single to left by David Wright but nothing else... though he did get some help from an efforting Asdrubal Cabrera for the first out of the frame...
Oh, just Asdrubal Cabrera making a ridiculous, tumbling-into-the-stands catch. Anything for an out: http://t.co/AjCoVIrIIl— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 14, 2014
Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Rafael Soriano came out in the bottom of the ninth looking for save no.27 of 2014 and gave up a solo home run to left on a 2-2 fastball up in the zone to Mets' catcher Travis d'Arnaud. Matt den Dekker singled to center for the second straight hit, but Juan Lagares popped up an attempt to bunt the runner over/give up an out. Wilmer Flores lined a one-out single to center, sending den Dekker around to third with one down. Eric Young, Jr. came on to run at first. Pinch hitter Eric Campbell stepped in with two on. Young stole second to take away the DP opportunity. The Nats brought the infield in and Campbell grounded to short allowing Desmond to get the out at home. Two down. Curtis Granderson...? Grounder back to the mound. Ballgame!!
Work's done! Untuck that jersey, son!!
Nationals now 64-53