Skip to content

Game 107: Mets at Nats

Jul 31, 2011, 4:51 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jordan Zimmermann faces Jon Niese in today's series finale at Nationals Park.

As the drama of the trade deadline plays out in the general manager's office, the Nationals take the field this afternoon to face the Mets in the rubber game of this weekend series. Last night's 3-0 victory was nice; another win today to ensure a series victory would be even nicer.

Jordan Zimmermann gets the ball for the Nats, coming off back-to-back shaky outings. Everyone will be very interested to see how he responds today. Left-hander Jon Niese starts for the Mets, and he'll face a lineup loaded with right-handed hitters (including Brian Bixler, who makes his first career start in center field).

I'm here at the ballpark today, but I'm going to be handling all the trade deadline stuff. Fortunately, Chase Hughes is right here by my side, and he'll be providing updates on this blog for your enjoyment. Please treat him just as you treat me. On second thought, treat him better than me…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m.
TV: MASN2, Ch. 50
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Mostly sunny, 94 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from CF

CF Brian Bixler
SS Ian Desmond
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse


103 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Good morning, Mr. Hughes.Did Mark mention that he always buys us ice cream on hot days?

  2. sjm308 - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Chase:Please tell Mark that it is very important that he leave the press box at some early point in the game to go get information, especially when we are at bat. Its magic I tell you, just watch.

  3. JaneB - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    Great advice, anon at 1:07 and sjm. :-)GYFNG! But Clip and Store should not take that literally.

  4. sjm308 - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Mark:Will there honestly be a 4 pm deadline? If trades are in the making, will they allow the teams more time to work things out or does it just shut down at 4:00?thanks

  5. Doc - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Yeah Chase,if both you and MarkMeister take off from the pressbox down to the field, maybe we will be able to double the score. sjm 308 is right on!

  6. Wally - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Hey FP, can we not go with all these JZ homers as highlights? Bad karma, bud.

  7. dj in Fl. - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Well attendance may be down a few today. Sen. Reid just told the Senate to stay close for a vote later. Sen. McConnell asked how long and Reid replied not to go to the ballgam,e we should be ready before it ends.At least it will keep the NY reps and employees from rooting for the wrong team in DC.Lets win this series!

  8. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    sjm308 said…Mark: Will there honestly be a 4 pm deadline? If trades are in the making, will they allow the teams more time to work things out or does it just shut down at 4:00?Good question. All trades must be filed to MLB headquarters by 4 p.m., no later. But it can take several minutes for the news to trickle out. So really, from our perspective, it could be 4:15 or later before we know for sure whether anything has happened.FYI for everyone: I'm updating the trade deadline stuff on that running thread. If possible, let's try to keep all trade-related comments on that thread, and keep game-related stuff here. Just makes it easier for everyone to keep track of the different topics.

  9. Wally - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Flores guns down Willie. Throw looked great.Zim with another awful looking throw, tho it looked like he slipped as he was throwing

  10. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    You know, I hear over and over again that we can see what Jayson Werth brings to the table once he gets "warmed up" sometime after the All Star break, like last night. Can someone explain to me how any superstar like Werth can ever help a team after the All Star break once the team (hmmmm, something like the Nats?) is mired in last place and 17 games out of first place at the end of July? Thanks for any insight you may have. I'm clueless.

  11. Mark'd - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Zim with another lousy throw causing his pitcher to throw more pitches.

  12. Wally - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    This ump no es muy bueno. Left JZ hanging several times already

  13. sunderland - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    Watching last inning, to me it's clear that Zimerman is toughing it out and playing hurt. It's something everyone on the team must know but no one is going to be the one to mention it. It seems to me that he is gonna be like this the rest of this season.

  14. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Yeah, seriously tiny zone today. Oh well, as long as he keeps it the same size throughout the game.

  15. Wally - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Nice play by Desi, but this ump is really bothering me.JZimm looking pretty sharp.

