The Mets (64-37) head to our nation’s capital to conclude their road trip with three games against the Nationals (35-68). This is the last time the Mets will travel to DC this season. So far, they’ve won five of seven games they’ve played at Nationals Park.
The Mets enter this series on a six-game winning streak after sweeping the Marlins at loanDepot Park. New York kicked things off with a 6-4 victory in the opening game on Friday night. Miami jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Chris Bassitt, and things looked bleak with Sandy Alcántara on the opposing mound. But the Mets’ bats responded immediately with three runs in the second, with a Brandon Nimmo double and a Starling Marte two-run triple accounting for the scoring. Miami got another run in the bottom of the inning to go back in front, but Marte’s solo shot in the fourth tied things up again. Marte ended up finishing the evening one double short of a cycle. Bassitt settled down from there, and Nimmo was able to give the Mets their first lead in the eighth with a two-run single, which made winners of Adam Ottavino and the Mets.
Carlos Carrasco earned his 100th career victory on Saturday in a 4-0 New York victory, making him just the eighth Venezuelan-born pitcher to accomplish the feat. After struggled a bit in the first, he bucked down and was extraordinary, pitching into the eight while scattering four hits in the outing. On offense, the Mets got solo homers from Jeff McNeil, Francisco Lindor, and J.D. Davis, as well as another run-scoring hit from Lindor, which proved to be all the offense the Mets would need.
On Sunday, the Mets collected 19 hits en route to a 9-3 victory to complete the sweep. The Mets did it all without the help of a single home run, as every regular had at least one hit and everyone except Patrick Mazeika scored at least one run. It was a total team effort, as the Mets scored three in the first and three more in the third to stake Taijuan Walker to an early lead. The right-hander excelled early but slowed down as the game went along and fell one out short of a quality start. Despite that, it was still a great effort by the team to not have a let down after sweeping the Subway Series.
The Mets finished up a very impressive July with a 17-8 record. Their pitching really carried them through much of the month, which helped keep them winning even as their offense scuffled at times. Over the month, their 2.48 ERA was the best among all 30 MLB teams. During July, their starting pitchers posted a 2.42 ERA—again, tops in the majors—while their bullpen pitched to a 2.61 ERA, which was second in the National League and fourth in MLB.
The Nationals are coming off losing two of three against the Cardinals. Prior to that, they shocked everyone by taking two out of three against the Dodgers on the road. It was one of the few highlights in what has been an abysmal season for last-place Washington.
The Nationals team that I am writing about right now may be very different from the one that takes the field tonight or tomorrow after MLB’s 6:00 PM trade deadline. Washington has been making headlines around the trade deadline, mostly because they have been entertaining offers for superstar outfielder Juan Soto after he declined their most recent contract extension. Soto enters tonight slashing .243/.403/.475 with a team-leading 20 homers and 60 runs scored, as well as a team-best 147 wRC+ to go along with a 2.4 fWAR in 100 games. Then there’s Josh Bell, whom the Mets were linked to as recently as a few weeks ago, though he doesn’t seem destined to call New York home later this week. Bell is hitting .302/.385/.493 with 14 homers, 57 runs batted in, a 142 wRC+, and a team-best 2.5 fWAR in a team-leading 102 games. Nelson Cruz has also drawn some interest, though he is having a down year, hitting .232/.316/.347 with eight homers, an 88 wRC+, and a -0.5 fWAR in 93 games.
Monday, August 1: Max Scherzer vs. Patrick Corbin, 7:05 p.m. on SNY
Scherzer (2022): 82.0 IP, 104 K, 15 BB, 7 HR, 2.09 ERA, 2.50 FIP, 0.90 WHIP, 3.4 bWAR
Scherzer was a monster in his last game, holding the Yankees to five hits over seven shutout innings. He did navigate some trouble throughout the game, but he was able to escape it each and every time. He had a couple of iconic at bats in which he struck out likely AL MVP Aaron Judge with runners on base, including in the seventh inning to close out his outing. He was so pumped he nearly broke everyone’s hand in the dugout who dared high five him after his start. He has been every bit the ace the Mets hoped they would be when they signed him to that contract in the offseason.
