New York (75-77) at Washington (78-75)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 56° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 23, 2005
  • TV: FSNY, WDCA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Having all squandered any realistic chance of reaching the postseason, the Washington Nationals host the New York Mets in the opener of a three-game series at RFK Stadium.

With little to play for other than finishing above .500, Washington used a lineup of rookies and reserves Thursday and still managed a 2-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Ryan Zimmerman, the No. 4 overall pick in June’s draft, had two singles, career minor leaguer Rick Short delivered two doubles and an RBI and fill-in starter Hector Carrasco threw 5 2-3 innings to help Washington end a four-game losing streak.

The starting nine that Robinson sent out was something akin to a spring training traveling squad. Not a single regular was in the lineup, but four rookies were.

Robinson said he wasn’t packing it in with the Nationals all but eliminated from playoff contention, but merely trying to get some new energy into the lineup.

Houston’s 2-1 win at Pittsburgh on Thursday dropped Washington six games behind the NL wild-card leader with nine to go.

“If you want to be realistic, you say, ‘What would it take? A miracle.’ Well, miracles happen. Not too often, but they do happen once in a while,” Robinson said. “But, realistically, yeah, we’re looking at it, and probably it’s insurmountable.”

New York right-hander Steve Trachsel, who will start for the Mets in Friday’s series opener, is looking to end his injury-marred season on a positive note.

Trachsel made his fourth start of the season, and first at home, Saturday against Atlanta after missing most of the season while recovering from back surgery. He allowed five runs—two earned—and nine hits in six innings of a 7-4 loss. Trachsel was hurt by third baseman David Wright’s first-inning throwing error and has lost his last three starts.

“This is like April for me, like you just came out of spring training,” Trachsel said.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Trachsel Bal vs. E. Loaiza CWS
1-4 Record 12-10
4.14 ERA 3.77
24 K 173
12 BB 55
1.32 WHIP 1.30