The Mets finally won a series over the weekend. They took two out of three games from the Marlins, and have won four of six. Now the Mets will host the Nationals for four games at Citi Field. While the Mets seem to be getting in a groove, the Nationals are headed in the opposite direction. They sit at 4-7 and have lost three games in a row. Additionally, they were losing 5-2 to the Orioles on Sunday, before the game was suspended due to inclement weather. This series could have major playoff implications. Here’s how the Amazin’s are looking heading into it.
Bats starting to heat up
The Mets’ offense has been inconsistent this year. While stars such as Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil have yet to meet expectations, other bats have really stepped up. J.D. Davis is currently riding a 13-game hitting streak and is hitting a strong .327/.414/.531 (173 OPS+) with three homers and 11 RBI. Additionally, Michael Conforto has continued to swing a hot bat, hitting .310/.412/.517 (169 OPS+) with three homers and eight RBI. Rookie Andrés Giménez has also impressed, hitting .333/.371/.424 (132 OPS+) while stealing three bases and playing spectacular defense. While not everyone has caught fire yet, there are reasons to get excited about the Mets’ offense.
Bullpen breaking out?
The Mets’ bullpen had a horrid 7.09 ERA on July 31. However, they have a sterling 1.61 ERA in August. Edwin Díaz has rebounded to post four straight scoreless outings with eight strikeouts. Additionally, Seth Lugo and Dellin Betances have both put up consecutive scoreless appearances. Jared Hughes has contributed three strong outings as well since coming off the injured list. While it’s a small sample size, the Mets should be encouraged by this recent run of success. Their bullpen needs to find a way to keep this roll going.
Injury bug strikes the pitching staff again
Michael Wacha became the latest Met pitcher to get placed on the injured list. He was diagnosed with shoulder inflammation and will need to miss at least one start. Additionally, he is now the third starter on the team to hit the IL, joining Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman. The Mets currently do not know who can start in Wacha’s place. Some candidates include Ariel Jurado, Walker Lockett, Erasmo Ramírez, Corey Oswalt, Franklyn Kilome, or going with a bullpen effort. Stroman announced today that he has opted out of the remainder of the season due to family concerns about COVID-19.
Steven Matz will face off against Patrick Corbin on Monday night. Matz is looking to bounce back from a couple of rough outings. In his last start, he allowed five runs and seven hits in three innings. Corbin picked up the win despite falling short of a quality start in his last outing. He pitched 5.2 innings while allowing three runs, eight hits, and one walk with eight strikeouts.
Rick Porcello will look to follow up his stellar performance from last week on Tuesday. He picked up the win while pitching seven innings of one-run ball in his last outing. The Nationals have yet to announce their starter for this game.
The Mets haven’t announced their starter for Wednesday yet. However, they will face off against veteran righty Aníbal Sánchez. Sánchez is off to a rough start this year, with a 7.84 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched. In his last start, he surrendered five runs and 10 hits in five innings against Baltimore.
The series will wrap up on Thursday afternoon, with David Peterson facing off against Austin Voth. Peterson picked up his second big league win last time out, going five innings of two-run ball while allowing four hits, three walks, and picking up three strikeouts. Meanwhile, Voth pitched brilliantly in his last outing, going five shutout innings and allowing two hits with five strikeouts. He was given a no-decision though, as the Nationals’ bullpen coughed up five runs in the eighth innings.
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