PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Jordan Zimmermann is just about ready for the start of the season,
Zimmermann allowed two hits in six shutout innings, facing one batter over the minimum Wednesday in the Washington Nationals' 3-2 win over the New York Mets."I felt really good out there today," he said. "I just like to work quick. If I can get the ball and go and not have to worry about base hits and stuff like that, it's much better."Needing just 68 pitches, Zimmermann retired 11 in a row after giving up a second-inning single. He struck out two."I feel pretty close right now I feel like I'm peaking at the right time," Zimmermann said. "All the pitches are working well and the slider was really good today. I'm happy where I'm at."Jayson Werth's led off the fourth with his fourth home run of spring training. The drive came off Jonathon Niese."I used all my pitches and just pounded the zone with them," Niese said. "That's been my main focus this year."Niese allowed two runs and five hits in six innings with a walk and six strikeouts"It was a very, very good outing," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I think one of the things he did today was he used his changeup a lot more first pitch just to get used to throwing it. He's had a great spring. I expect a huge year."Jason Bay returned after missing two games with a bruised hand, an injury sustained when hit by a Stephen Strasburg pitch. Bay went 0 for 3 and scored on Lucas Duda's seventh-inning triple. Seven of Duda's 13 hits have been for extra bases.New York's Scott Hairston went 0 for 3 in his spring training debut after recovering from a strained oblique muscle."I don't think he's going to need a lot of at-bats to get his rhythm and timing going, so we are going to run him in there the best we can," Collins said. "I think he's going to get some minor league at-bats also. He's a pretty easy fixture. He's a veteran guy, knows exactly what it takes and will keep himself ready to go."
Nationals closer Drew Storen (inflamed elbow) experienced no pain after playing catch for the first time in a week but will begin the season on the disabled list, manager Davey Johnson said. ... Michael Morse (back) was expected to undergo a sonogram to check his progress after he threw Wednesday. ... Mets LHP Tim Byrdak said he felt fine after throwing from a mound for the first time since surgery March 13 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. ... Xavier Nady, who is in Nationals' minor league camp, started at first base and could make the team because of his experience in the outfield and infield. ... Collins hopes to have his roster set by this weekend so the Mets can "go the last four days pretty set" before the regular season.