Tonight at 7:10, the Mets take on the Nationals in the first game of a three-game series at Citi Field.This may be the last chance for the Mets. If they can't take this series, it will be very, very hard for them to get out of the hole they've dug for themselves.The last time the Mets played the Nationals just last week, they lost two of three. The two losses were both of the one-run variety. They lost the first game 4-3 after a comeback attempt in the ninth inning fell just short. Then the next night, they lost it in the tenth on a wild pitch by Pedro Beato with the bases loaded. Luckily, R.A. Dickey and David Wright were there to save the day in the getaway game. Wright hit two home runs and Dickey allowed four runs in 7.1 innings en route to a 9-5 win.Despite the promising sign at the end of the last Nationals series, they have continued to falter. They were swept by the Dodgers at Citi Field to fall below .500 for the first time all season. That makes this series so critical for the Mets.Pitching Matchups:Game 1: Monday 7:10Chris Young (2-4, 4.11 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (7-6, 2.35 ERA)Game 2- Tuesday 7:10R.A. Dickey (13-1, 2.84 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (12-5, 3.32 ERA)Game 3 Wednesday 12:10Jeremy Hefner (1-3, 5.85 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (10-4, 2.85 ERA)Notes:
  • Ian Desmond is heading to the DL with an oblique injury. Desmond has been the the biggest offensive threat for the Nationals this season, hitting 17 home runs and driving in 53. He was batting .286 with a .825 OPS. He also has 15 stolen bases. He could be out for well over a month.
  • The Mets don't get any breaks with the pitching matchups in this series. They are forced to face Washington's three best pitchers. This is going to be a very tough series...
  • Daniel Murphy is on fire. He has his average up above .300 once again after going 4-for-5 last night. Since June 26, Murphy is hitting .440.
  • The Mets have a 6.36 ERA since the All-Star break.