The Washington Nationals rallied to take a 2-1 lead over the New York Mets in the top of the seventh last night in Citi Field, but they almost gave it up in the bottom of the inning. A fielding error, single, throwing error and HBP loaded the bases with one down before Drew Storen replaced Jordan Zimmermann on the mound and retired the next two batters.
After the Nationals escaped the jam, Asdrubal Cabrera stepped to the plate in the top of the eighth and hit a line drive home run to right field on a 2-2 slider from Mets' reliever Jeurys Familia to give the Nats a 3-1 lead.
Cabrera's first home run as a National would ended up being the winning run in what ended up a 3-2 game in Washington's favor.
But before the game got to the ninth and Rafael Soriano's near-meltdown, Cabrera helped Tyler Clippard out in the eighth, going into the stands after catching a pop fly down the line in right...
The home run was Cabrera's only hit in four at bats, but it extended his current hit streak to seven straight and gave him hits in eight of ten games since the non-waiver deadline deal that brought him to Washington from Cleveland.
Over the course of his current hit streak, the Nats' new second baseman is 9 for 26 (.346/.419/.538) with two doubles and a home run.
Nationals' skipper Matt Williams is happy with what he's seeing from the infielder.
"He's hitting the ball the other way, so his approach is right," Williams said. "He got a slider tonight that he hit over the fence. But you've seen a couple of three or four base hits the other way and that's key for him. He's comfortable in the two-hole. He won't there all the time, but he's comfortable there too, so that allows him to relax a little bit."
The Mets rallied against Nats' closer Rafael Soriano in the ninth and got within one run, but the veteran reliever eventually shut it down. Cabrera's home run ended up being a big one...
Nice try, Zach Walters. Sure you got a walk-off, but Asdrubal got it done too.
Can the Nats win three straight against the Mets and their 11th straight in Citi Field tonight? We'll have to wait and see. Until then, some lunchtime reading. Return to your cubicle and read some stuff... starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:
• THE BIG STORY!!!: (Hey, did you hear about this MASN thing?):
• "Last week, a New York Supreme Court judge ordered a preliminary injunction against the Nationals and MLB, ruling they could not take any action against MASN nor the Orioles until further notice." - "Orioles, Nationals, baseball to file arguments concerning injunction in MASN dispute" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post
The latest details and arguments in the MASN case, including how much MLB's panel awarded the Nats. http://t.co/wmnXhFKFvy— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) August 14, 2014
• "The Baltimore Orioles defied an order from commissioner Bud Selig to appear at a sanctions hearing, another sign of the team's widening rift with Major League Baseball." - "Orioles question Selig's authority over MASN" - Jeff Barker, Baltimore Sun
• NATS BEAT:
• "Zimmermann was excellent on the mound. He lasted 6 1/3 innings and allowed the unearned run in the fourth. But he had to exit the game in the seventh inning because of poor defense behind him..." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - August 13, 2014" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap
• "Stephen Strasburg will pitch Thursday night on the Citi Field mound, a plot of land that is familiar to him but, based on his performance the past two years, potentially problematic." - "Stephen Strasburg is on the road again" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post
• "The changeup has become a major weapon for Storen this season, and he threw three of them in a four-pitch span after getting behind in the count 2-1." - "Nationals Pastime: Storen comes up huge" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "The MRI, performed in New York, showed only inflammation of the AC joint, manager Matt Williams told reporters before Wednesday night’s game against the Mets at Citi Field." - "Werth gets cortisone shot in shoulder, will miss couple more days" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth had an MRI taken Tuesday night on his right shoulder and the results revealed an AC joint sprain." - "Werth gets cortisone shot for shoulder sprain" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News
• "Werth had no structural damage in his labrum rotator cuff, but pain from his AC joint became difficult to play through. As the cortisone takes effect, Werth will miss a handful of games." - "Jayson Werth receives cortisone shot to relieve AC joint sprain" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post
• "Williams said he and Span talked last night about the possibility of a day off now that the streaks are over, and that Span texted him this morning asking for the break." - "Nationals Pastime: Werth gets cortisone injection, Span gets a day off" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com