  16. sjm308 - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    its early but don't you think JZimmnn looks much better than his last two starts? Working quickly and even though I think the ump is squeezing him he doesn't seem to be upset. Can only hope he goes 7 and then its Clipp and Store.go nats and thanks Mark (damn, after 66 years I finally asked a good question – whoo hooo)

  17. Wally - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Seriously, is anyone watching this ump? Niese getting calls all over the place, JZimm nada, zilch.Am I smoking something without knowing it?Sjm : yes, I think he is looking good. With a normal ump, he probably throws 10 less pitches already (ok, that may be an exaggeration)

  18. sjm308 - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    Gomes with his first hit!!Was reading the back of his 2011 baseball card and he has won the MLB Heart & Hustle award with both the Reds and the Rays. Sounds like he is a really good guy for the clubhouse.

  19. baseballswami - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    JZim just walked one. Most of the balls that have been called have been strikes, though, justgetting squeezed by the um big time. Now he has to serve it up to get a strike and Reyes gets a hit. 2 on with no outs – once again JZ is snake bit. Some offense maybe this time? Is JZ our pitcher with the worst run support – sure seems like it. Need a nice dp about now.

  20. Wally - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Awesome DP. I think Daniel Murphy felt bad that the ump was so bad towards JZimm

  21. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Wow, that was close. Nice throw.

  22. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    well that was an odd double play. Nice to see another team run itseld out of a rally.BTW, striking out looking last night and popping up a bunt today – also nice to see Willie Harris continuing to torment the Mets!

  23. baseballswami - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Hate to keep harping on it but – this pitcher is getting calls that jz does not get. The bottom of that inning was way too short. A little run support, please?

  24. sjm308 - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    swami – I was not really paying attention but you guys are correct – those outside pitches for us are strikes for Neise – nothing anyone can do about it and it looks as if Zimm is just going about his business – I guess this kind of thing happens often – just different angles to the plate and where the ump sets up makes a big difference

  25. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    About time JZ got that call. Seriously.

  26. Wally - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    C'mon Jason, keep it going.Morse is a beast

  27. Wally - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Thole is an annoying batter. I can see why the Mets like him. If I was pitching, I might give him 6 pitches to do something, and then he gets one between the numbers

  28. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:49 PM


  29. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    Reyes was in there. Bad call.

  30. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Wow, two great throws to Second by Flores. Looks like he's getting comfortable behind the plate again.

  31. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    About time we get a call our way.

  32. Wally - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    I hope everyone is sitting down: Flores just gunned down Reyes at second. And I mean gunned. Even tho he was probably safe. How can this be the same guy as a few weeks ago?Btw, I am not hating this Bixler in CF idea (I mean, if we are not getting you know who). He needs to play there a while in Syr, but maybe something there.Well, heading out with the family. Go Nats, go JZ, and I'll be interested to read trade deadline results when I get back

  33. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    The hitting is flat out embarassing on this team. TOO MANY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS ON THIS ROSTER. Brian Bixler???????? Why not put in Bill Bixby?? Awful.

  34. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    Ouch, Werth should've gotten that guy. But at least he is hitting now…

  35. m20832 - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    How is it that mr. video eckstein cannot see or observe that most of the Nats batters are swinging behind or over the pitches? Seems like Morse is the only one to swing correctly and make contact. What's up with that? Been going on all year, right?

  36. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    I hate the balk rule. Hate it.

  37. dj in Fl. - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    What a way to pitch out of that mess.

  38. Anon an' on an' on - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    OTOH, the PITCHING is GREAT!!!!!!!!! The INCREDIBLE HULK couldn't hit him!!!!!!! Awesome.

  39. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    Oh ho, what was that about wanting to trade Desi? What now?

  40. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Yeah, Z-Man!

  41. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    Beast Mode.

