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Series preview: Nats at Mets

May 18, 2011, 11:00 AM EST

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.
Nationals LHP Tom Gorzelanny (2-2, 3.40)
vs. Mets RHP Dillon Gee (2-0, 4.44)
Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

Thursday, 1:10 p.m.
Nationals RHP Livan Hernandez (3-5, 3.92)
vs. Mets RHP R.A. Dickey (1-5, 5.08)
Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

An obviously flawed New York club is trying to hang in there and has won four of its last six games. But mounting injuries may be too much to overcome. Right-hander Chris Young has been lost for the season with a shoulder capsule injury similar to the one suffering by Chien-Ming Wang two years ago. Top pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia, meanwhile, just had Tommy John surgery.

The biggest blow, though, was the revelation this week that third baseman David Wright has a stress fracture in his lower back. The injury won't require surgery, but Wright is going on the DL and won't be able to perform any baseball activities for at least 10 days.

Rookie Dillon Gee takes over Young's spot in a rotation that hasn't been getting quality performances from its other four members. R.A. Dickey, Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese and Chris Capuano all own ERAs overRead more ยป

  1. Unkyd - May 18, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    GoGoGooo NATS!!!

  2. Anonymous - May 18, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    Virtually no chance they get this game in tonight.50-50 Thursday.

  3. Anonymous8 - May 18, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    No David Wright but a hot Carlos Beltran.

  4. Manassas Nats Fan - May 18, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Radar west of NYC not looking good as of now.

  5. Anonymous - May 18, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    At least evryone will get their rest.

  6. Nats Outsider - May 18, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Mark's list of the Nats' best hitters against Dillon Gee is pretty depressing. Jayson Werth at Number 1 on the list has only one hit against him. Number 2 on the list is Espy, who has *no* hits and only a walk to show. Ugh!!

  7. HHover - May 18, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Nats outsiderGiven how few PAs are usually involved, these match up figures don't have much predictive value anyway. And when no one has more than 3 PA vs Gee, they mean pretty much nothing.

  8. Les in NC - May 18, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    @ Outsider,That's because we have only faced him once, and of course our lineup made him look like another Cy Young clone….He hasn't been quite as good this season so I hope our boys can fare a tad better this go around!

  9. Luqman - May 18, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    I think this is the opportunity for the Nationals to be above .500 in this series. The Mets are hurt, their best player is out with injury, their pitching staff is hurt. R.A. Dickey can be had, he is hittable. The last time they saw Dickey, the Nats took advantage of him, they were patient with his throw, and at the right moment, they were hitting baseballs.

  10. erocks33 - May 18, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Anyone know what the slowest pitch recorded by an MLB radar gun is? Chances are that it might be broken in the Livo vs Dickey matchup on Thursday …

  11. Tom - May 18, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Speaking of Wang, is there any news on him?

  12. Wally - May 18, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    I heard that the game is cancelled already

  13. Mrs. Z. - May 18, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    On a totally unrelated front (well, I guess both involve some type of imaging devices…), we found out yesterday that Baby Z is a boy! Cooperstown, here we come!

  14. Anonymous - May 18, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Wally said… "I heard that the game is cancelled already"I seriously doubt that. It will be rescheduled.

  15. Sec 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Congrats to the Zs!

  16. Sec 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    And condolences to the Rizzo family. Vito Rizzo, 103, Mike's grandfather. I bet he could tell some stories about Killebrew!

  17. Anonymous - May 18, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    These are the teams the Nats should be sweeping if they are for real. Then we will know if they are a bottom tier team are a middle of the pack team.

  18. Sec 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2011 at 4:03 PM put another way, he was about the age I am now, when Killebrew signed.

  19. natsfan1a - May 18, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Thanks for sharing the news, Mrs. Z. It's always nice to "see" you on here! (Hey, maybe he could be an excellent sportswriter as opposed to a HOF player? :-))

  20. Sec 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    @Wally… where did you hear that? Both teams' websites show the game as on.

  21. The Joker - May 18, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    I hope Brian Bixler has plenty of pinch-running chances. He's one of the best at pinch-running I've ever seen.

  22. natsfan1a - May 18, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    sec3, not sure but I suspect that your snarkdar may need adjustment.

  23. Unkyd - May 18, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    MazelMazel…..Good things, for the Zs!!!

  24. Anonymous - May 18, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    "Vito Rizzo, 103, Mike's grandfather."That name really sounds like it should be Don Vito Rizzo, capo di tutti capi of the Rizzo family – one of the lesser known Mafia syndicates.

  25. Anonymous - May 18, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Wang is still trying to recover from a shoulder surgery that pretty much most pitchers don't. He hasn't given up but at best he's a reliever. He's working hard down in Viera in X-ST.The other "Wang" Oliver Perez makes his first start tonight for Harrisburg against the Rock Cats.

