The Amazin’s dropped the opener 7-2 to the Washington Nationals at the nation’s capital on Monday night. The Mets now stand at 48-45, are just three games behind their rivals, which have a 50-41 record. That being said, it is imperative that the Mets bring a series victory back home to New York if they want to challenge Washington in the NL East.
If the Mets beat the Nationals in this series, they will end up one game bak of their opponent for first place, but if the Nationals end up sweeping the Mets, that will put them five games ahead and firmly secure their top spot.
While leading the NL East for the majority of the 2015 season, the Nationals and Mets have faced similar setbacks the last few months, mostly in the form of lackluster offense and injuries. The Mets are still without captain David Wright due to a back injury, and Michael Cuddyer may be heading to the DL for a knee injury as well. The injuries to two of the team’s strongest players already send a blow to the Mets offense, which is the third-lowest scoring in the MLB.
Similarly, the Nats have been playing with only three regular everyday players, Bryce Harper, Wilson Ramos, and Ian Desmond, with two players having an OPS below .660. Injuries have also hindered the team’s offense to averaging just 2.8 runs per game this month.
While the series is marking only the start to the second half of the 2015 season, the Mets are pulling out all of the stops to ensure a series sweep. The team configured its second-half rotation so to have its three best pitching starters go against the Nats, with Matt Harvey on Monday, Jacob deGrom on Tuesday, and Noah Syndergaard on Wednesday.
In addition to having this strong lineup of pitchers, the Mets are coming off of an exhilarating win against the Cardinals. The team was able to beat the team 3-1 in its home stadium after a nail-biting 18 innings on Sunday night. The Nationals, on the other hand, may be starting off the series on their heels as they are just coming off of a loss to the Dodgers. If the Mets are able to continue their momentum and bring back a series win from the capital, it may help give them the encouragement they need to kick-off a strong and successful second-half of the season as the first seeded team in the NL East.