• "Though the spry center fielder originally looked over the wrong shoulder, he was able to recover and make the catch." - "Nationals rookie Michael Taylor nearly misses a catch then reacts like I did during Little League" - MLB.com
• "'Baseball in the District' - Michael Taylor & Ben Raby on '94 Expos" - Chase Hughes, Comcast SportsNet Washington
• "Strasburg is coming off a putrid outing in which he surrendered seven earned runs on seven hits, including four home runs, in a 7-6 loss to the Braves." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - August 14, 2014" - Daniel Popper, MLB.com Preview
• "There isn’t one team in the NL right now that feels like it’s playing up to its full potential. Nobody’s perfect, nor is anybody even close to perfect." - "It may not be easy for the Nationals this year, but that’s OK" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "Drew Storen came on with one out and the sacks packed in the seventh and left them loaded." - "Nationals Pastime: Hearing from Williams, Zimmerman, Frandsen and Cabrera after Nats' 3-2 win" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "There are signs the 21-year-old slugger is beginning to come out of his funk. He entered Wednesday’s game with two home runs in his previous five games..." - "Nationals lead NL East, but Strasburg and Harper aren’t the reason why" - Jason Butt, The Washington Post
• "Rafael Soriano tugged the jersey out of his pants with two emphatic yanks, the last act of a night none of the Washington Nationals wanted to relive." - "Nationals-Mets: Drew Storen helps Washington escape with a 3-2 victory" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post
• "In years past, Matt den Dekker might have run Wilson Ramos over." - "Confirmation of out call at home rankles Mets" - Tim Healey, nationals.com: News
• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:
• "Are the Mets ever going to beat the Nationals at Citi Field? Yes, ever is a long time. Yes, the Mets technically have beaten the Nationals at Citi Field." - "Morning Briefing: Can Mets stop Nats?" - Danny Knobler, Mets Blog - ESPN New York
• "Terry Collins' frustration was obvious, and understandable. His New York Mets team had lost yet another home game to the Washington Nationals..." - "Terry Collins, New York Mets frustrated after loss to Washington Nats" - Danny Knobler, ESPN New York
• "My interest in Taylor stems from a visit earlier this year to Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia. That’s the home of the Potomac Nationals, the Nats 'High A' farm club." - "A baseball star is born, I hope" - Paul Mirengoff, Power Line
• "Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos doesn't have time for Major League Baseball's next commissioner." - "8 things you need to know this morning" - James Briggs, Baltimore Business Journal
• "'We gotta start winning some games against the Nationals if we're going to have any opportunity at all to talk about how important September is,' Collins said." - "Bartolo Colon has impressive night with eight strikeouts against Nationals" - Laura Albanese, Newsday
• "If the Mets aspire to be anything other than also-rans, they must at some point change their fortunes against the Nationals." - "Mets just can't swat away Nationals at Citi Field, lose again after frustrating ninth" - Marc Carig, Newsday
• "The power showcase from the night before still lingering around Citi Field, Terry Collins spoke Wednesday about the Washington Nationals’ muscular lineup with a hint of admiration." - "Division-leading Nationals show Mets how far a powerful lineup can go" - Michael J. Fensom, NJ.com
• "The Mets might as well just forfeit the rest of their games against the Washington Nationals. It would save everybody a lot of time." - "Mets Fall to Nationals Yet Again" - Jared Diamond, WSJ
• "A good friend of mine is a perpetually dissatisfied Washington Nationals fan. And she doesn't seem like an anomaly..." - "Uneasy Nationals fans should relax, enjoy playoff run" - Howard Medgal, Detroit Free Press
• "Even if the postseason is out of reach, finishing above .500 for the first time in six years is still possible. But even that’s becoming increasingly difficult." - "Mets fall to East-leading Nationals, 3-2" - Chris Iseman, NorthJersey.com
• "We're going to have games like this every once in a while. The fact that we were able to overcome it is key," manager Matt Williams said. "We were fortunate tonight." - "Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets - Recap" - ESPN New York
• "In establishing command of the National League East, the Washington Nationals have set up a hospitable outpost in Queens." - "Mets lose to Nationals, 3-2, drop 10th straight against NL East leaders at Citi Field" - Michael J. Fensom, NJ.com
• "What remains clear is the Mets can’t find a way to beat the Nats at home." - "Mets rally in ninth falls short in another loss to Nationals" - Dan Martin, New York Post
• "Rafael Soriano racked up save number 27 this afternoon, although he certainly didn’t make things easy on himself." - "Bullpen Report: August 13, 2014" - Colin Zarzyicki, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
