The Mets begin a three-game series with the Nationals tonight at 7:05 in Washington.The Nats come into this series playing better than they have all season. They are currently 73-45, giving them the best winning percentage in all of baseball. Last week in my Braves series preview, I talked about how well the Braves are playing. The Nats have been even better than them. They have won eight of their last ten games and 12 of their last 15.The Nationals have an offense that's somewhat comperable to the one the Mets have. With the exception of home runs, they are just about even with the Mets in most major statistical categories. What's carried them this year has been their starting pitching. Gio Gonzalez
(who the Mets will face this weekend) was Washington's big acquisition in the offseason. They were criticized for how much they had to give up for him, but Gonzalez has proven this season that the trade was worth it. He is having a career year and will be very tough to beat this weekend. The rest of the pitching staff has been solid as well. Washington's starters ERA is first in the majors and they also have a very good bullpen, which has gotten even better since Drew Storen
returned to the team last month.The Mets have a tough task ahead of them in this series and with the way both teams are playing, it would be a miracle if the Mets somehow took this series from Washington.
Game 1- Tonight 7:05Johan Santana
(112 IP, 84 ERA+, 2.74 K/BB)vs.Ross Detwiler
(116 IP, 125 ERA+, 2.24 K/BB)Game 2- Saturday 7:05Jonathon Niese
(144.2 IP, 105 ERA+, 3.21 K/BB)vs.Edwin Jackson
(137 IP, 106 ERA+, 2.50 K/BB)Game 3- Sunday 1:35Jeremy Hefner
(56.2 IP, 81 ERA+, 3.30 K/BB)vs.Gio Gonzalez (147.2 IP, 120 ERA+, 2.82 K/BB)
- The Nationals have activated Ian Desmond from the 15-day DL. Desmond has been out since July 21 with an oblique injury. He will be a big addition to the lineup. In 364 at-bats this season, Desmond has hit .286 with 17 home runs and 15 stolen bases. They designated Cesar Izturis for assignment.
- Since returning to the Nationals after almost three months on the DL, Jayson Werth has caught fire. Since coming back, he is hitting .405 in 42 at-bats.
- Ryan Zimmerman has also played well of late. Since July 1, he is hitting .346 with 11 home runs in 41 games.
- Bryce Harper has cooled down this month, hitting just .170 over 53 at-bats.
- Let's go Mets!