The New York Mets (56-71) let their ace down yesterday, failing to give Jacob deGrom adequate run support in a loss to the San Francisco Giants. The offense only scratched one run across against Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner, who helped the Giants salvage a split in the four game set. The Mets will look to start a new winning streak against the team directly ahead of them in the standings, the Washington Nationals (64-64), who are in a bit of uncharted territory after unofficially waving the white flag on the season by dealing Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams this week. First pitch for the opener of a three game weekend series is scheduled for 7:10 pm at Citi Field.
The Mets will send left hander Jason Vargas (3-8, 7.67 ERA) to the mound tonight. Vargas earned his first win since May in his last start, allowing two runs in 5.1 innings to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in Williamsport on Sunday in the Little League Classic. The Nationals will counter with rookie righty Jefry Rodriguez (1-1, 5.46 ERA). Rodriguez had a tough time in his last start, giving up four runs (although only two were earned) in five innings against the Miami Marlins last Saturday, but did not receive a decision for his efforts. The Nationals went on to lose that game 7-5.
New York Mets Lineup:
- SS Amed Rosario
- 2B Jeff McNeil
- 1B Wilmer Flores
- 3B Todd Frazier
- RF Jay Bruce
- CF Austin Jackson
- LF Jose Bautista
- C Kevin Plawecki
- SP Jason Vargas
- The Mets are 6-6 against the Nationals so far this season, but were swept in a two game series in Washington when the teams last met at the beginning of the month.
- The Mets and Nationals split a four game series at Citi Field back in the second week of July, the final series of the first half for both squads.
- Vargas is 0-3 with a 1.15 ERA in five career appearances (two starts) against the Mets.
- Rodriguez has never faced the Mets before.
- Jay Bruce is back from the disabled list and back in the Mets’ lineup tonight, starting in right field and batting fifth.
- Infielder Jack Reinheim was optioned to AAA Las Vegas to make room for Bruce on the active roster.
- With Devin Mesoraco dealing with a sore neck, the Mets have recalled catcher Tomas Nido, giving them three catchers on the active roster. First baseman Dominic Smith was optioned to AAA Las Vegas to make room for Nido on the active roster.