The Mets (98-61) return home to finish off their final three home games of the season against the Nationals (55-104). The Mets have won 11 of the 16 games they’ve played against Washington this year, though they dropped two of three to the Nats at Citi Field in September, which dealt a serious blow to the team on their quest for a division title.
The Mets are coming off their biggest series of the year, one in which they were swept pretty handily by the Braves to end any realistic shot of the team winning the NL East. The Mets moved Jacob deGrom up to pitch on Friday, and he was good but, once again, human. He allowed three solo homers, though he struck out 11 without walking a batter. That was too much for the team’s anemic offense to recover from, as they managed just two runs against Max Fried and the Braves’ bullpen. They loaded the bases in the ninth against Kenley Jansen, but could not break through. Francisco Álvarez made his major league debut but did not record a hit.
The Mets fell once again on Saturday behind one of their aces, this time by a 4-2 score. Max Scherzer was hit hard all game, allowing four runs in 5 1⁄3 innings. Dansby Swanson’s two-run homer put Atlanta ahead, while Matt Olson gave them some breathing room. Like the previous night, the Mets’ offense could only muster two runs against the Braves.
They lost on Sunday—it’s a late season game in Atlanta, what else did we expect?—by a 5-3 score. Chris Bassitt couldn’t even escape the third, and fumbled the game after the Mets gave him a 3-1 lead. Travis d’Arnaud put Atlanta ahead for good with a two-run single, because of course he did. Olson and Swanson each homered for the third time in three games this series.
Essentially, the Mets will need to sweep the Nationals and the Marlins will need to sweep the Braves in order for the Mets to win the NL East crown for the first time since 2015. In other words, start preparing for Wild Card weekend on Friday, October 7. The Mets will host either the Padres (most likely) or the Phillies (less likely). It will be a best of three, and all three games will take place at Citi Field. Not great, Bob.
The Nationals dropped three of four to the Phillies over the weekend. They are closing out a 100-loss season in which they traded away franchise cornerstone Juan Soto. The next few years will likely be rough for Washington, though they have a couple of young pieces they’ve acquired from recent trades that should figure to be contributors in the coming years.
Monday, October 3: Cory Abbott vs. Carlos Carrasco, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Abbott (2022): 44.0 IP, 39 K, 21 BB, 11 HR, 5.11 ERA, 6.30 FIP, 1.36 WHIP, 0.1 bWAR
Abbott has spent a lot of of the year pitching out of the pen, but four of his last five appearances have been starts. He has taken the loss in his last two starts, both of which came against Atlanta. At Truist Park, he went four innings and allowed four earned runs on six hits, with no strikeouts and two walks. At Nationals Park, he went five innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on three hits, with seven strikeouts and three walks. He made his first start of the year against the Mets on August 2 and tossed five shutout frames. He also tossed a shutout inning in relief against the Mets on September 2 and then again on September 4.
Carrasco (2022): 148.0 IP, 149 K, 40 BB, 16 HR, 3.95 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 1.32 WHIP, 1.3 bWAR
Carrasco is coming off back-to-back subpar outings against the Brewers and the Marlins. Against Milwaukee, he lasted four innings and was charged with four earned runs on five hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. Against Miami his last time out, he was pulled after three innings and was tagged for four earned on six hits, with one walk and two strikeouts. He needs to be better, especially if he’s going to play any sort of role in the postseason for the club.
Tuesday, October 4: Paolo Espino vs. Taijuan Walker, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Espino (2022): 11.30 IP, 92 K, 22 BB, 21 HR, 4.30 ERA, 4.54 FIP, 1.31 WHIP, 1.1 bWAR
In his fourth major league season, Espino has made a career-high 41 appearances and 113.0 innings. He has also finished 18 games for Washington (a career high), and his start on Tuesday will be his 19th, which will match his career high, set last season. In his last start, the 35-year-old went five innings and allowed four earned runs on five hits, with five strikeouts and no walks against Atlanta. For his efforts, he was handed his eighth loss of the season. He is still looking for his first victory in 2022.
Walker (2022): 153.0 IP, 122 K, 45 BB, 15 HR, 3.59 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, 2.3 bWAR
Like Carrasco, Walker is coming off consecutive subpar outings against Milwaukee and Miami. In his start against the Brewers, he went six innings and was tagged for four earned runs on six hits, with three walks and three strikeouts. Then, in his last outing, he went five innings and was charged with three earned runs on six hits with two talks and eight strikeouts. It’s come at a bad time for the club, which has come to rely on both him and Carrasco in addition to their big three. He’s pitching to solidify his role on the postseason roster, as well as for his next contract.
Wednesday, October 5: Erick Fedde vs. Jacob deGrom, 4:10 p.m. on SNY
Fedde (2022): 124.2 IP, 93 K, 56 BB, 19 HR, 5.27 ERA, 4.95 FIP, 1.57 WHIP, -0.1 bWAR
Fedde is closing out a disappointing season for Washington and has lost three of his last four starts. He wasn’t necessarily bad in his last outing against Philadelphia, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits, with three strikeouts and one walk in five innings. He did have one of his best starts of the 2022 season on September 4 at Citi Field, limiting New York to one earned run on four hits, with two strikeouts and one walk. He will look to close out his season on a high note at Citi Field, where he made that encouraging start.
deGrom (2022): 64.1 IP, 102 K, 8 BB, 9 HR, 3.08 ERA, 2.14 FIP, 0.75 WHIP, 1.5 bWAR
Following Sunday’s loss, it’s highly unlikely that deGrom will make this start, since it functionally means nothing (unless the Braves lose the next two and the Mets win their next two games). He hasn’t been quite as on-his-game as he usually is as of late, and his last start is no different. He gave up three solo home runs, representing the first time he’s surrendered three long balls in a start since May 2019. The team did reveal that a blood blister was developing, and that, along with a cut cuticle, may have been to blame. In any event, he was removed after six innings but with a lot pitch count. It’ll be something to monitor whether he starts on Wednesday or in a potential Wild Card game on Friday or Saturday.
Prediction: For whatever little it matters, the Mets will sweep the Nationals at home.
How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Nationals?
This poll is closed
The Mets sweep the Nationals. Hooray?
The Mets take two out of three to close out 2022 at an even 100 wins.
The Mets drop two of three and are denied 100 wins by Washington.
The Mets are swept as they close out 2022 with a whimper.