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On to New York

Aug 12, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

After losing two of three in Atlanta – the final loss among their most frustrating this season – the Nationals now head north to New York for a three-game series against the Mets. Monday was an off-day, Tuesday is a chance to turn the page.

The Nationals this year have had little trouble against the Mets, owning a 7-2 record vs. New York with a +18 run differential. They met just last week when the Nats took two of three games capped off by a Bryce Harper walk-off home run in the 13th inning on Thursday.

Overall, however, the Mets have been playing some of their best baseball of 2014 in recent weeks. Going back to July 4, the Mets are 18-14 in their last 32 games. For comparison, the Nationals are 17-15 in that span.

The pitching matchups look to favor Washington, especially considering a recent development regarding rookie standout Jacob deGrom (6-5, 2.47). The 26-year-old was supposed to start the opener on Tuesday before tendinitis in his right rotator cuff sent him to the disabled list on Monday. Instead, Doug Fister (11-3, 2.49) will go up against 23-year-old Rafael Montero (0-2, 5.40).

The Nationals have never faced Montero, and he does have a 2.63 ERA in four career minor league seasons, but Fister should give them the advantage. The veteran pitched vs. New York his last time out and allowed only one unearned run through 7 1/3 innings.

The second game will pit Jordan Zimmermann (7-5, 3.06) against Bartolo Colon (11-9, 3.97). Zimmermann also saw the Mets in his previous start. He allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings and earned the win. Colon has allowed five runs in 14 innings (3.21 ERA) against Washington this year.

The series finale will feature Stephen Strasburg (8-10, 3.68) against Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.54). That’s a rematch of 2014 Opening Day when both starters pitched into the seventh inning and allowed four earned runs in the process.

So far in this season series it has been Denard Span, Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond leading the way for Washington. Span is batting .368 with 20 total bases in nine games. Werth is batting .389 vs. the Mets this season with two doubles and seven runs. LaRoche has three homers and nine RBI in just six games. Desmond is hitting just .250 against New York, but has four home runs and eight RBI.

Harper, conversely, has struggled overall against the Mets this year. He’s hitting only .192 with 12 strikeouts in six games. He does have seven homers and 20 RBI when playing New York during his career, however.

Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Juan Lagares have been the Mets’ standouts in this season series. Murphy is batting .448/.515/.552 with 16 total bases in seven games. Wright is hitting .297 with a homer and four RBI in nine games. Lagares is hitting .323 with two home runs and a seven RBI in nine games.

For the Mets it has been Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda who have struggled. Granderson has hit .161 vs. Washington this year with a .413 OPS and seven strikeouts in eight games. Duda is hitting .214 and also has seven whiffs in eight games.

Since 2012 the Nationals are 33-13 in games against the Mets. With the Braves hosting the Dodgers early this week, the Nats have a very good chance to add to their four-game division lead.

 

  1. unterp - Aug 12, 2014 at 6:34 AM

    As long as Nats keep their heads down, they’ll be alright…

  2. scmargenau - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    fister will dominate.

    Bryce’s numbers vs mets are bad…this would be a great time for him to find a groove.

  3. Eric - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    Weather is looking…sketchy. Sheesh.

  4. masterfishkeeper - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    Hope tonight’s game is played. Forecast is very bad, however. If it is rained out, do they play a doubleheader Thursday?

    • NatsLady - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      Showers and thunderstorms will become more widespread on Tuesday before becoming heavy at times Tuesday night.From Tuesday into Tuesday night, two to four inches of rain will fall on NYC before drier air moves in Wednesday afternoon.

      http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/sun-to-shine-on-nyc-this-weeke/31784447

      • philipd763 - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        The Mets, along with the Marlins, are a team on the upswing in the NL East. In a year or two, these two teams will be contenders.

    • NatsLady - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:58 AM

      Note that as much as we get frustrated, the Nats’ bench is on the plus side.

      • coop202 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        Believe I read elsewhere the bench includes either zim or Ramos (or both) because it maps out based on games played?

      • coop202 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        Ya looks like it counts Zimmerman as bench, meaning you’re adding 1.6 war to get a .6 WAR bench when in reality we’re closer to -1 (still not bottom five!!)

      • bowdenball - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        But the same would be true of other teams who have had good players injured for long stretches. For example the Orioles would have Steve Pearce’s .844 OPS on their “bench” because Schoop and his .595 OPS have made more starts.

