MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Washington Nationals

Nationals series preview August 25 – 27

In what was supposed to a series between two teams vying for the NL East, this four-game series between the Mets and the Nationals has become instead one team coasting to the postseason and another trying to trick fans into coming to the ballpark.

The Nats are good. The Mets, quite simply, are not.

When and Where

Game 1: Friday @ 7:05 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Game 2: Saturday @ 4:05 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Game 3: Sunday @ 1:35 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Game 4: Sunday @ 8:08 p.m. EST (TV: ESPN; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Baseball Weather

Friday: Party cloudy with a high of 79F

Saturday: Party cloudy with a high of 79F

Sunday: Party cloudy with a high of 80F

Probable Pitching Matchups

Friday: RHP Jacob deGrom (13-7, 3.49 ERA, 3.05 DRA, .240 TAv, 4.7 WARP) vs. A.J. Cole (1-3, 5.32 ERA, 5.42 DRA, .297 TAv, 0.0 WARP)

The last ace standing, deGrom hasn’t looked his stellar self after a string of eight straight wins, but he’s the one of the few reasons to keep turning on Mets games these days.

Cole has spent most of the season in the minors and has been less than impressive in four starts with the big league club. Pitching against the Mets is an easy way to get on a manager’s good side though.

Saturday: RHP Robert Gsellman (5-5, 5.65 ERA, 6.38 DRA, .319 TAv, -0.8 WARP) vs. Gio Gonzalez (12-5, 2.39 ERA, 3.42 DRA, .221 TAv, 3.9 WARP)

Gsellman’s remarkable 2016 was starting to look like a fluke as the young California native couldn’t find his way (including allowing 21 runs in 17.2 innings from mid-June to mid-August), but his last outing calmed fears slightly as he went 6.1 innings and allowed just one run, scattering five hits and a walk against the Diamondbacks.

Gonzalez, on the other hand, has been a revelation for the already stacked Nationals rotation, who didn’t need him to pitch like an ace this season but got one anyway.

Sunday (game 1): TBD vs. TBD

It could be Max Scherzer. It could be you. You’re also playing right field.

Sunday (game 2): TBD vs. TBD


Who’s Hot?

Brandon Nimmo: 5-16 in seven games going into Thursday

Yoenis Cespedes: 9-15 in four games going into Thursday

Hansel Robles: 4 ER in 21.2 innings since returning from Triple-A

Sean Doolittle: 4 ER in 16 innings since being traded to the Nats

Matt Albers: 0 ER, 0 hits in last 8 IP going into Thursday

Who’s Not?

Travis d’Arnaud: 7-40 in the last 12 games going into Thursday

Anthony Rendon: 5-23 in the last seven games going into Thursday

Daniel Murphy: 4-22 in the last six games going into Thursday (except he’ll still slug 1.000 against the Mets)

Ryan Zimmerman: 5-26 in the last eight games going into Thursday

When We Last Met

The Nationals took both games in early July, with the third being postponed due to weather.

It’s Literally a 10-Day DL

Nationals: Max Scherzer will throw a bullpen session “soon” and start two days after that, but said session has not yet been scheduled. He might start Sunday. Who knows. Bryce Harper, Ryan Madson and Stephen Drew are all on the 10-day DL and expected back in early September (not including the Mets month).

Mets: Noah Syndergaard was supposed to throw batting practice on Wednesday, but the plan was scrapped because…who knows. Steven Matz underwent surgery on the ulnar nerve of his left elbow, which he’d apparently been feeling all season. Jeurys Familia is expected to return today from a blood clot in his shoulder. Zack Wheeler has been shut down for the season. Michael Conforto collapsed on a swinging strike Thursday and was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder and a tear in the posterior capsule. Nobody gets out alive.

Notable Quotables

“He’s excited to be back in there,’’ Terry Collins said of David Wright’s return to the playing field after more than a year, which will somehow inevitably be the most depressing disappointment in a season of depressing disappointments. “He said he felt a little rusty, but he’s excited. He came out of it fine physically. Hopefully in the near future we’ll get him back on the defensive side as well.”

Photo credit: Brad Mills – USA Today Sports

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