Zimmermann, deGrom square off in D.C.

(SportsNetwork.com) – Jordan Zimmermann tries to get the Washington Nationals
into the win column on Wednesday when they continue their season-opening,
three-game set with the New York Mets at Nationals Park.

After winning 19 games in 2013, Zimmermann went 14-5 last season with a
career-best 2.66 ERA. He also set a new personal best with 182 strikeouts in
199 2/3 innings.

Of course, the highlight of his regular season came on the final day when he
tossed a no-hitter against the Miami Marlins.

A lot of Zimmermann’s damage the past few years has come at the expense of the
Mets, against whom he has pitched to a 2.98 ERA in 20 starts.

New York, meanwhile, will hand the ball to the NL’s reigning Rookie of the
Year, Jacob deGrom.

When deGrom was recalled in May the thought was he would help out of the
bullpen. Injuries, though, thrust him into the rotation and he excelled, going
9-6 with a 2.69 ERA in 22 starts.

He won nine of his final 11 decisions and pitched to a 1.90 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and
10.0 K/9 over his last 15 starts.

New York got the better of the NL East favorites on Monday, as Lucas Duda hit
a two-run single in the sixth inning and the Mets beat Max Scherzer and the
Nationals, 3-1.

Scherzer’s debut with the Nationals got off to a great start. The 2013
American League Cy Young award winner retired 17 in a row after walking Curtis
Granderson to open the game.

But Granderson walked again with two outs in the sixth. David Wright then
lifted a high pop to shallow right field. Shortstop Ian Desmond called off
second baseman Dan Uggla, but the ball hit off Desmond’s glove. Granderson
advanced to third while Wright took second on the error. One batter later,
Duda hit a two-run single to right-center field for a 2-1 Mets lead.

“We’re lucky we caught a break right there,” Duda said.

The Mets scored another run in the seventh. With one out, Juan Lagares reached
on Desmond’s throwing error and scored on a triple to center by catcher Travis

Scherzer (0-1), who signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nats
in the offseason, was charged with three unearned runs on four hits over 7 2/3
innings. The right-hander struck out eight and walked two.

The Nationals won 15 of their 19 meetings with the Mets a season ago, going
6-3 at home.