It’s safe to say that the New York Mets (59-56) are on fire right now. The Mets have won six straight games, including a four game sweep of the Miami Marlins earlier this week, and have gone a major league best 19-6 since the All Star Break. All of that winning has brought the Mets to within a game of a National League wild card spot, and the team holding the top spot is coming to town this weekend. The Washington Nationals (61-53) are back in Queens to begin a massive three game series with the Mets tonight. First pitch for today’s game is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.
The Mets will send right hander Marcus Stroman (6-11, 3.07 ERA) to the mound tonight for his Citi Field debut. Stroman made his Mets’ debut last Saturday, giving up three runs in 4.1 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but was not a factor in the decision. The Mets rallied to win that game 7-5. The Nationals will counter with righty Stephen Strasburg (14-5, 3.72 ERA). Strasburg was hammered in his last start, giving up nine runs in 4.2 innings to lose to the Arizona Diamondbacks last Saturday.
New York Mets Lineup:
- The Mets are 8-5 against the Nationals so far this season, including a 5-2 mark at Citi Field.
- The Mets swept a four game series from the Nationals at Citi Field when the teams last met in late May.
- Newly acquired second baseman Joe Panik is starting in his Mets’ debut, batting eighth. Adeiny Hechavarria was designated for assignment to make room for Panik on the 25 and 40 man rosters.
- Brad Brach is active and available out of the bullpen tonight. Donnie Hart was optioned to AAA Syracuse to clear room for Brach on the active roster while Brandon Nimmo was shifted to the 60-day injured list to clear a 40 man spot for him.
- Stroman has never faced the Nationals before.
- Strasburg is 1-0 with a 2.75 ERA in three starts against the Mets this season.
- Kurt Suzuki (3 for 8, 2 RBI) and new National Asdrubal Cabrera (3 for 5, 2B, 2 RBI) have notable success against Stroman.