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Mets vs. Nationals Preview, Lineups, And Broadcast Info: Game #141 — Collin McHugh vs. Gio Gonzalez

Phiten power!
Phiten power!

Today's game notes, courtesy of @Mets.

Teams: Mets vs. Nationals
Date: Monday, September 10, 2012 • 7:10 p.m
Location: Citi Field • Flushing, NY
Starters: LHP Gio Gonzalez (18-7, 2.98) vs. RHP Collin McHugh (0-1, 3.27)
Info: Game #141 • Home Game #69


Ruben Tejada – SS
Ronny Cedeno – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Scott Hairston – RF
Ike Davis – 1B
Kelly Shoppach – C
Jason Bay – LF
Andres Torres – CF
Collin McHugh – RHP

METS AT A GLANCE: The Mets have lost three straight and dropped five of their last six games...New York is 4-6 in its last 10 games...The Mets are 19-35 (4-18 at home) since the All-Star break...The Mets fell to 3-6 in extra innings, including 0-4 at home with yesterday’s 3-2, 10-inning loss.

AT HOME: The Mets are 30-38 at home this year...New York has lost 19 of its last 23 home games...The Mets will play 13 of their remaining 22 games at Citi Field...The Mets have won one second-half series at home (August 24-26 vs. Houston)...Daniel Murphy has the seventh-best home batting average (.326) in the National League.

SERIES NOTES: The Mets are now 1-6 in home series in the second half...New York was swept for the eighth time this year over the weekend...New York is 17-28 in the first game of a series this year, including 8-14 at home.

THREE RUNS OR LESS: The Mets have scored three runs or less in 10 consecutive home games…The streak is the team’s longest since 1988 when they went 10 straight from July 23-August 12, 1988...The franchise record for consecutive home games scoring three or fewer runs is 11, which they’ve done twice: first spanning the 1966 and 1967 seasons, and then in September 1979.

HIT COUNTDOWN: David Wright collected one hit yesterday...He has 1,405 career hits, 13 shy of tying Ed Kranepool for the most in franchise history...Kranepool played in 1,853 games...Yesterday was Wright’s 1,241st career contest...Three active players lead their current club’s all-time hit list...The Yankees’ Derek Jeter (3,279 hits), Colorado’s Todd Helton (2,420) and Texas’ Michael Young (2,202).

WRIGHT RANKINGS: David Wright is fifth in the majors with a .401 on-base percentage and is fifth in the National League with a .313 batting average...He ranks second in the NL with 75 walks...Wright leads the National League with 16 intentional walks.

DOUBLES: Daniel Murphy had two doubles yesterday and David Wright had one double...Murphy has 35 doubles this year, three shy of his career-high set in 2009, and currently tied for sixth in the National League...Wright now has 38 doubles, four shy of his career-high (2005, 2007 and 2008) and ranks third in the NL...Bernard Gilkey holds the franchise record with 44 doubles in 1996.

COLLIN McHUGH: Is making his third major league start tonight...He has 11 strikeouts in his first two starts, including nine in his major league debut on August 23 vs. Colorado...The nine strikeouts were the second-most in franchise history for a pitcher making his major league debut...McHugh also became the third pitcher in team history to throw at least 7.0 scoreless innings in his debut and first since Masato Yoshii on April 5, 1998 vs. Pittsburgh...Dick Rusteck threw a four-hit complete game in his debut on June 10, 1966 to beat the Reds, 5-0 at Shea.

R.A. DICKEY: Is tied for the major league lead with 18 wins...Dickey leads the NL and is second in the majors with a 2.64 ERA and he is tied for sixth in the majors and third in the NL with 195 strikeouts...He leads the NL and is tied for second in the majors with five complete games...Dickey also leads the NL with three shutouts...Dickey is second in the NL in innings pitched and second in the majors with a 1.0253 WHIP.

R.A. = CY: Dickey’s has a .818 (18-4) winning percentage...Sandy Koufax holds the major league record for the highest winning percentage (.792, 19-5) on a sub .500 team when the Dodgers were 80-82 in 1964...R.A. Dickey is the first Mets pitcher to reach 18 wins since Frank Viola (20-12) and Dwight Gooden (19-7) both accomplished the feat in 1990.

IN A PINCH: New York has nine pinch-hit home runs this year, which is tied for the major league lead with Colorado and is tied for third-most in franchise history for a single-season with the 1962 and 1966 teams...The Mets had 11 pinch-hit home runs in 1997 and a franchise record 12 in 1983...New York also leads the majors with 39 pinch-hit RBI this year.

RISP TALE OF TWO HALVES: The Mets went 2-9 with runners in scoring position yesterday and are hitting .205 (86-419) in such situations since the All-Star break…In the first half, the team hit .269 (199- 739) with RISP...Overall, the Mets are hitting .246 with RISP on the season, ranking 21st in the majors...The Mets are hitting .259 with runners in scoring position and two outs, the fourth-highest average in the majors, the club was hitting .285 with RISP and two outs in the first half.

TWO-OUT RUNS: The Mets have scored 67 two-out runs in 55 games (1.22 runs per game) in the second half this season after leading the majors with 187 two-out runs in the first half (86 games - 2.17 runs per game)...Overall, New York is tied for eighth in the majors with 254 two-out runs.

MINOR LEAGUE PLAYOFFS: The Brooklyn Cyclones lost, 8-1, last night at Hudson Valley in Game two of their NYPL semifinals...Eudy Pina provided the lone offense with a solo home run...Game three is tonight at Hudson Valley...RHP Luis Cessa (5-4) will start for the Cyclones... He ranked 10th in the NYPL with a 2.49 ERA...With a win tonight, Brooklyn will host game one of the NYPL Finals on Tuesday ...The Cyclones will offer two free tickets to all first responders and members of the United States Armed Forces.