        It’s a flawed methodology. But the Nats’ bench still hasn’t been all bad. People seem to forget that bench players are there for a reason. If they were quality major leaguers they wouldn’t be on the bench.

      • coop202 - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        Oh I agree, and if you fixed it you’re looking at. .4 war player in Danny moving to the bench which helps. I’m just pointing out that i don’t consider our bench as strong as that graphic notes. It certainly could be worse

  5. laddieblahblah - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    “With the Braves hosting the Dodgers early this week, the Nats have a very good chance to add to their four-game division lead.”

    That would appear to be true as long as the Braves are playing anyone other than the Nats, who seem to be the only team that they can actually beat.

    Last night, they could not do the job with Teheran, but tonight they get a shot at Haren. If the Braves cannot beat Haren on their home turf, then how can anyone realistically expect them to challenge the Nats for the division title? The Braves are 2-1 vs. the Nats, but 0-9 vs. the rest of the league in their last 12 games.

    I am concerned about the Nats offense, at least in the short term, but unless the Braves step up, and soon, it won’t matter.

    • Eric - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:23 AM

      I agree re: offense, although recent history isn’t *terrible*:

      Phil’s: 1, 11, 4
      Os: 3
      Mets: 1, 7, 6
      Braves: 5, 4, 1

      Avg: 4.3 (NL avg is ~4).

      That’s just over our threshold for winning a lot. Would love to approach 5 and see a nice stretch of dominance, although 4.3 might stand up nicely against the upcoming schedule: Mets, Pirates sans McCutchen, and DBacks sans Goldschmidt.

    • bowdenball - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      Nats fans should probably keep expectations low as far as the Braves’ continued collapse goes. Yes it’s the Dodgers, but it’s the Dodgers on the road without Greinke or Kershaw (neither scheduled to start in Atlanta) or Hanley Ramirez.

      I would have happily taken a split yesterday. Now that the Dodgers won the first game a 3-1 series win is possible, but I still think a split is a decent result. The better chance for the Nats to push out the division lead come this weekend, when an even better Oakland team visits Atlanta fully healthy and with Gray and Lester lined up to start Saturday and Sunday while the Nats host the McCutchen-less Pirates in DC.

      • rayvil01 - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        Simmons and LaStella back tonight will help them. That middle infield they had out there last night was horrific.

        I think your assessment is on the money.

  6. unterp - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Not a weather forecaster but I read some on the internet, nws, says rain tonight and tomorrow, lots of it, which Natslady states above too. Good news. By Thursday, the Nats should be leading Braves by 5 games if all holds and not even play a game…

    • stoatva - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      That would leave the Nats with a really full dance card the rest of the regular season. The Braves, and most MLB teams, have already played several more games gran the Nats. We need to get these played now, if possible. IMO, of course.

      • unterp - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:05 AM

        You’re right. It’s not good. not good at all. I’m just making mirth of it all, because if it rains it rains, nothing you can do…

      • NatsLady - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        I wonder if, given their druthers, they’d rather have the day off today and play a doubleheader on Thursday. Granted that makes for a long day, but can’t you bring up a pitcher? And there’s that extra day of rest/healing.

        Interesting that LA Dodgers have gone with a six-man rotation specifically with the playoffs in mind. They want that extra day, especially for Kershaw and Ryu.

      • masterfishkeeper - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:20 AM

        Yes, if you have a doubleheader you can call up a pitcher. Treinen last pitched on August 9, so he could start on August 14.

  7. Joe Seamhead - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Off topic, but if you haven’t seen this take a minute to see it, but be sure to watch it all the way through. It is a hoot!

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140811&content_id=89140296&vkey=news_chc&c_id=chc&partnerId=ed-8538891-732872463

    • natsfan1a - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      Nice video. Pretty sure the guy’s dog is named Hercules.

  8. micksback1 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    I am just so down about Robin Williams passing, another angel called back. A sad summer, Johnny Winter called back 2 weeks ago as well.

    I watched the barves lose last night as well as all the tributes to robin. back tonight

    • stoatva - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      Let’s hope that his suicide leads to more open discussion and understanding about depression, which is no respecter of wealth, prestige, age, gender, race or nationality.

      • micksback1 - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        well said

        before I go, i post tihs, one of my favorites of Mork and Fonzi

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Time to redo your Power Rankings. Royals take 1st Place from the Tigers.

