Mets vs. Nationals Preview: Game #120 — Jonathon Niese vs. Edwin Jackson

Oh, a Phiten necklace. Cool.

Today's game notes, courtesy of @Mets.

Teams: Mets vs. Nationals
Date: Saturday, August 18, 2012 • 7:05 p.m
Location: Nationals Park • Washington, D.C.
Starters: LHP Jonathon Niese (9-6, 3.67) vs. RHP Edwin Jackson (7-7, 3.74)
TV/Radio: PIX11 • WFAN • WQBU
Info: Game #120 • Road Game #62

METS AT A GLANCE: The Mets have lost nine of their last 13 games and are 10-23 since the All-Star break (8-13 on the road)...New York dropped to 41-19 this season when they score first.

SERIES NOTES: The Mets are 1-8-1 in 10 series in the second half...New York’s last road series victory was taking three of four from the Giants at San Francisco (July 30-August 2)...Overall, the Mets are 14-21-3 in series this season.

ON THE ROAD: The Mets are 1-3 on this road trip and are 3-4-2 on road trips in 2012 after going 6-4-3 on road trips last year...The Mets are 28-33 overall on the road this year and went 43-38 away from Citi Field last year...David Wright is fifth in the majors with a .344 road batting average.

METS VS. NL EAST: The Mets began the year 13-5 against the National League East but are 8-20 over its last 28 games vs. the division.

VS. WASHINGTON/MONTREAL: New York is 3-10 vs. the Nationals this year...The last time they had more losses to this franchise was in 2003 when the club went 5-14 vs. the Montreal Expos.

SCOTT HAIRSTON: Collected three doubles last night to tie the franchise record for a single game...It was 27th time in team history, and the second time since 2009 that a Met had three doubles in a game ...The last to accomplish the feat was Lucas Duda, June 25, 2011 at Texas.

MILESTONE NOTE: David Wright is one home run from becoming the third player in franchise history to reach the 200 home run plateau ...Darryl Strawberry (252) and Mike Piazza (220) are the others.

DAVID WRIGHT: Ranks fifth in the majors with a .413 on-base percentage, is seventh with a .322 batting average and tied for fifth with 35 doubles...Wright is tied for ninth in the National League with 75 RBI and tied for eighth with 72 runs scored...He is tied for sixth in the NL with 53 extra-base hits.

RUBEN ON THE ROAD: Ruben Tejada’s current 16-game road hitting streak (.351, 26-74) is the second-longest of the season by a Mets player and the second-longest current road hitting streak in the majors, behind Washington’s Michael Morse’s 18-game streak...David Wright hit safely in his first 20 road games this year...Tejada has recorded at least two hits in 19 of his 39 road games this season.

RUBEN TEJADA: Has collected at least one hit in 20 of his last 21 games...Tejada is batting .330 (31-94) over these 21 games, which dates back to July 26...He has 10 multi-hit games during this stretch ...Overall, Tejada’s .317 batting average as a shortstop is the highest in the majors (min. 300 at-bats) and his .360 on-base percentage is the second-highest among all major league shortstops.

KELLY SHOPPACH: Hit his first National League home run and his first home run with the Mets last night...Shoppach has hit 65 home runs in his major league career, 62 of them as a catcher...(He’s hit two pinch-hit homers and one as a designated hitter)...Shoppach’s career average of one home run every 22.1 at-bats as a catcher is the fourth-highest among active players with at least 1,000 at-bats as a backstop...The top three are Mike Napoli (15.8), David Ross (20.3), and Brian McCann (21.8)...Information courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau.

STARTERS/RELIEVERS: Mets starters rank 10th in the majors with a 3.94 ERA...New York’s bullpen has the worst ERA (5.05) in the majors ...The pen did not allow a run over 3.0 innings last night after permitting at least one run in its previous seven games...The Mets are 6-9 this month and the pitching staff has posted a 4.71 ERA (68 earned runs/ 130.0 innings).

JONATHON NIESE: Has thrown 6.0 or more in innings in his last 13 starts, compiling a 6-4 record with a 3.12 ERA (31 earned runs/89.1 innings) dating back to June 3...Has tossed 7.0 or more innings seven times during this span.

JON RAUCH: Has allowed one run over his last 20 appearances, spanning 14.1 innings (0.63 ERA) dating back to June 28...Rauch has yielded five hits, issued two walks and notched nine strikeouts during that stretch.

MIKE BAXTER: Has hit in a career-best six straight games, going 8-21 (.381) dating back to August 9.

RISP: The Mets went 1-8 with runners in scoring position last night and are 20-95 (.211) with RISP over their last 14 contests...The Mets are hitting .259 with RISP on the season, ranking 11th in the majors...The Mets are hitting .277 with runners in scoring position and two outs, the highest average in the majors.

