Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was solid for six innings in his season debut, while first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was the hitting hero with a two-run homer as the Nationals edged the Mets, 2-1, on Wednesday night at Nationals Park.
Right-hander Jacob deGrom was solid for the Mets, but took the loss. He pitched six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out six.
"Their pitching is so good, and I think our pitching is so good that there are not going to be a lot of runs scored," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "If you make mistakes like they made the other day, one team capitalizes. Today, we made one bad pitch and they capitalized on it."
The Nationals evened the three-game series at one game apiece, with the rubber game scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Zim hits one out, then lays out: With Yunel Escobar on first, Zimmerman hit a 1-1 pitch over the left-field wall in the first inning to give the Nats a 2-0 lead. The next inning, Zimmerman made a great diving catch on a deGrom bunt.More >
Lacking in the clutch: The Nationals continue to have problems with runners in scoring position, going 0-for-5. Their best chance came in the sixth against deGrom. Wilson Ramos led off with a double, but was left stranded after Ian Desmond struck out and Dan Uggla and Tyler Moore grounded out.
Hard-luck loser: Though deGrom looked the part of a reigning National League Rookie of the Year, striking out six over six innings of two-run ball, Zimmerman's homer put him on the hook for a loss. Mets manager Terry Collins removed deGrom from the game after 92 pitches, wanting to keep his workload light early in the season. More >
QUOTABLE "I really don't know how the ball comes out of his hand. I know he throws a lot of fastballs. The fastball was likely more than coming and I put a good swing on it." -- Zimmerman, on homer off deGrom
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Zimmerman's home run was the first that deGrom had allowed since Aug. 23, 2014, snapping a streak of five starts and 35 consecutive innings without one.
WHAT'S NEXT Mets: All eyes will be on Matt Harvey as the right-hander takes the mound for the first time in nearly 18 months in the Mets' 1:05 p.m. ET series finale against the Nationals. Harvey has not pitched in a regular-season game since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2013.
Nationals: The Nationals close out a three-game series against the Mets on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Stephen Strasburg will face New York for the seventh time in his career. He is 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA against the Mets, who are hitting .248 against him.