  42. sunderland - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    The last two guys he faced, Zinn looked great, no other way to categorize it. And now the lineup puts him into position for the win. Real nice.

  43. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Come on, Laynce!

  44. sunerland - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Nice being able to force out Niese with Gomes, and then bring in Nix. Those two make a good 5th or 6th hitter.

  45. nationals7 - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Is Livo in the dugout? I haven't spotted him & he's always out front cheering.

  46. JaneB - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    Anyone find Livo yet? Nationals7's report is making me nervous now.Time to take out Sean, Davey.

  47. Smatt1001 - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    Burnett needs to settle down.

  48. Steve M. - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    What can I say that I haven't said before. Burnett, HenRod and Coffey are not reliable.To see the JZim work his #$$ off just to see Burnett face one batter and give back a run is a real shame.Rizzo has left Davey with 3 guys to count on a bunch of junkers and clunkers.

  49. Smatt1001 - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    and he does….whew…Got to love the fact that the capcha was: nomet

  50. fashion police - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    Is Ankiel wearing a camo tee shirt under the red jersey? Who dresses him?

  51. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    Where is Livo? Stupid MASN won't show the dugout when I'm watching. He must not be traded!

  52. Steve M. - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Really FP, its cliche 'the best trades we make are the trades we don't make'? I thought that was one of my original quotes!

  53. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Guys, I really wouldn't worry about not seeing Livo in the dugout. Because he's tomorrow's scheduled starter against the Braves, he's charting pitches all game. Sometimes, he would do that from the clubhouse, watching on TV. I haven't heard his name come up at all in trade talks.

  54. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Phew, ok, thanks Mark.

  55. sparko - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Mark Z is part of the Livo conspiracy!

  56. Steve M. - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    What a pitch by Tyler Clippard to K my man WillieHaHa!

  57. no news is good news - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    It's 4:00. Do you know where your pitchers are?

  58. Steve M. - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Mark Zuckerman said… Guys, I really wouldn't worry about not seeing Livo in the dugout. Because he's tomorrow's scheduled starter against the Braves, he's charting pitches all game. Sometimes, he would do that from the clubhouse, watching on TV. I haven't heard his name come up at all in trade talks. July 31, 2011 3:54 PM If all you could get was a 40xE6 for Jason Marquis, what do you expect for Livan Hernandez, a bat boy and a bag of balls?

  59. nationals7 - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Thank you. No way to know a player's prep habits.

  60. Steve M. - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Ludwick was traded at the deadline to the Pirates

  61. Steve M. - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Bedard traded.

  62. JaneB - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Livo is priceless in some ways. :-) at least to me. I'm just glad there's a good explanation. And I hope Store is warming up now.Starting to breathe more deeply now.

  63. nobody is born knowing this stuff - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Nationals7, it's not personal habits, it's SOP.

  64. flynnie - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    I'm glad Rizzo did an imitation of "Stand Pat" Gillick. Can you imagine trading Storen and Lombardozzi for a CF who's one bean-ball away from ending his career, if he's able to come back? How many baseball concussions do you know about that have lasted as long as Span's?

  65. FS - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    let me be the first. like i said, should have traded him.

  66. Sparks - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    FS, +1, a bum.

  67. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Storen gives up the game-tying gopher ball. Should have traded his sorry @$$.

  68. flynnie - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Storen needs to adopt Trevor Hoffman's theme song, now that Trevor is retired. "Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated wrote that Hoffman's "signature moment is one of the most electrically charged in sports: Padres fans rising and roaring, in Pavlovian fashion, upon hearing the first bell toll, the foreboding bonging like something out of Hitchcock as Hoffman enters slowly, stage right." Opposing closer Jason Isringhausen said, "'Hells Bells' in San Diego is Trevor. It's like when you go there, you want to [win] two out of three so you can hear it once." The initial introduction of Hoffman's entrance music was a forerunner in the heavy metal closer theme songs used throughout home stadiums." Wikipedia

  69. D's Nats - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    So apparently Ankiel sold the "it hit my shirt!" call, on what would otherwise have been a wild pitch, putting Flores at second. Wouldn't it be better to be Ankiel, hitting with a man on second and no force, than Bixler bunting ….into a force. Ouch.

