After losing the first game of their three-game set against the Mets, the Washington Nationals suffered a painful loss to the New York Tuesday night. The Nationals blew a sixth run lead and fell to the Mets, 8-7, to drop six games back of New York in the NL East.
Jordan Zimmermann got the start for the Nationals and the right-hander took care of business. Zimmermann wasn’t very efficient and was out of the game after 5 2/3 innings, but the right-hander held the Mets’ potent lineup to just one run on three hits. He struck out six batters, walking just one.
Zimmermann’s only blemish came in the top of the second, when he allowed a solo home run to perennial Nat-killer David Wright.
Of course, it helped that the Nationals gave Zimmermann some early run support.
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Clint Robinson got the scoring started for the Nationals with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. Ian Desmond doubled Washington’s lead with an RBI single of his own later in the inning. Anthony Rendon gave the Nationals their third run of the night on an RBI single in the bottom of the second.
With the Nationals ahead, 3-1, outfielder Michael Taylor came up with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Taylor has come up clutch several times this season, and he came up clutch tonight, too. This time, however, things were a little unusual.
With a chance to break the game open, Taylor hit what looked like a two-run single up the middle. When Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes tried to throw the ball in, however, he realized it wasn’t in his glove. The ball rolled all the way to the wall in center field, allowing the speedy Taylor to round the bases and score on what you might call a ‘little league grand slam’. After the hit and the error, the Nationals were up 7-1.
All seven of the Nationals’ runs were charged to Mets’ ace Matt Harvey, who gave up seven runs on eight hits while striking out six and walking two in 5 2/3 innings of work.
Unfortunately for the Nationals, the Mets came roaring back. New York scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at 7-7. In the eighth inning, Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered to give the Mets an 8-7 lead. The Nationals weren’t able to come back, and dropped one of their worst games of the season, 8-7.
Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was not in the lineup for today’s game. Zimmerman, who has been one of the team’s best hitters over the last several weeks, is day-to-day with a left oblique injury. Here’s what manager Matt Williams had to say about Zimmerman’s condition:
"“He took a swing yesterday and hurt himself on the left side, so he’s got some oblique soreness, trying to calm that down as much as we can today,” Williams said. “Right now he’s day-to-day, he’s not in there tonight…pretty sore today.” (h/t Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)"
Next Game: The Nationals and Mets wrap up their three-game series tomorrow night at Nationals Park. Stephen Strasburg (8-6, 4.35 ERA) gets the start for the Nationals, while Jacob deGrom (12-7, 2.40 ERA) gets the start for the Mets. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.