Series preview: at Nationals

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The Mets start a three-game series in Washington tonight against the Nationals. Here are the pitching matchups:

Tonight- 7:05 ET: R.A. Dickey (6-11, 3.57) vs. Ross Detwiler (2-4, 2.86)

Detwiler is 1-2 with a 2.41 ERA in his last three starts. He allowed six runs against the Reds in his last start, and just one in his previous outing against the Diamondbacks. Detwiler is 1-0 in his career against the Mets with a 0.96 ERA. His last start against New York came in 2009, when he allowed one run on seven hits in six innings, earning his first career win.

Saturday Night 7:05 ET: Dillon Gee (12-5, 4.24) vs. Tom Milone (0-0, -.–)

Milone will make his major league debut against the Mets on Saturday at 7:05. Milone, a 10th round pick by the Nationals in 2008, is a career 37-22 in the minor leagues with a 3.05 ERA. This season, pitching for the Syracuse Chiefs, Milone is 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA with 155 strikeouts in 148.1 innings pitched.

SundayAfternoon 1:35 ET: Mike Pelfrey (7-11, 4.65) vs. Livan Hernandez (8-12, 4.29)

Hernandez is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERa in his last three starts and 3-3 with a 5.03 ERA in his previous ten starts. He has, however pitched very well against the Mets this season. In his two starts versus New York, he is 1-1 and has allowed a total of four runs in 15 innings, including his last start against them on May 29 when he allowed only one run in seven innings.

Nationals background:

  • The Mets will miss the return of Stephen Strasburg, who had surgery to repair a ligament tear in his elbow he suffered last season. Strausburg was 5-3 last year, striking out over 12 batters per nine innings.
  • Michael Morse has arguably been the biggest surprise in baseball this season, showing big power with 24 home runs already this season, topped off with a .314 batting average.
  • In his first full season, Danny Espinosa has hit his way near the top of the Rookie of the Year race. Of course, because of Craig Kimbrel, Espinosa has almost no chance, but he has been very productive this season. Despite a low .227 average, Espinosa has hit 19 home runs, unusual for a second baseman. He is also a threat on the base paths with 13 steals so far this season.
  • Drew Storen has been a stellar ninth inning option for the Nats this year, collecting 34 saves in 62.2 innings. He shuts hitters down with runners in scoring position (.156 BAA with RISP) and gets better when the game is tighter.

What to expect:

  • This could actually be a tight series. The pitching matchups slightly favor the Mets, but the Nationals bullpen has been great and the Met bullpen has been awful.
  • I wouldn’t be surprised if either team won this series.
About Connor O'Brien
I'm a 17 year-old blogger, high school student, and lifelong Mets fan. I've been blogging about the Mets in some form or another for about four years. I embrace the new age, sabermetric way of thinking, but also recognize the importance of scouting and player devlopment.

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