Series Preview: Mets at Nationals

The Amazin's travel to D.C. with their sights set up first place in the division.

The New York Mets (25-18) will seek revenge against Washington Nationals (27-17) after losing their first season series two games to one. This time around, the Amazin’s picked up crucial ground in the NL East sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers to move a game and a half away from the lead that the Nationals currently hold. The Nats won two out of three in their last series against the Miami Marlins giving them some momentum heading into the series. The Mets will have no easy task try to beat their divisional foe in this three-game set.

7:05 PM Monday: Bartolo Colon (3-3, 3.75 ERA) v Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 1.86 ERA)

            Colon could not get passed the Nationals lineup in his last start surrendering three earned runs allowing five hits and a season-high five walks in four and two-thirds innings. This was his second loss in a row now as command of his two-seam hasn’t all been there. Tuesday, however, is Colon’s 42nd birthday, so the baseball gods may have some say in this matchup.

            Gonzalez, who went against Colon last time, earned the victory in six and a third innings allowing only one earned run. The lefty continues to throw quality innings with a sub-two ERA and only ten earned runs in eight starts.

Pitching Edge: Gonzalez had the Mets number on an away start. He will use the crowd to build momentum in this first game.

7:05 PM Tuesday: Matt Harvey (3-6, 5.77 ERA) v Stephen Strasburg (7-0, 2.80 ERA)

            Harvey simply can’t find his prowess on the mound and the breaking point was his last start against the Nats. The Dark Knight was booed off the mound in the third inning after allowing nine total runs, six earned on eight hits and two walks. After throwing a simulated game Saturday, Manager Terry Collins gives Harvey the nod hoping he looks as good as he did over the weekend.

            Strasburg went six strong yet again against the Mets and he will have another chance on Tuesday to do the same if not better. He struck out ten Mets hitters and allowed six scattered hits for an earned run. He is one of three pitchers still undefeated next to the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta and the White Sox’s Chris Sale.

Pitching Edge: Strasburg’s consistency gives him the edge in this one.

1:05 PM Wednesday: Steven Matz (6-1, 2.81 ERA) v Tanner Roark (3-3, 2.89 ERA)

            Matz didn’t face the Nats at Citi Field, but will get his chance on Wednesday to face their tough lineup for the first time this season. In his last appearance against the Brewers, the rookie went seven innings striking out eight and allowing only two earned runs to get his sixth straight win. Matz is making a strong case for Rookie of the Year and he will try to keep the streak going this week.

            In Miami, Roark owned the Marlins striking out seven and allowing just one earned in six and two-thirds innings. He readjusted after allowing seven runs to the same time in the start before. He also hasn’t faced the Mets making this matchup an interesting one.

Pitching Edge: Matz is on a mission and the Mets will not get swept in this series. Give the rookie the edge over the veteran.

More About This Series

            The division lead story takes a spot on the backburner as the Matt Harvey story continues to be the center of attention. He will be facing the team that made Collins think about placing the righty on rest to figure out what is going wrong. Harvey says that he needs to keep on trying to find the answers to his problems. It isn’t an injury that the general public knows of at least. To the naked eye, it seems to be fundamentals that are hurting Harvey. He most certainly doesn’t want to be booed off the mound again, so this start will be intriguing to see how he bounces back. 

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