The Washington Nationals won their first of three games against the New York Mets at home Monday night in dramatic fashion, when Steve Lombardozzi hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded and no outs to drive in Adam LaRoche. The morning sportscasters were full of praise and excitement, since the Nationals had not had a come-from-behind walk-off win in what seemed like forever. But innings 1-8 were more of the same – no run support for a pitcher throwing a good game.
Jordan Zimmermann pitched 8 innings, allowing only 4 hits and no earned runs, but due to two Nationals’ errors, he left the game with his team trailing 2-1. In his 5 years with the Nationals, he has received the least amount of run support from his teammates. He should have a 10-3 record by now, but instead has only 8 wins (which is still pretty good, but he is pitching way better than his 8 wins reflect). In the 87.2 innings he has pitched so far, Zimmermann has only allowed 11 walks and has an impressive .91 WHIP. He is the Nationals’ best pitcher this season, and his offense needs to back him up.
Regarding Monday night’s game, the reason Steve Lombardozzi was even in the game is that the Nationals’ regular second baseman, Danny Espinosa, was placed on the 15-day Disabled List with a broken bone in his wrist. He joins Bryce Harper, Wilson Ramos, and pitchers Ryan Matthieus and Ross Detwiler on the ever-growing list, but Jayson Werth was finally re-activated after being on the DL for a month (and went 1-4 on his first game back Monday night). Pitchers Henry Rodriguez and Zack Duke were sent to the minors, which if you ask me, was long overdue. Henry was messing up so badly – just because you can throw a 100mph fastball doesn’t mean you know how to throw it in the right direction. That kid threw so many wild pitches and hit so many batters that he should have gone down to the minors two months ago!
So what’s next? After the series with the slumping Mets, the Nationals will host the Minnesota Twins for 3 interleague games before going back on the road to Colorado. The Nationals are barely above .500, so they need to sweep the Mets and take 2 of 3 from the Twins before going on the road. And they need to get Bryce Harper back! He’s been out with that swollen knee from running into the outfield fence at Dodger Stadium. I never thought I’d say this, but I miss Bryce!