8/11/21 Game Preview: Washington Nationals at New York Mets, Doubleheader Edition

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets

A miscalculation of the forecast last night led to a suspended game for the New York Mets (56-55) against the Washington Nationals (50-62). Juan Soto’s three-run home run put the Nationals up in the first inning before Dominic Smith got the Mets on the board with an RBI double in the bottom of the frame. The Nationals got a man on first base to lead off the second inning before the game was suspended, leading to an impromptu doubleheader today. The suspended game will resume at 4:10 p.m. and be played to a 9-inning conclusion while a second seven-inning game will be played approximately a half-hour after the conclusion of Game 1.

The pitching plans for today are still relatively unsettled for both teams. The Nationals will insert Wednesday’s originally scheduled starter, righty Joe Ross (5-9, 4.02 ERA) into the suspended game when Washington takes the field in the bottom of the second inning. Ross pitched well against the Philadelphia Phillies last Thursday, giving up three runs in 5.1 innings of work, but was not a factor in the decision after the Washington bullpen blew a late lead in a 7-6 loss. The starter for the second game has not been announced as of post time.

The Mets will hold regularly scheduled starter Marcus Stroman (7-11, 2.83 ERA) for Game 2. Stroman lasted five innings against the Phillies on Friday, allowing two runs, but was stuck with a third straight loss due to a lack of run support. The rest of the first game could be a bullpen affair with manager Luis Rojas indicating last night that Drew Smith would have been the next pitcher in if the game was resumed.

Local Coverage:

Television: SNY

Radio: WCBS

Pre-Game Notes:

  • The first game of the doubleheader will be played to completion since it was scheduled as a nine-inning game. The second game will be scheduled for seven innings as part of the 2021 health and safety rules.
  • This will be the 12th doubleheader of the season for the Mets. They are 13-9 in doubleheader games this season and have secured at least a split in each of their previous 12 twin bills, including in their last one against the Atlanta Braves on July 26.
  • This is the fifth doubleheader of the season for the Nationals, who are 3-7 in doubleheader games this season and split their last doubleheader with the Phillies on July 29.
  • Stroman faced the Nationals in New York on April 24, giving up five runs (four earned) in four innings to suffer his first loss of the season.
  • Ross is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts against the Mets this season.
  • It is unclear if Javier Baez, who was out of the lineup last night with lower back tightness, will be able to start in the second game. The Mets indicated yesterday that they were hopeful Baez would be available off the bench.
  • Soto is 2 for 3 with a double, a home run and two RBI’s against Stroman.
  • Active Nationals’ hitters are 11 for 31 (.483) and an 1.186 OPS against Stroman.
  • Baez (3 for 8, 2B, 2 2B, RBI), Pete Alonso (3 for 8), Michael Conforto (7 for 16, 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI), J.D. Davis (4 for 7, 2B, 2 RBI) and Brandon Nimmo (5 for 9) have good numbers against Ross.
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