National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, July 23rd
(All times Eastern)
Washington Nationals (55-39) at New York Mets (47-48), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Jordan Zimmerman (7-6, 2.35)
New York - Chris Young (2-4, 4.11)
(Sports Network) - Jordan Zimmermann and National League East-leading
Washington Nationals kick off a key seven-game road trip tonight in Queens
when they take on the reeling New York Mets.
After losing the first two games of a four-game series with Atlanta over the
weekend, the Nationals looked like they were in danger of surrendering the
division lead. However, they rebounded nicely by closing the series with a
pair of wins and leaving the series exactly where they began, 3 1/2 games
ahead of the Braves.
Ryan Zimmerman crushed a pair of home runs on Sunday as the Nats routed
Atlanta, 9-2. In 25 games since June 24, the third baseman has hit a scorching
.392 with 11 homers and 12 RBI.
"Especially after the first couple games of this series...for us to come back
and win both of those games, [Saturday] and [Sunday], and even this series out
was huge," Zimmerman said.
"We didn't want (the Braves) coming into our house and leave with them feeling
that good," manager Davey Johnson added when talking to the Nationals'
website. "I gave them one Friday, and then they nipped us on Saturday morning,
but I wasn't worried about the club. There's no letdown in this ball club."
The Mets sit third in the East, 8 1/2 games behind the Nationals, who own a
6-3 mark against New York in the season series after taking two of three
meetings last week.
Zimmermann, who has a gaudy 2.35 earned run average this season, hurled six
scoreless innings in a 4-3 Nats win last Wednesday over the Mets. The right-
hander will be searching to win his third straight start and his fifth
consecutive decision tonight. He's also been red-hot recently, not allowing a
run in his last two starts and compiling an 0.84 ERA in his last five outings.
Zimmerman has also generally fared well against the Mets and is 3-2 with a
3.12 ERA in nine career starts versus New York.
The Mets have been sinking and have lost nine of 10 overall. Pinch-hitter Matt
Treanor broke a 12th-inning tie with a two-run single on Sunday as the Los
Angeles Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of New York with an 8-3 win at
The loss dropped the Mets (47-48) below .500 for the first time this season.
"It's very disappointing," admitted New York manager Terry Collins. "We're not
happy with the way things have gone the last 10 days. We gotta buckle down and
get after it and get back over (.500)."
It will be Chris Young's job to stop the bleeding tonight.
Young was the loser last week opposite Zimmermann but pitched well, allowing
two runs on six hits in six innings in what was his third consecutive loss.
Overall, Young is 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight career starts against the
07/23 11:02:17 ET