• "If the Mets are going to have a glimmer of hope of catching the Washington Nationals in the National League East, they will first have to start beating them." - "New Rule Is Fuzzy, but Mets’ Result Is Absolute: Another Loss to Nationals" - Zach Schonbrun, NYTimes.com
• "The second play came in the Nationals-Mets game, with the Nationals leading 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth." - "Collision rule remains controversial, murky" - David Schoenfield, SweetSpot Blog - ESPN
• NATS MINORS:
• Class-A Auburn: "When he was taken in the 26th round of the draft, Chase McDowell had his role clarified." - "A versatile veteran at Rice, Auburn Doubledays reliever McDowell settling in on the mound" - Jeremy Houghtaling, Auburn Citizen
• Low-A Hagerstown: "The Hagerstown Suns (35-18, 79-44) swept a doubleheader with the Delmarva Shorebirds (22-31, 60-62) on Wednesday night..." - "Suns sweep doubleheader, series with Shorebirds" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News
• "Reynaldo Lopez continued his impressive second act in the South Atlantic League on Wednesday." - "Washington Nationals prospect Reynaldo Lopez continues dominant stretch for Hagerstown Suns" - Kelsie Heneghan, MiLB.com News
• Potomac Nationals: "RF Brandon Miller hit his twelfth home run of the year on a ball that got lost in the left field sun." - "Bitter Doubleheader Sweep Snaps P-Nats Streak" - Potomac Nationals News
• Double-A Harrisburg: "Game one featured four solo home runs from Harrisburg's Jason Martinson, Quincy Latimore, Drew Vettleson and Matt Skole." - "Senators Come Back to Split Twinbill" - Perry Mattern, Harrisburg Senators News
• "Hitting coach Mark Harris told me prior to the game that Skole is working hard to get back to his pre-injury mode at the plate." - "Skole, Dykstra, Vettleson, Espino, Hague shine in Senators' comeback win" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
• "Michael Taylor made quite the splash in his major league debut on Tuesday night with a single in his first at-bat and later a two-run home run." - "Michael Taylor's memorable MLB debut; Harrisburg Senators set for double dip" - Mick Reinhard, PennLive.com
• Triple-A Syracuse: "Right fielder Eury Perez finished a home run shy of the cycle while knocking in one run as the Chiefs remained one game on top of the Pawtucket Red Sox in the International League North." - "The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Charlotte Knights, 8-6" - Syracuse Chiefs News
• "Former Syracuse Chiefs slugger Zach Walters made his first homer as a Cleveland Indian a big one." - "Former Syracuse Chief Zach Walters hits walkoff home run for Cleveland Indians (video)" - Lindsay Kramer, syracuse.com
• "The partners seeking to build a baseball stadium in Fredericksburg are roughly $18 million short in funding and may not go forward with the project without additional financial help..." - "City’s stadium project at risk" - Pamela Gould, The News Desk
• "Cole has carried the dominance he displayed at Harrisburg up to Syracuse with him. He's won his first four decisions at the Triple-A level." - "Nationals Minor League Spotlight: A.J. Cole, Michael Taylor" - Nate Harold, Pressbox DC
• "In four starts dating to July 25, RHP Lucas Giolito is 4-0 with a 1.23 ERA (3 ER/22.0 IP). He has tallied 24 strikeouts while allowing just 12 hits and three walks, with opponents hitting just .160 against him over that stretch." - "Nationals Minor League Report" - Curly W Live
• "Asdrubal Cabrera's running catch into the stands (Video)" - Nats Enquirer
• "Again, see the first three sentences of this post. That's why the Nats are making the playoffs.They are near locks for their division." - "Preparing to fight a different beast" - Harper, Nationals Baseball
• "Michael Taylor batting practice hat giveaway, anyone?" - "Michael Taylor’s hi-top was on display during batting practice" - Scott Allen, The Washington Post
• NL EAST UPDATES:
• Braves: "Craig Kimbrel does not want to make a habit out of creating bases-loaded threats." - "Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel finds way in to, out of unwanted spot" - Mark Bowman, braves.com: News
• Marlins: "On Thursday, Penny will pitch for the first time at Marlins Park when Miami takes on Arizona in the opening contest of a four-game set -- more than a decade since his last home appearance for the Marlins." - "Arizona Diamondbacks at Miami Marlins - August 14, 2014" - Daniel Popper, MLB.com Preview
• Phillies: "Cole Hamels gets the ball for Philly while Madison Bumgarner will take the mound for San Francisco as the two sides begin a three-game set." - "Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants - August 15, 2014" - Jamie Ross, MLB.com Preview
• Mets: "There is no end in sight for the back-and-forth game between Matt Harvey and the Mets regarding the right-hander's rehab from Tommy John surgery." - "Harvey continues rehab, club stays cautious" - Tim Healey, mets.com: News