The Mets will head into Washington tonight just three games behind the first place Nationals, which is something many wouldn’t have expected a couple of weeks ago. The Mets have had their fair share of struggles over the past couple of weeks, but the Nationals have been dreadful to say the least over the past week and a half as well. The Nats just snapped a seven-game losing streak with a victory yesterday over the Milwaukee Brewers, but are now without ace right-hander Stephen Strasburg who was placed on the 15-day DL yesterday. The Nats are expected to call up a pitcher from the minors to replace Strasburg in the rotation on Tuesday to face the Mets.
Now everybody knows the struggles the Mets have faced over the past couple weeks between injuries and an anemic offense. But the Mets have done just enough to keep their heads above water while the Nationals have been facing their own struggles. The last time the Mets were in Washington, back on May 23-25, the Mets took two of three from the Nationals and looked to be headed on the right track. Granted the lineup certainly looked much different as well. But here we are again a month later with the opportunity to come out of this series tied for first place with the Nationals, and I hope the Mets smell blood in the water.
The Mets will send ace Noah Syndergaard to the mound tonight after his recent elbow scare, and there is not a better pitcher to send to the mound to set the tone for the Mets tonight. Syndergaard pitched brilliantly when he faced the Nationals in the first meeting of the season between both teams at Citi Field, as he went seven scoreless innings and struck out ten batters en route to a 2-0 Mets victory.
It is crucial for the Mets to provide it’s pitchers with run support over the next three games. That will be an especially tough task on Wednesday night against Max Scherzer which makes the first two games of this series even more critical. The Mets have an opportunity to regain a hold on first place in the division or risk falling further behind a struggling Nationals club. Buckle up folks the next three games are going to be intense as two teams try to regain their footing in the division race.