Game #18 Recap: Nats Fall 2-0 in Rubber Match at New York
The Nationals got a glimpse of the future with top prospectAnthony Rendon making his Major League debut at third base to fill in for an injured Ryan Zimmerman. However, their early season struggles continued as they were shut out by the Mets, losing 2-0, to drop the rubber-match.
Jordan Zimmermann got the start for the Nationals, looking to extend his record to 4-0. But Zimmermann struggled with his normally impeccable control, walking three and only getting through five innings on 96 pitches. Zimmermann still managed to be effective, limiting the Mets to only two runs on two hits and four strikeouts.
Zimmermann gave up his first run in the second inning when he gave up a solo shot to John Buck. Buck, who has been red hot to start the year, deposited a 2-2 fastball into the upper deck in left field. The second run came on a sacrifice fly from Mike Baxter, allowing David Wright to score from third.
Zimmermann’s counterpart, Dillon Gee, had his best start of the season so far. Gee cruised through his first five innings only allowing just three base runners. Gee fell apart in the sixth inning, getting just two outs around three walks and a wild pitch. After the third walk Gee’s day was done, shutting out the Nationals for 5.2 innings, allowing just three hits and striking out six.
After Zimmermann exited, Zach Duke came in to the game and was superb. Duke held down the Mets offense for the next two innings, allowing just two hits on four strikeouts.
The Nationals threatened in the top of the eighth when Steve Lombardozzi and Denard Span got on base to lead off the inning. However, after getting ahead 3-0, Jayson Werth made a curious choice to swing away and grounded into a double play. Bryce Harper then struck out to end the inning and the Nationals’ best chance to score all day.
Henry Rodriguez came out for the bottom of the eighth and got a quick 1-2-3, striking out Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, continuing a streak of effective innings this season by the embattled reliever. Rodriguez looked particularly in control today, moving with a quicker pace and locating his pitches well.
The Nationals couldn’t get anything going in the ninth inning. Rendon got one last shot to get a hit in his debut, but struck out to end the game. Bobby Parnell earned the save for the Mets.
The Nationals finished their six game road trip going 3-3 against the Marlins and Mets. They return home tomorrow to face the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time since their NLDS match-up last year.