TWO-OUTS: The Mets have scored 28 of their last 46 runs with two outs (61 percent)...New York is second in the majors with 235 two-out runs, one behind Atlanta (236)...New York is hitting .267 with two outs, the third-highest average in the majors...New York’s pitching staff has permitted 216 runs with two outs, including two last night, the fifth-most in the majors.

U.S. AIR FORCE WEEK IN NEW YORK CITY: The Mets will help celebrate United States Air Force Week in New York City Monday, August 20 at Citi Field...More than 1,100 airmen and their families will be in attendance for a special ceremony and pre-game performances ...The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, will execute a pre-game flyover of Citi Field with six F-16 Fighting Falcons...The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Lieutenant General James M. Kowalski, Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command of Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

MINOR NOTE: Mets 2011 first round pick Brandon Nimmo hit his second grand slam of the season and finished with six RBI last night for Brooklyn (A) of the New York-Penn League vs. TriCity...Nimmo is batting .285 (55-195) with 18 doubles, four home runs and 31 RBI in 51 games this year for the Cyclones.

LAST START: Earned a win when the Mets beat the Braves, 6-5, at Citi Field on August 12...Pitched a season high-tying 8.0 innings and allowed one run, earned, six hits, one home run, and two walks...Struck out six in the 106-pitch outing.

EXTRA REST: Niese will pitch on extra rest tonight against the Nationals...in 13 starts with extra rest this season (five days or more), he is 5-2 with a 2.36 ERA (22 earned runs/84.0 innings pitched)...Conversely, In 10 starts on regular rest (four days) this season, Niese is 4-4 with a 5.49 ERA (37 earned runs/60.2 innings).

HOME RUNS: Niese has given up a home run in six of his last eight starts, dating to July 3...Has given up 19 home runs this season, and has posted a HR/9 of 1.18...Allowed a career-high 20 home runs in 2010.

WALKS: Had not walked a batter in 25.1 innings, a career-long streak that dated from the fifth inning on June 3, four starts ago, to the 2nd inning on July 27...Has allowed 13 walks in his last 13 starts, a span of 89.1 innings pitched, dating to June 3...Has walked more than one three times in those 13 starts...Prior to this stretch, Niese had allowed 18 base-on-balls over a six-start stretch (29.2 innings pitched) from May 1 to May 28...Niese’s 25.1 innings without a walk marks the longest streak by a Mets pitcher since 2011, when Mike Pelfrey went 25.0 innings without a base-on-balls from June 2-24.

RARE COMPANY: Niese has issued six walks in his last seven starts and became the seventh pitcher in Mets history to throw at least 7.0 innings and not walk a batter in three consecutive starts (July 8-27) in one season...The last major league pitcher to do that was Cliff Lee, who did it in four straight starts in June, 2010.

INNINGS PITCHED: Since June 10, Niese has pitched 87.1 innings, spanning 12 starts, tied for the seventh-most, with Cliff Lee (Phi) and Paul Maholm (Atl), in the NL over that time...Has thrown at least 7.0 innings in nine of his last 12 starts.

RECENT SUCCESS: In his previous 15 starts dating to May 23, Niese is 7-4 with a 3.18 ERA (36 earned runs/102.0 innings pitched)...Has a 7.15 K/9 mark and 10 quality starts over that stretch... Has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 16 of his 22 starts this season...Finished the month of July with a 4.63 ERA (18 earned runs/35.0 innings pitched).

SUCCESS VS. LEFTIES: Niese has held left-handed hitters to a .238 batting average (24-101) this season, with two home runs and six walks...Conversely, Niese has allowed 17 home runs and 32 walks to right-handers...Niese held lefties to a .259 average and .357 slugging percentage during the 2011 season… Allowed only 10 extra-base hits (two home runs and eight doubles) to left-handed batters last season, which was tied for 10th-fewest in the National League.

DAY/NIGHT SPLITS: In 10 starts during the day this season, Niese is 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA (21 earned runs/66.1 innings)...In 13 night starts, the left-hander is 5-5 with a 4.37 ERA (38 earned runs/78.1 innings)...Niese has allowed 14 of his 19 home runs this season during night games..For his career, Niese has compiled a 13-9 record with a 3.65 ERA (77 earned runs/190.0 innings pitched) during the day in 32 starts, compared to his 18-18 mark with a 4.51 ERA (163 earned runs/325.1 innings pitched) at night in 55 starts.

LAST WIN VS. THE NATIONALS: Won, 7-5 at Citi Field on May 18, 2011... Pitched 7.0 innings and allowed zero runs, six hits, and one walk... Struck out seven.

LAST LOSS VS. THE NATIONALS: Niese has never lost to the Nationals.

CAREER VS. THE NATIONALS: In five career games, all starts, Niese is 2- 0 with a 2.93 ERA (10 earned runs/30.2 innings pitched).

KEY MATCHUPS:

  • Adam LaRoche - .250 (3-12, HR, 6 RBI, 2 K)
  • Tyler Moore- .333 (1-3, HR, RBI)
  • Michael Morse- .250 (3-13, 3 2B, RBI, 2 K)
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