By: Reese Nobles
Game two of the series between the Washington Nationals and the NL East leading New York Mets occurred today before a crowd of a little over 27,000 at Nationals Park. The crowd was treated to a fantastic pitching matchup of Matt Harvey (12-7 2.60 ERA) and the Washington Nationals franchise record holder in wins, Jordan Zimmermann (12-8 3.38 ERA).
Early on in the first Clint Robinson, who replaced Ryan Zimmerman at first today after Zim hurt his Oblique in Monday’s loss to the Mets, was able to drive in Anthony Rendon for the first run of the game. Then Ian Desmond singled out to right to score Yunel Escobar before Matt Harvey got out of the inning. In the bottom of the first, David Wright (3) homered off Jordan Zimmermann.
The scoring for the Nationals continued in the second inning as Anthony Rendon singled out to left to score Michael A Taylor to give the Nationals a 3-1 lead. The offense erupted in the 6th after Jordan Zimmermann exited the game, after going 5 ⅔ innings, as the aforementioned Michael A Taylor hit a double to centerfield. Yoenis Cespedes could not handle the ball leading to all four runs coming across the plate allowing the Nationals to extended their lead to 7-1. This feat forced Terry Collins to pull Matt Harvey out after only 5 ⅓ innings.
After Zimmermann exited the game, manager Matt Williams went to his bullpen to get Matt Thornton who closed out the 6th. It happened again in the seventh however as the bullpen once again collapsed and allowed 6 runs, powered by 6 walks as well as burning through Blake Treinen , Felipe Rivero, and Drew Storen, leaving only Papelbon to pitch the last two innings. In those two innings Papelbon gave up a Kirk Nieuwenhuis pinch hit homerun,to make the final score 8-7.
After this game the Nationals once again find themselves 5 GB in the NL East and have another shot at the Mets tomorrow at Nationals park as Stephen Strasburg (8-6 4.35 ERA) will take the mound for the Nationals and Jacob deGrom (12-7 2.40 ERA) will be on the hill for the Mets as the Nats look to close the gap again to 4 GB in the NL East. It’s not over yet Nationals fans.