Remember that entry a couple hours ago where I wrote about how effective the Nationals’ offense has been since the All-Star break?
Call me Mr. Jinx.
The Nationals have been shut out through five innings tonight, as Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese has cut through the Washington order with relative ease.
The Nats threatened in the first when Danny Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman delivered back-to-back one-out singles, but they were both stranded in scoring position when Adam LaRoche grounded out to end the inning.
Luckily for the Nats, Edwin Jackson has been even a little better than Niese.
Jackson has surrendered just a single hit through his five innings of work, striking out seven in the process. He’s retired 14 of the last 15 Mets hitters he’s faced, and the only batter that’s reached during that span came on a fielding error by Ian Desmond.
The Nats’ veteran right-hander has shown a hard, biting slider tonight. It’s been dropping off the table, generating lots of awkward swings and frustrated glances from Mets hitters.
Four of Jackson’s strikeouts have come on the slider tonight, and all seven of his Ks have been swinging.
We’ve got a good old fashioned pitchers’ duel on an absolutely beautiful evening here at Nats Park.
Update: Make that 10 strikeouts on the game for Jackson, who strikes out the side in the sixth.
The 10 Ks is a season high for Jackson. Of the last 16 hitters he’s faced, he’s retired 15, and 10 of those have been via the strikeout.
Yeah, the guy is dealing tonight.
Update II: Just like that, Jackson and the Nats trail 2-0.
Jackson issued his first walk of the game to the leadoff hitter in the seventh, David Wright, and then Ike Davis took the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a two-run shot. The Mets have just two hits tonight, but they now have two runs and a 2-0 lead.
Update III: The Nats outhit the Mets 5-3, but that means a whole lot of nothin’ right now. They dropped tonight’s game by a 2-0 score, setting up a rubber game tomorrow afternoon.
Niese went 7 1/3 inning, the Mets bullpen did the rest and the Nats were shut out for the fifth time this season.
The Braves are currently losing 6-1 to the Dodgers, so more than likely, Washington’s lead in the National League East will remain four games.