Corbin (2022): 105.1 IP, 98 K, 37 BB, 18 HR, 6.49 ERA, 4.62 FIP, 1.77 WHIP, -1.9 bWAR
Corbin has had a truly abysmal season in what has been, aside from 2019, a dreadful run with the Nationals since signing a six-year contract. He currently sports the worst ERA and WHIP among qualified NL starting pitchers and has allowed the most hits and earned runs among NL pitchers as well. It’s gotten so bad that the Nationals are looking to offload his contract in a potential Juan Soto deal, which could lighten the prospect load for the other team. His last start was his shortest of the season, as he lasted just 2⁄3 of an inning against the Dodgers while allowing six earned runs on seven hits. It was a nightmare outing for the left-hander in a nightmare season.
Tuesday, August 2: Jacob deGrom vs. Cory Abbott, 7:05 p.m. on SNY
deGrom (2021): 92.0 IP, 146 K, 11 BB, 6 HR, 1.08 ERA, 1.24 FIP, 0.55 WHIP, 4.4 bWAR
Well isn’t this a sight for sore eyes. For the first time since July 7, 2021, Jacob deGrom will take the ball on a major league mound for the Mets. The ace was on pace for one of the most historic seasons in major league history and his third Cy Young award in four years before injuries wreaked havoc and cut his season short. After looking ready to take the mound in spring training, he was shut down two starts into spring training with a stress reaction in his scapula. After a handful of rehab starts, he’s finally back. He will likely be limited to around 75 pitches in his first outing against Washington.
Abbott (2022): 3.0 IP, 4 K, 0 BB, 1 HR, 3.00 ERA, 4.79 FIP, 0.67 WHIP, 0.0 bWAR
Abbott will make his second career start, and ninth career appearance, against the Mets on Tuesday. The right-hander was selected in the second round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Cubs and finally got the call to the bigs in 2021. He made seven appearances, including one start, and pitched to a 6.75 ERA in 17.1 innings, and was DFA’ed and subsequently traded to the Giants in April of this year. He was eventually claimed off waivers by Washington, which takes us to his current start. He pitched a scoreless inning of relief back on June 19 against the Phillies, and then allowed one earned run on two hits against the Mariners in his other relief appearance this season.
Wednesday, August 3: Chris Bassitt vs. Aníbal Sánchez, 4:05 p.m. on SNY
Bassitt (2022): 115.0 IP, 117 K, 32 BB, 15 HR, 3.83 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, 1.7 bWAR
Bassitt was far from at his best in his last outing against Miami, but he was able to recover after a poor start to give the team some length. After allowing four runs over the first two innings, including three in the first, he ended up completing 6.0 innings. He walked a season-high four batters and only struck out two, but he limited the damage to four earned runs on six hits during the start. The right-hander made his first start of the year against the Nationals and shut them out over 6.0 innings to earn his first victory as a Met.
Sánchez (2022): 15.2 IP, 13 K, 6 BB, 5 HR, 7.47 ERA, 6.76 FIP, 1.40 WHIP, -0.3 bWAR
Sánchez sat out the entire 2021 season and, after signing a minor league deal with the Nationals to begin 2022, missed most of the early part of the season with a neck issue. It’s been a slow start for the right-hander, who’s allowed three earned runs or more in each of this three outings so far. In his last start against St. Louis, he went a season-high 5.2 innings, but he allowed a season-high six earned runs on six hits. He has allowed five homers so far in his three starts and has struck out 13 against six walks. The Mets have typically fared well against Sánchez, tagging him for a 4.95 ERA in 19 starts.
Prediction: The Mets sweep the Nationals!
How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Nationals?
This poll is closed
The Mets extend their winning streak to nine with a sweep!
The Mets’ winning streak ends, but they take two of three.
The Mets win one, but they drop two to Washington.
The Mets suffer a sweep at the hands of the lowly Nationals.