  26. Water23 - May 18, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    Congrats to the Zs!!!

  27. DCPowerGator - May 18, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Hey Mark – is it correct that the Thursday 1:05 game will actually be broadcast on 106.7 FM, the Nats so-called "flagship station," instead of being pre-empted by the scintillating mix of local sports chatters that are otherwise on those airwaves for multiple hours each day?

  28. JaneB - May 18, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Congratulations on Baby Boy Z! An early round draft pick in 2029! How much baseball paraphernalia do you think he'll collect, just from readers of his Dad's great blog? I'm predicting he will be well outfitted. Go Nats!

  29. Steve M. - May 18, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Mrs. Z. said…On a totally unrelated front (well, I guess both involve some type of imaging devices…), we found out yesterday that Baby Z is a boy! Cooperstown, here we come! May 18, 2011 11:29 AM Congrats! Glad to hear some good news today! I suggest the first name of Jay. Has a nice ring to it!

  30. Rabbit - May 18, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    The Nats radio stations are a joke. Why can't they get a station with a good strong signal that will come in day and night? Trying to get the Nats on radio makes me think I'm back in the 1950s.

  31. Steve M. - May 18, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    I am hearing the Mets changed their rotation for Gee to tomorrow and LH Jon Niese to start tonight.Mark, can you confirm?

  32. natsfan1a - May 18, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Good call, JaneB. Maybe we should plan a "ballpark meet-up" for shower gift transfers. Possibly at a home game, towards the end of the season? Might you be up for that, Mrs. Z?"How much baseball paraphernalia do you think he'll collect, just from readers of his Dad's great blog?"

  33. FS - May 18, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Z. Train him to be a pitcher who bats cleanup. ๐Ÿ˜›

  34. NatinBeantown - May 18, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Amid the great news (congrats to the Z's), the sad news (condolences to the Rizzo's), and the wet news (hope they get a game in)… comes the strange news: Ollie Perez is starting for Harrisburg tonight….and NatsJack was convinced he'd never leave the state of Florida. Mark can you ask what they saw that impressed them enough to mess with the Senators rotation? Does Martis get released now?

  35. Wally - May 18, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    @Sec3 – saw a Heyman tweet earlier in the day. Appears it was wrong.

  36. Drew8 - May 18, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Congrats and Best Wishes to family Z.Condolences to the Rizzos.There's a great new cheat sheet for the draft watch. Jonathan Mayo of has put out a dandy new look at the top 50, which is helpful, given that the Nats have three of the first 34 picks.If this list holds, the Nats will have their pick of Bauer, Gray and Bradley at No. 6. He has Kentucky's Alex Meyer at 20.Check it out

  37. masnstinks - May 18, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Mets website definitely says Jonathan Niese tonight. Congrats to the Z's – teach him to switch hit! Unless he's left-handed, then he should be a pitcher – his nickname can be LOOGY. I hope it's not rained out again today, I thought maybe, just maybe, there was some momentum building and it doesn't take very much for our bubble to go "pop". I hope Willie the former "Met killer" Harris does not become a nat killer.

  38. Mark'd - May 18, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    Wash Times confirms thru Elias Sports Bureau that the Nats 1st 1/4 season was the toughest schedule so far in the MLB. I remember when predictions were made on this site at the end of March someone cleverly gave a prediction of wins broken down as MLB East victories and then the rest of the "field" which is how Wash Times broke it down.The NL East is looking like the best division in all of baseball as a factor of ERA and runs generated.

  39. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    Re: Oliver Perez, I said I would be suprised if he ever left Florida. And I am. However, he has picked up some speed on his fastball but his command doesn't seem to be any better. And Martis had his best outing at Harrisburg yesterday so I don't think he's done yet. Apparently there is still a ways to go before this thing has run it's course.And my hat's in the ring for Gray at the 6th pick. I love that kid's demeanor.

  40. NatinBeantown - May 18, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    NatsJack – thought you'd appreciate the ribbing. I like that this blog has a long memory and generally has posters that stick up for what they've boldly posted.I think most of Natstown is as shocked as you are about Perez. After Harris's repeated heroics and stealing Flores, getting a useful piece who's still on the Mets payroll would be icing on the cake.

  41. LoveDaNats - May 18, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    Congrats to you, Mrs. Z! I can already see "Coach Zuckerman" on the Little League field. As the mother of girls, I never knew the pleasure of having a little boy but now with twin 2-year-old grandsons, I can say with authority, they're a blast!

  42. Nats Outsider - May 18, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Mark and Mrs. Z–Are you announcing your son's arrival or just the results of the sonogram? Either way, this is wonderful news!Mazel tov al holedet ha'ben!! ("congratulations on your baby boy")

  43. natsfan1a - May 18, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    Nats Outsider (nice moniker, btw): Mark's original announcement was made as part of his baseball season predictions post back in the day. His last item there related to when Baby Z would be born (I've got October 1, btw :-)).

  44. Nats Outsider - May 18, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    @natsfan1a–Thanks for the update. The congratulations to the Zuckermans stands, but now can happily be repeated in a few more months. :-)Here's wishing Mrs. Z a summer that is not terribly hot.



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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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