  70. flynnie - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Game Winning Chop by Desi!

  71. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Storen is the winner. Rizzo is a genius.

  72. Smatt1001 - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    And Desi gets the RBI and ends it!!

  73. dj in Fl. - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    That was a fun ending on a baseball filled day.

  74. The Mickey - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    "Probably wouldn't be the best day to blow a save, we'll see."You realize we're blaming you for this, don't you, Chase?

  75. FS - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    WOW that was Chase's line. LOL, I agree. This blown save is on him. He jinxed poor Drew.

  76. JaneB - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    And we keep Desi, too! Don't wanna a word from the Desi haters. I love my Nats. Every single one of them.

  77. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    Two wins in a row. It should now be obvious to all, as I could detect with my mental powers, that Hairston and Marquis didn't care about winning and were clubhouse cancers.It's on the the playoffs for the Nats. Anything less is a failure for Rizzo.

  78. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    "And we keep Desi, too! Don't wanna a word from the Desi haters."Swinging at 2 pitches nowhere near the strike zone, then with two strikes taking a pitch that could (should?) have been a called 3rd strike…That was an example of a bad at bat that had a good result.

  79. DannyEllinosa - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    I second the motion, JaneB!

  80. Mark'd - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Read what some idiot wrote about Desi on the trade deadline thread right before 4pm.Kardiac Kids!!!!

  81. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    No one mentioned Flores behind the plate. Good game.

  82. flynnie - Jul 31, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    Well said! Jesus showed why we love him.

  83. m20832 - Jul 31, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Great Win! Like winning series! Can the boys please keep this up for the Braves? But I don't know….they did get Bourne…GYFNG!!!

  84. Anonymous - Jul 31, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    anon 4:54 I love the enthusiasm but maybe its time to lay off the Corona.

  85. natsfan1a - Jul 31, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    Another nice win. Z'nn looking to be bouncing back, Flores finding his gun, and just enough Nats friskiness at the plate and on the base paths. I'm also happy that Storen is still a Nat. Clippard, too.Now, about that ice cream, Chase. It's a double scoop for jinxes, btw…

  86. flynnie - Jul 31, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    JaneB – I'm so glad we kept Livo and Drew. And I'm proud to be in the company of fans like you!

  87. Oldguy - Jul 31, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    As good as Zimm's numbers looked, he was missing a lot of pitches bad–Flores had to stretch up for them. Not meant as criticism, just an observation that maybe his arm is getting fatigued.Re Storen's "blown" save. That makes four this season. BUT! Dammit we have won every one of those games. He has never walked off the field with us losing. Anyone can give up one run–Papelbon, Rivera, Wilson–they all have. And while we're at it, Hairston hit a homer off Wilson off the bench in SF this season. If we have a two or three run lead and lose it, then it's time to complain.The standing O's Storen got when he came on from the pen and when he got announced were great. A bunch of us sitting up behind home plate all knew were were going to win it. A long time since we had that "Can't lose" feeling.

  88. NatsLady - Jul 31, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Z'nn wss pitching on fumes in the 6th, he was REALLY tired. Z'n throwing is not good, fans on both of side of me noticed and asked me about it. But, on the whole, njoyable and exciting game. Sat next to a very knowlegable Mets fan who gave me a lot of insight into his team. So Burnett comes in, I said, watch this, the first batter will hit a home run– but luckily it will be a solo home run. He said, we don't have anyone up who can hit a home run. I said, doesn't matter, Burnett has that magic. The Mets pinch hit Hairston, and lo, a home run. Burnett gets it out of his system, and there ya go. Too bad Burnett's homer is just a ding against his ERA but Storen's is a blown save. Amazing standing ovation the fans gave Storen. Everyone knew what had just NOT happened.

