Whether or not you believe the Mets have a chance at the playoffs this season (they don’t), this three-game Nationals series is as close to a final bell as you could hope for. New York currently sits 9.5 games behind the Nats in the East (and two games behind the Braves) and 8.5 behind the Rockies in the Wild Card. A sweep in either direction gets the Mets back in the race or knocks them squarely out of it, if they aren’t out already (they are). And if they really are done (they are), the only thing left to hope for is a good trade deadline and a good draft pick in 2018. Isn’t baseball fun?
WHEN AND WHERE
Game 1: Monday @ 6:05 p.m. EST (TV: SNY, MLB Network; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)
Game 2: Tuesday @ 11:05 a.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)
Game 3: Wednesday @ 7:05 p.m. EST (TV: SNY, ESPN; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)
Monday: Mostly sunny. High of 94F. Winds WNW at 6 MPH
Tuesday: Afternoon thunderstorms. High of 90F. Winds NE at 6 MPH.
Wednesday: Afternoon thunderstorms. High of 87F. Winds E at 11 MPH.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Monday: LHP Steven Matz (2-1, 2.67 ERA, 4.14 DRA, .236 TAv, 0.4 WARP) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (9-2, 3.51 ERA, 2.53 DRA, .233 TAv, 3.5 WARP)
Tuesday: Seth Lugo (3-1, 3.55 ERA, 6.41 DRA, .283 TAv, -0.2 WARP) vs. RHP Joe Ross (4-3, 5.12 ERA, 5.08 DRA, .280 TAv, 0.4 WARP)
Wednesday: Jacob deGrom (8-3, 3.55 ERA, 2.69 DRA, .238 TAv, 3.3 WARP) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (6-6, 5.27 ERA, 5.42 DRA, .269 TAv, 0.2 WARP)
Mets OF Curtis Granderson: .359/.469/.872 over his last 49 plate appearances. Except also he’s hurt.
Mets INF Asdrubal Cabrera: .405/.463/.811 in 41 plate appearances going into Sunday’s game.
Nationals OF Bryce Harper: .333/.463/.888 in 41 plate appearances going into Sunday’s game.
Nationals INF Anthony Rendon: .382/.500/.824 in 42 plate appearances going into Sunday’s game.
Mets INF Wilmer Flores: .077/.143/.077 in 14 plate appearances going into Sunday’s game.
Mets RHP Fernando Salas: 10.29 ERA, .424 BAA in seven innings (and also most of the season).
Nationals C Matt Wieters: .146/.167/.244 in 42 plate appearances going into Sunday’s game.
The entire Nationals bullpen
WHEN WE LAST MET
The Mets dropped three of four to the leaders of the NL East in mid-June during a 1-7 skid.
IT’S LITERALLY A 10-DAY DL
Mets: The Mets finally placed Michael Conforto on the DL with a bruised left hand after days of not being able to swing a bat. Curtis Granderson also missed Sunday’s game with a tight hip, which is more concerning at 36 years old than at 26.
Nationals: Stephen Strasburg complained of back spasms during his last start, but he’s still expected to meet the Mets on the mound. Koda Glover, Shawn Kelley and Jayson Werth were all recently placed on the disabled list for various ailments, but the real killer is the loss of Trea Turner with a broken right wrist and no projected return date.
“We got our work cut out for us, but there’s no reason why we can’t be optimistic and think you’re going to have a good second half because our pitching’s starting to come around and Yoenis Cespedes is not going to continue to struggle. He’s too good of a player,” Terry Collins said Sunday.
“We needed this victory to get off this losing streak,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Sunday. “We needed it for the getaway.”
Photo credit: Jeff Curry – USA Today Sports