Aug 5, 2014, 3:35 PM EST
After a quick, makeup game with the Orioles, the Nationals now wrap up their homestand with a 3-game series against a Mets club they’ve beaten 12 of their last 13 meetings. They’ll be without Wilson Ramos, who was placed on the paternity leave list in anticipation of the birth of his first child. Jose Lobaton is behind the plate tonight, with Sandy Leon backing him up.
Gio Gonzalez takes the mound, trying to find some consistency after an up-and-down season. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Zack Wheeler.
Updates to come, please check back…
NEW YORK METS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183, MLB.com
Weather: Mostly clear, 85 degrees, Wind 5 mph RF to LF
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
2B Asdrubal Cabrera
C Jose Lobaton
LHP Gio Gonzalez
CF Juan Lagares
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
1B Lucas Duda
LF Eric Campbell
C Travis d’Arnaud
RF Chris Young
SS Ruben Tejada
RHP Zack Wheeler
HP Paul Nauert
1B Larry Vanover (cc)
2B Vic Carapazza
3B Dan Iassogna
7:06 p.m. — We’re underway, and it’s quite a boisterous crowd on hand tonight. Amazing what a Jayson Werth garden gnome giveaway does. I hadn’t seen the stands this packed a full hour before gametime since Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS.
7:16 p.m. — Not a great top of the first for Gio Gonzalez. He gave up a 1-out triple to Daniel Murphy, who slipped a hard grounder past a lunging Adam LaRoche down the first-base line. David Wright then smashed Gonzalez’s next pitch to left field for an RBI single. Gonzalez got through the inning without any more damage, striking out Eric Campbell with a high, 3-2 fastball, but he’ll need to settle down after that frame. Nats trail 1-0 as they come to bat for the first time.
7:23 p.m. — A 1-2-3 bottom of the first, but perhaps more notable was the manner in which Werth jogged down the baseline on a grounder to short. He didn’t look real good, and after passing first base began shaking his right leg. Matt Williams and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz came out to talk to him for a moment, but he stayed in the game and is taking his position in right field for the top of the second. Certainly worth keeping an eye on, though.
7:31 p.m. — More struggles in the top of the second. Travis d’Arnaud led off with a double down the left-field line, which put him in position to score on Zack Wheeler’s little looper into shallow right field. On that play, Werth tried to come charging in and make a sliding catch, he just couldn’t quite get there in time. And then he walked very slowly back to his position in right field. Whatever is going on, he clearly isn’t 100 percent right now. And the Nats are down 2-0.
7:54 p.m. — Here’s the beauty (or wackiness) of baseball: The Nats just scored their first run of the night without benefit of a hit, then their first hit of the night actually prevented a run from scoring! Need an explanation? Well, Wheeler issued three walks and a wild pitch in the bottom of the second, bringing home a run. Then with runners on second and third, Jose Lobaton smashed a ball toward shortstop, only to watch as it hit teammate Asdrubal Cabrera on his way to third base. By rule, Lobaton is credited with a single, Cabrera is out and the runner on third (Ian Desmond) has to go back. So what would’ve been a run-scoring groundout instead became a non-run-scoring single. Weird, wild stuff. It’s 2-1 Mets after two.
8:14 p.m. — Continuing with the theme of weirdness tonight: Wheeler has put 7 of the 14 Nats he has faced on base, yet he’s given up only one run (on a wild pitch). The Nats had something going in the bottom of the third, but then Werth grounded into a killer 6-4-3 double play. So despite 65 pitches thrown through three, Wheeler and the Mets still lead this game, 2-1.
8:27 p.m. — Now Wheeler is settling down, retiring four in a row. Fortunately, Gonzalez has found a groove as well, retiring seven in a row. So it remains a 2-1 game after four.
8:42 p.m. — Given teh way this game began, it’s pretty remarkable this has turned into a pitchers’ duel. We’re through five now, still 2-1 as Wheeler and Gonzalez trade blows.
9:01 p.m. — Somehow, the Nats just turned a leadoff double followed by a single into another zero on the scoreboard. How? Because Werth was thrown out at the plate trying to score on LaRoche’s single to left. Credit to Eric Campbell, who fired a perfect strike to the plate. Matt Williams had the umps review in case there was a violation of Rule 7.13 (blocking the plate) but there wasn’t. So they still trail 2-1 heading to the seventh.
9:24 p.m. — Well, it’s not 2-1 anymore. In a train wreck of a top of the seventh, the Mets scored three runs. Gio put the first two men on and was pulled in favor of Drew Storen, who proceeded to plunk Juan Lagares to load the bases with one out. He thought he had a 4-6-3 double play out of Lagares, but Cabrera couldn’t make the backhanded play to his right, so two runs scored. Add a bloop single by Duda and just like that, it’s a 5-1 game at the stretch. Not looking good for the hometown nine.
9:40 p.m. — Another potential Nats rally thwarted by a double-play grounder. This time, Steven Souza Jr. came off the bench to pinch-hit with two on and nobody out, only to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. Juan Lagares then robbed Denard Span of an RBI single to center with a spectacular catch, appearing to injure himself on the play. Lagares walked off under his own power, having kept the Nats in a 5-1 deficit as we move to the eighth.
9:51 p.m. — It keeps getting worse. Blake Treinen entered for the top of the eighth and quickly gave up a run on a hit batter and two singles, the last of which struck him before scooting into center field. Treinen is OK, but the Nats trail 6-1, and not even Werth’s nice throw to the plate for a 9-2 double play appears enough to get them back into this one.
10:03 p.m. — A two-out double by LaRoche in the bottom of the eighth goes for naught. Desmond has now stranded six men on base tonight via two comebackers to the mound and a strikeout. Not good. Still 6-1 going to the ninth.
10:17 p.m. — It’s over. Nats lose 6-1. They’ve dropped 2 straight and 8 of 13 since Ryan Zimmerman was injured.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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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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