  89. Mark'd - Jul 31, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    When JZim needed to bring it, he did and as predictable, the bullpen blows another one of his Wins.JZim may have missed some spots and at the same time get many of the Mets off-balance.While Storen didn't have his stuff today, Davey had the winning combo yesterday with Detwiler to Clippard and Storen and went back to Burnett with predictable negative results.

  90. flynnie - Jul 31, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    1A, I think this merits a trip to the Dairy Bar on Arlington Blvd. in Falls Church for a large frozen custard!

  91. Richard - Jul 31, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    I've been critical of some aspects of Ankiel's game this year on this blog but I've come to appreciate him. At the game today I saw why he's a coveted piece of a major league team. Thanks, Rick, for your grit and hustle.

  92. NatsLady - Jul 31, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    Well, if Ankiel wasn't really hit by a pitch, remember, the umps owe us TWO from yesterday.

  93. flynnie - Jul 31, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    I think they may have given us two on Reyes' thrown out stealing. It was worth it to see him pout.

  94. natsfan1a - Jul 31, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    OldGuy, agree re. the margin for error for Storen and our other relievers. More often than not it's just one run.Flynnie, good call on the frozen custard, but I think I'll just raid the freezer. I liked seeing Reyes pout, too.NatsLady, re. the HBP (or not), I was making the same point to my tv set. Ankiel was just giving Thole a taste of his own medicine. :-)

  95. nationals7 - Jul 31, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    Co-fans- I join Jane in being very happy about Livo. I dunno, something about his joy & skill please me. Totally relieved that Clip n Store remain. I'm so proud the fans gave him a standing O. His parents must be proud. He is a fine young man. No dairy queen neat me, I'll celebrate with good wine. Reyes stymied. My favorite. Ankiel was great!

  96. nationals7 - Aug 1, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    P.S. Storen tweeted how pumped he was to stay in DC & thanked the fans for the ovation. Nice. I've often wondered if players feel fan energy.. they do!

  97. Bigfish - Aug 1, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    Nationals7: Not Dairy Queen: Dairy Bar. Big diff ๐Ÿ˜‰.

  98. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    I'll throw a little love in Livo's direction, too. He had me at "play ball" back in 2005. He's fun to watch, whether on the mound or in the dugout.

  99. Another_Sam - Aug 1, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    My feeling about Livan is often expressed here. I'm with JaneB et al. LOL

  100. baseballswami - Aug 1, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    JZim seemed to me to be much better today – his velocity was outstanding. He had to make up for zim's throwing error, Werth's mental error , Thole fouling off about 20 pitches today and getting squeezed by the home plate umpire. I think those things contributed greatly to his high pitch count. After he pulled off his first escape act, he really seemed to bear down. All of his pitches are not perfectly located and filthy, but most of his stuff is pretty nasty. He left with a zero in the run column — Drew may have blown a save, but of the 4 he has on the year, we have won all four games. Sometimes keeping your team in the game and close is enough — these guys both deserved the offense to pick them up for a change.

  101. nationals7 - Aug 1, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    Okay. dairy bar.Neither near me :-)

  102. JaneB - Aug 1, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    DannyE, I knew you'd agree. Flynnie…back atcha.

  103. flynnie - Aug 1, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    One reason I like Livo is that, unlike Richard Corey, he is not "imperially thin." And I grew up loving Phil Niekro. He's like watching Niekro or Jamie Moyer or Maddux or Trevor Hoffman (of whom Paul LoDuca once said, after striking out – "it's like his change-up has a parachute on it." I like that he goaded Lannan into hitting better. I like his pre-game meal of pancakes, and that he watches re-plays of his home runs and shouts, "Throw me that change-up, bitch!"



NEW YORK9072โ€”


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)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter