This wasn't a great night for Jordan Zimmermann - that much was clear early when he allowed four hits in the first two innings. But Zimmermann had retired six of the last seven batters he'd faced before allowing two singles in the sixth inning, and had only thrown 73 pitches. Manager Jim Riggleman decided to pull him at that point, though, taking out the young starter in favor of left-hander Doug Slaten with a pair of lefties coming up.
Strategically, that's a perfectly defensible decision. But as much as Slaten has struggled this year, it was questionable how much of an upgrade he gave the Nationals over Zimmermann. And in the sixth inning, the decision backfired for the Nationals.
Slaten gave up a double to Josh Thole that brought in both of the runners he inherited. The Mets now lead the Nationals 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth.
After proving himself as a reliable lefty specialist last year, Slaten has been anything but that this year. He's allowed eight of 19 inherited runners to score - an ugly 42 percent ratio. He's still got a 0.00 ERA, but that's because most of his appearances come with men on base and end within a batter or two. It's an example of how flawed a stat ERA can be for relievers at times, and for the Nationals, Slaten hasn't provided much help this year.