The Nationals defense did all it could to let Jordan Zimmermann (8-5) down, but the Nats righty battled through sloppy play and three team errors to beat the Mets 3-2 on a night where both starters must have felt like they battled their own team as well as the opponent.
The Mets scored the first run of the game in the fourth when left fielder Kevin Frandsen dropped an easy fly ball. Zimmermann retired the first two batters of the inning when Lucas Duda singled and then Travis d’Arnaud’s fly ball glanced off the heel of Frandsen’s glove, scoring Duda from first.
The Nats answered back in the seventh with sacrifice flies by Bryce Harper and Frandsen giving the Nats the 2-1 advantage. Adam LaRoche led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on an Ian Desmond single. Desmond moved into scoring position when Mets centerfielder Juan Lagares’ throw home missed the cutoff man. The costly error eventually led to the Nats second run.
In the bottom of the seventh, LaRoche misplayed a Duda grounder, and a failed Wilson Ramos pickoff attempt led to Mets runners on second and third with one out. Zimmermann’s night was done after hitting Lagares in the back, leading to Drew Storen pitching out of the bases loaded jam by inducing a groundout and a strikeout.
It’s not an exaggeration at all to say that Storen saved the Nats game with his brief, eight-pitch appearance.
Zimmermann’s night was done after 6 1/3 innings. He allowed one unearned run on five hits, no walks, and struck out four.
Opposite Zimmermann, the Mets Bartolo Colon (11-10) deserved better than his end result. Getting out of trouble early in the game, the veteran right-hander allowed two unearned runs, one earned in seven innings on six hits and a walk while striking out eight.
Tyler Clippard pitched the eighth while Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth. Soriano allowed d’Arnaud’s tenth home run of the season to lead off the ninth. After then allowing two more singles, with runners on second and third with one out, two groundouts later and Soriano earned his 27th save of the season.
The Nats have now beaten the Mets in New York 10 straight times, which is a new team record against an opponent in their home park.
Ramos finished the game 2-for-4 with a double while LaRoche finished 1-for-2 with a double, two walks, and a stolen base. Recent call up Michael Taylor got the start in center for Denard Span. Jayson Werth earlier in the day received a cortisone shot for his ailing right shoulder and missed his fourth start in the last five games.