DAVID WRIGHT FIREHOUSE VISIT: Mets third baseman David Wright continued his yearly tradition of visiting a local firehouse on or around the anniversary of 9-11 earlier today...This marked the eighth straight year Wright, whose father is the police chief in Norfolk, VA, visited a firehouse...Squad 18, located on 132 West 10th Street (between Greenwich Ave. and Waverly Place) in Manhattan, lost seven members on 9-11...Wright was joined by Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and New York City Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano.

FIRST RESPONDER HATS: In a tradition that started after the attacks of September 11, the New York Mets will honor New York City First Responders by wearing hats from the city agencies during batting practice and the National Anthem prior to tomorrow night’s game against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field...The hats will be autographed and auctioned off at with proceeds distributed by the Mets Foundation to 9/11 related organizations...The auction will be live by Wednesday at 2 p.m. and run through Sunday, September 23 at 8 p.m.

FIRST PITCH: The Gies family will throw out the ceremonial first pitch to honor fallen FDNY hero Ronnie Gies, of Squad 228 in Maspeth, Queens, who lost his life on September 11 prior to tomorrow’s game... Carol, and her sons, Tommy, a fireman with Ladder 147 in Flatbush, Brooklyn; Ronnie, a fireman with Ladder 175 in East New York, Brooklyn; and Bobby, who recently took the test to become a fireman, will be on the mound for the first pitch.

LAST START: Received his first major league loss in the Mets’ 5-4 defeat to the St. Louis Cardinals on September 3 at Busch Stadium...Pitched 4.0 innings, allowing four runs, earned, six hits, and no walks...Struck out two...Gave up his first home run...Has walked only one batter in his first two starts.

NO RUN SUPPORT: Has yet to receive a run of support through his first two major league starts.

METS HISTORY: Became the third Mets pitcher to throw at least 7.0 scoreless innings in his debut and the first since Masato Yoshii on April 5, 1998..Yoshii also threw 7.0 innings...Dick Rusteck threw a four-hitter on June 10, 1966 to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 5-0, at Shea...McHugh struck out nine, the second-most franchise history by a player in his first big league appearance...Teammate Matt Harvey fanned 11 on July 26 of this season.

MORE MCHUGH: The last player to throw at least 7.0 shutout innings and strike out nine or more in his major league debut, before McHugh accomplished the feat, was Aaron Harang for Oakland on May 25, 2002 vs. Tampa...The last pitcher to do it with two hits or less allowed was Milwaukee’s Steve Woodard, who one-hit Toronto for 8.0 innings and struck out 12 on July 28, 1997.

2012 BUFFALO BISONS: McHugh made 13 starts for Buffalo (AAA) of the International League, going 2-4 with a 3.42 ERA (28 earned runs/73.2 innings pitched)...Struck out 70 batters, good for a 8.55 K/9...Held hitters to a .216 average.

2012 BINGHAMTON METS: In 12 starts for the Binghamton Mets (AA) of the Eastern League, from April 5 to June 13, McHugh was 5-5 with a 2.41 ERA (20 earned runs/74.2 innings pitched)...Struck out 65 in those 74.2 innings...Pitched at least 5.0 innings in all but one of his 12 starts for Binghamton...Recorded seven quality starts...Held opponents to a .228 batting average...Allowed more than three runs in only one start.

2012 TOTALS: In 25 combined starts this season, McHugh went 7-9 with a 2.91 ERA (48 earned runs/148.1 innings pitched)...The 148.1 innings are a career-high, breaking his previous high of 132.1 innings, which he set in 2010 with the Savannah Sand Gnats (A) of the South Atlantic League...The 25 starts are also a career-high...Batters are hitting .222 this season against McHugh.

SUCCESS VS. RIGHTIES: While pitching for Binghamton, McHugh held righties to a .205 average (35-171) with four home runs and 14 RBI...In the 13 starts he made for Buffalo, righties hit .199 (17-151) with three home runs and 17 RBI...Conversely, lefties hit .267 (28-105) while he was with Binghamton and .236 (30-127) while with Buffalo.

RUNNERS IN SCORING POSITION: In his 12 starts for the B-Mets, McHugh held hitters to a .196 (11-56) average with runners in scoring position, with only one extra-base hit...In Buffalo, batters hit .214 (12-56) with runners in scoring position...With two outs and runners in scoring position, batters hit .000 (0-20) against, at Binghamton and .185 (5-27) against, at Buffalo.

BERRY COLLEGE: With his promotion to Buffalo, McHugh became only the second player to come out of Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia to reach AAA...He is the first ever to reach the majors.

DRAFT: McHugh was drafted in the 18th round of the 2008 First-year Player Draft...He is the second player the Mets have drafted from Berry College...The other was Troy Fry, who was drafted in the 24th round of the 2003 draft...He joins Ike Davis (1st round), Kirk Nieuwenhuis (3rd round), Josh Satin (6th round), and Chris Schwinden (22nd round), as members of the Mets’ 2008 draft class to appear in the major leagues as a Met.

2011 MINORS: Went a combined 9-4 with a 3.84 ERA (55 earned runs/129.0 innings pitched) in 27 games, 22 starts, for St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League and Binghamton...Was named Binghamton’s Pitcher of the Year.

MINORS CAREER: Prior to this season, McHugh had compiled a 24-14 record with 3.48 ERA (146 earned runs/377.1 innings pitched) over his four-year career...Struck out 388 batters in those 377.1 innings, good for a 9.25 K/9...Recorded a career-high 129 strikeouts in 2010 for Savannah.