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Preview: Nationals at Mets
Weather information is currently unavailable. GAME: Washington Nationals (81-78) at New York Mets (89-70)
DATE/TIME: Saturday, October 03 – 1:10 PM EST
WHERE: Citi Field, New York City, New York
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A
After a less-than-inspired effort versus one National League East rival, the New York Mets look to get back on track against another on Saturday when they open a three-game series with a doubleheader versus the visiting Washington Nationals. Division-champion New York was unceremoniously swept by cellar-dwelling Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon and has dropped nine of its last 15 heading into the final series of the regular season.
The Mets (89-70) dropped a 3-0 decision to the Phillies in the finale, and are a half-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (90-70) in the race for home-field advantage in the division series. Should the teams end the season with identical records, New York holds the tiebreaker as a result of winning four of the seven meetings with Los Angeles. Jockeying for postseason position is no longer an issue for Washington, which has dropped seven of 10 heading into the final three contests of the campaign. Clint Robinson, who has hit safely in four straight and seven of his last eight games, belted a solo homer in the Nationals’ 3-0 victory over Atlanta on Thursday.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals LH Gio Gonzalez (11-8, 3.93 ERA) vs. Mets RH Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.34)
Gonzalez would like to put a positive spin on a difficult stretch when he takes the mound on Friday. The 30-year-old is just 2-4 over his last nine starts after allowing two runs in five innings of a no-decision against Philadelphia on Sunday. Gonzalez is 2-0 in three starts this season versus New York, but settled for a no-decision after driving up his pitch count with four walks in 4 2/3 innings against the Mets on July 31.
Syndergaard recorded his first victory in a month last time out, and he did so in impressive fashion. The 23-year-old struck out 11 and retired 16 batters in a row at one point before departing after 7 2/3 innings in a 12-5 triumph over Cincinnati last Friday. Syndergaard fared nearly as well in his last meeting with Washington, permitting two runs in eight innings with nine strikeouts as New York recorded a 5-2 victory on Aug. 2.
1. New York rookie LHP Steven Matz, who is nursing a balky back, is slated to pitch out of the bullpen either Saturday or Sunday.
2. Washington OF Bryce Harper is mired in a 4-for-30 stretch over his last nine games.
3. Mets RHP Hansel Robles received a three-game suspension after Major League Baseball deemed that he was “intentionally throwing a pitch in the head area of Cameron Rupp” on Wednesday.
PREDICTION: Nationals 4, Mets 2