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Mets make quick stop in Washington DC for showdown with Nationals

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Can you even call one-game a series? Sure, why not? We’re doing this.

New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

The Mets (40-33) stop by our nation’s capital on their way down to Atlanta to play a single make-up game against the Washington Nationals (37-38). This is the second of three games the club needs to make up after their season-opening series was canceled due to Washington’s COVID-19 outbreak. So far this year, the Mets have dropped four of seven against Washington, including losing three out of four at Nationals Park earlier this month.

The Mets played their third consecutive four-game series against a National League East opponent and, for the second straight time, settled for a split at home. They kicked things off with a Friday doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies, winning the day game 2-1 before dropping the night game by the same score.

In the opening contest, ten straight Mets were punched out by Aaron Nola, which tied Tom Seaver’s record. The Mets were down 1-0 after Philadelphia pushed across a run in the fifth, but the club tied things up with two outs in the seventh on Francisco Lindor’s two-out single against Jose Alvarado. In the bottom half of the eighth, the Mets brought the runner on second home on a Dominic Smith single.

In the nightcap, the Mets again couldn’t do much on offense, this time falling flat against the immortal Matt Moore. David Peterson was terrific for a third straight outing, but he surrendered a sixth-inning home run against Bryce Harper to break the ice. The Mets again tied things up in the bottom of the seventh, this time on a bases loaded sacrifice fly off the bat of James McCann. They had a chance to end it there, but Jeff McNeil grounded out to strand a runner on third, and the game again went to extras. The Phillies capitalized on the runner on second on two ground outs, as the left side of New York’s infield was unable to cleanly handle ground ball that allowed Rafael Marchan to advance to third and then home. The Mets, on the other hand, went down meekly against Hector Neris.

The Mets earned their second walk-off win of the weekend on Saturday, as they came from behind to win 4-3. Jacob deGrom wasn’t his usual otherworldly self, instead settling for a solid six innings of two-run ball against Philadelphia. With the Mets behind 2-1, Kevin Pillar pinch hit and crushed an opposite field homer to tie things up. Edwin Díaz was wild in the ninth and allowed a run to put the Mets behind, but the Mets got to Neris in the ninth to launch their comeback. The home team loaded the bases, and Luis Guillorme worked out a walk to tie the game up. After Lindor struck out, Michael Conforto hit a line drive to center field that went for a game-winning sacrifice fly.

New York’s offensive woes continued against old friend/current foe Zack Wheeler on Sunday. The offense didn’t do much of anything against Wheeler, who struck out eight over seven scoreless frames. Marcus Stroman was far from his best, as he struggled from the start over three uneven innings, giving up four runs (three earned) while walking five. That was more than the Mets’ meager offense could make up for, as they pushed home a couple of runs late against Philadelphia’s bullpen but ended up losing 4-2.

The Mets have maintained a decent lead on first in the division despite going 5-7 in the first 12 games of this 16-game stretch against NL East opponents. They’ve scored a measly 29 runs over those 12 games (2.42 runs-per-game), with 7 of those coming in an ‘offensive outburst’ against the Atlanta Braves on June 24. With their recent performance, as well as the Pittsburgh Pirates dropping seven on the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday, the Mets have fallen back into last among the 30 MLB teams with 3.59 runs-per-game.

The hope was that, with guys like Conforto and McNeil returning to the lineup, the offense would finally find some consistency, but that has not been the case so far. Brandon Nimmo is expected back on Tuesday, and J.D. Davis is set to kick of a rehab assignment on Wednesday, so the club is expecting more reinforcements to arrive in the coming days. Hopefully, this should help solve their never-ending offensive struggles.

Since the Mets last played against Washington, the Nationals have won four and lost two, which includes splitting four against the Miami Marlins over the weekend and sweeping the two against the Phillies. The Nationals have undoubtedly been the hottest team in the NL East this month, as they’ve won 11 of their last 14 games, and 16 of 25 overall in June. However, because they once again got out of the gate slowly, they still find themselves under .500 and four games out of first place, despite their recent play.

Kyle Schwarber has been on a home run tear, which started when he hit five home runs in back-to-back games against the Mets during their weekend series. Over his last nine games, Schwarber has hit nine homers while putting up a .750 ISO, a 1.483 OPS, and a 283 wRC+ in his last nine games. In general this month, the outfielder is slashing .276/.356/.724 with 13 homers and a 181 wRC+ in 24 games, which has been a big boost to the Nationals’ offense.

Monday, June 28: Jerad Eickhoff vs. TBD, 7:05 p.m. on SNY

Eickhoff (2021): 4.0 IP, 3 K, 3 BB, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA, 3.91 FIP, 1.50 WHIP, 0.3 bWAR

Eickhoff was originally supposed to pitch on Sunday, but the team swapped him with Marcus Stroman, and so he will get a full week in between his first and second start with New York. Eickhoff gave the Mets more than they could’ve hoped for, tossing four shutout innings in Game 2 of the June 21 doubleheader. He struck out three, walked three, allowed three hits, but didn’t give up a run, and he threw 61% of his pitches for strikes in his first major league outing since the 2019 season. The right-hander will have his first chance to face the team that he pitched for in the first five years of his big league career.

TBD

Erick Fedde was originally supposed to get the nod for Washington in their standalone game, but he landed on the injured list yesterday afternoon. Washington has not yet announced who will pitch in his place, but it could very well be a bullpen game.

Prediction: The Mets will score a win against their rival to ‘sweep’ the one-game series and keep Washington under the .500 mark!

Poll

How will the Mets fare in their one game series against the Nationals?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Behind Jerad Eickhoff, the Mets pull off a win!
    (87 votes)
  • 18%
    The Mets are no match for Washington and their TBD pitcher.
    (35 votes)
  • 15%
    A poll for one game? Seriously?
    (30 votes)
  • 21%
    Pizza!
    (41 votes)
193 votes total Vote Now