    Not that he was pitching well, Verlander to the DL most likely with shoulder issues. ERA in the upper 4’s.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      Detroit already put Joakim Soria and Anibel Sanchez on the DL

    • coop202 - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      Fister back for miggy with and they pay his contract??? I could live with that

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        Yah, Tigers will be in need of starters. Verlander has been pitching like a #6 but losing Anibel is a big blow.

      • coop202 - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:20 AM

        Should be interesting to see how ray does in his second mlb stint. Wishing him luck.

      • Smyrcok - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        They’ll have to pry Fister from the depths of my heart

      • nats128 - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        Yah, no pressure on Robbie Ray. Tigers are in deep do-do

      • NatsLady - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        Not to mention Buck Farmer. No kidding, they called up Buck Farmer.

        http://www.mlive.com/tigers/index.ssf/2014/08/right-hander_buck_farmer_to_ma.html

      • masterfishkeeper - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        Buck Farmer is a great name for an MLB pitcher. That is all.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 12, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        Buck Farmer is a great name

        That must be Buck Hunter’s harder-working brother.

        I thought Adam LaRoche owned that. This team’s trademark lawyers must be the worst in the league!!

  10. Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    Was looking up some detail about waiver claims, and found this, the best all-in-one-place explanation of the waiver rules I’ve seen, covering some details others usually gloss over, e.g., why teams don’t just claim everybody in sight.

    http://tomahawktake.com/2014/08/01/waiver-trading-everything-need-know/

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      Thanks; very useful and somewhat better than MLBTR’s version (i.e., by offering real-world examples).

  11. jd - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Weather forecast for the NY area is really bad. Almost no chance we’ll play tonight. It is supposed to be done by tomorrow mid-morning so perhaps they’ll play 2 tomorrow and the Nats do come into NY one more time in September when the rosters are expanded and you can absorb the BP workload better.

    • bowdenball - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      I dunno, this doesn’t look too bad:

      http://www.weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/graph/USNY1193?pagenum=2&nextbeginIndex=6

      Looks like maybe they start on time, get in a few innings, then try to fit the rest of the game in between rain delays.

      • bowdenball - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        Ooops, I typed in Queens NY and somehow it gave me Queensbury.

        Doesn’t look that much worse for NYC. Certainly not as ominous as this weekend in Atlanta and they got in all three of those games.

        http://www.weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/graph/USNY0996?pagenum=2&nextbeginIndex=6

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 12, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        I dunno, I doubt the Mets are any more eager to burn a starter, but it’s a strategy, I suppose: almost guaranteed to get into the Nats’ bullpen early if they start and it rains right away..

  12. tcostant - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    $5 tickets next Tuesday and Wednesday:

    http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ticketing/washingtonpost.jsp#diamondbacks

  13. stoatva - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    If the Nats get to call up another pitcher for a doubleheader tomorrow I think I’d make it a RH for the bullpen.

    • stoatva - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      Come to think of it, though, the real pinch would come next Sunday against the Pirates when Fister would be due to pitch again on short rest. So, can the extra player be added only for the day of the doubleheader even if that’s not the pressured date?

      • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        I believe the answer is ‘yes’ (only for the double-header day).

      • stoatva - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        Even more restrictive than I thought:

        If the second game was scheduled less than 48 hours in advance, a 26th man can be temporarily added to a club’s MLB Active List for the second game of the doubleheader only.

      • masterfishkeeper - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        Yes, so you really want to call up a starter, to avoid starting anyone on short rest on Sunday. Hence I suggest Treinen, if there is a doubleheader.

  14. stoatva - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Nats visit NYC once more, but it’s a four game set in the midst of 16 games in 16 days. But they could schedule a second game on Sunday night/afternoon. Except it’s a travel day. Oy.

    At least in September everyone will be operating with expanded rosters.

    • coop202 - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      Who’s even lined up to start? AJ last pitched on the 10th…

  15. stoatva - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    After the Dodgers series Sep 1-3, Atlanta is the farthest west the Nats go.

  16. Eric - Aug 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Next time we go to NYC we’re there for 4 days over a weekend, and right after a home stand that’s preceded by an off day…I think it won’t be too bad to make this up in a future series if we need to. I think that’d be easier than squeezing it in tomorrow or Thursday.

  17. NatsLady - Aug 12, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Week 20 Injury Daze and Mets Series Preview

    Week 20?????

  18. stoatva - Aug 12, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Treinen’s next scheduled start is Thursday, against Chattanooga.

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