Sunday, July 31, 2011

Preview/Mets Lineup : Game 108 - Mets at Nationals - Niese trying to win rubber game!


New York Mets (55-52) at Washington Nationals (50-56), 1:35 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Jonathon Niese (10-8, 3.97) Washington - Jordan Zimmermann (6-9, 3.27)

One day after trading away Jason Marquis from their starting rotation, Jordan Zimmerman aims to pick up the pieces for the Nationals and snap a personal two-game skid in the final of a three-game series against the Mets.

With today's 4 p.m. (et) trading deadline, the Nationals are once again sellers on the market and proved that yesterday when Marquis was dealt to playoff-contender Arizona in exchanged for minor league infielder Zachary Walters.

Zimmerman has surrendered 12 runs over those contests, losses to the Marlins and Astros. The righty is 2-2 with a 4.35 ERA in six games against the Mets.

Countering for New York will be Jonathon Niese, who is 3-1 over his last five starts. The southpaw has yet to lose to the Nationals, going 2-0 with a 3.44 ERA in three games. In his most recent start, Tuesday at Cincinnati, Niese gave up five runs over five frames.

The Nationals snapped their six-game losing streak with a replacement starter last night. Now, they might lose him as well. Yunesky Maya got the start after Marquis was traded and threw 5 1/3 shutout innings for his first MLB win in a 3-0 final.

Maya (1-1) allowed just five hits, without any strikeouts or walks, but he strained his back running the bases and was taken out with two runners on in the sixth.

"I imagine he'll have to go on the [disabled list]," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson.



Jayson Werth hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (5-9) and the Nationals pitching kept the New York bats silent the rest of the way.

Ross Detwiler, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen finished the shutout for Maya. Storen, the subject of simmering trade rumors, worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his 26th save.

David Wright, Jason Bay and Josh Thole had two hits apiece for the Mets, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.

Wright can tie a franchise record today if he can get at least two hits. Steven Henderson holds the mark with eight multiple-hit games in a row from July 12-21, 1979. Since returning from the disabled list, Wright is 19-for-40.

The Mets have won six of 10 from the Nats this season.

Game Notes:
Daniel Murphy continues his 7 game hitting streak last night. Murphy is hitting .483 (14 for 29) in this span of games.Since May 21st, Daniel Murphy is hitting .359 (89 for 248), this is the third highest average in the majors (during this span).

The Mets are 7-8 in rubber games this season, including 5-5 on the road.  The Mets lost a rubber game to the Nationals at Citi Field on April 10th.

Mets Starting Lineup Today -
  1. Reyes-SS
  2. Harris-2B
  3. Murphy-1B
  4. Wright-3B
  5. Pagan-CF
  6. Bay-LF
  7. Duda-RF
  8. Thole-C
  9. Niese-LHP
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