Dedicated to the constructive criticism of the Washington Nationals.


E-mail us at:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nats Spank Mets 5-3

New York, NY--Behind the strong pitching of Tim Redding and another home run by Ryan Zimmerman, the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 5-3 Wednesday night, taking game three of this four game series.

Redding threw six innings of two-hit ball, walking four and striking four along the way. He gave up a David Wright single in the fourth inning and Brian Schneider's home run in the fifth, but those were the only Mets hitters to raise their batting average for the evening. Redding pushes his record to 5-3 for the season. He sports a nifty 3.55 ERA and has struck out 34 and walked twenty in 50.2 innings. He was won two of his last three starts and has allowed two or fewer runs in three of his last four starts.

The Nationals hitters did their damage in the sixth and seventh innings, which has been the Achilles' heel for the team all season. Zimmerman hit his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot, against former teammate Claudio Vargas (0-1) in the sixth, and the Nats exploded for four runs in the seventh, nickel-and-diming two Mets pitchers for two walks and three hits.

Outfielder Elijah Dukes coaxed a one out walk from Vargas, ending his night. Aaron Heilman relieved and got Wily Mo Pena to ground out, pushing Dukes up to second. Catcher Jesus Flores then fought back from an 0-2 count to drill a single to left that scored Dukes. Willie Harris pinch-hit for Redding and drew a walk, and lead-off hitter Felipe Lopez followed up with a single to right, scoring Flores and putting runners at second and third for the Nats best hitter in the first half, Cristian Guzman.

Guz fought off several tough pitches before finding one he liked, and he deposited that safely into center field, scoring both Harris and Lopez and giving the Nats a lead they would not relinquish. Heilman and the rest of the Mets left the field after the inning to a cacaphony of boos from the Shea Stadium faithful.

Saul Rivera and Luis Ayala pitched the seventh and eighth (per usual) and Jon Rauch pitched a dominating ninth inning, striking out two, for his eighth save of the season.

The series wraps up Thursday afternoon in New York, as Jason Bergmann (0-1, 11.68) makes his first start of the season against Mike Pelfey (2-3, 4.86).

NATS NOTES: The win raises the Nats season record to 17-24, six and one-half games behind division leading Florida.

Reliever Chris Schroder was optioned back to Columbus to activate Bergmann for the start. Bergmann was 2-2 with a 3.72 ERA in five IL starts. In his final three assignments with Columbus, he went 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA.

First baseman Nick Johnson returned to DC for an examination of his wrist after he sustained injury in his final at bat Tuesday night. The team is listing him as "day-to-day". Johnson said "I hope it's nothing serious, but today [Wednesday] it's pretty sore".

No comments: