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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Preview: 2017 Season - Game 19 - Nationals at Mets - Scherzer vs Wheeler - 8:05 PM

Preview: 2017 Season - Game 19 - Nationals at Mets - Scherzer vs Wheeler - 8:05 PM

Game 19 - Washinton Nationals (12-5, 6-2 Road) at New York Mets (8-10, 4-7 Home)

Probable Pitchers: WAS - Max Scherzer (2-1, 1.37 ERA) vs NYM - Zack Wheeler (1-1, 5.52 ERA)

TV/Radio: ESPN/WOR 710 AM

Game Time: 8:05 PM

Batters vs Pitchers Stats at bottom of Page

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The plan is simple for the New York Mets. The actual implementation may be considerably harder Sunday night when the reeling Mets host the surging Washington Nationals in the finale of a three-game series at Citi Field.

The Nationals (12-5) won their sixth straight game Saturday with a 3-1 victory over the Mets (8-10), who have lost seven of eight, a stretch in which they have scored only 23 runs.

On Saturday, Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and combined with three relievers on a two-hitter. The four Washington pitchers teamed up to retire the final 11 Mets batters in order.

"One of the things we keep coming back to is we just have to start to get some guys on and start getting some base hits," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Alas, that might be easier said than done Sunday, when reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer takes the mound for the Nationals against Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler.

Not only is Scherzer 2-1 with a 1.37 ERA this season and fresh off allowing two hits over seven shutout innings in earning the win in the Nationals' 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night, but also one of three pitchers in history to strike out 20 batters in a game (against the Detroit Tigers on May 11, 2016) and one of four active pitchers with two no-hitters.

One of those was a gem against the Mets at Citi Field on Oct. 3, 2015 in which he struck out 17 and missed perfection only because third baseman Yunel Escobar committed a throwing error.

"We just have to continue to put good swings on the baseball no matter where we hit them," Collins said. "Try to find some spots where nobody is standing. And right now, we haven't been able to do it."

The Nationals' winning streak has been fueled by Scherzer and the rest of his rotation-mates. Washington starters have recorded a 2.40 ERA while pitching into the seventh inning in each of the last six games.

Mets Minor League Roundup 4/22: Evans Single In Eighth Leads Vegas To Win

Mets Minor League Roundup 4/22: Evans Single In Eighth Leads Vegas To Win

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Mets AAA - Las Vegas 3, Sacramento 2: Phillip Evans hit a run-scoring single in the eighth inning, leading the Las Vegas 51s to a 3-2 win over the Sacramento River Cats on Saturday. Travis Taijeron scored on the play after he reached base on a forceout and advanced to second on a groundout. Drew Stubbs hit a solo home run in the first inning to give the River Cats a 1-0 lead. The 51s came back to take a 2-1 lead in the third inning when Taijeron hit an RBI double, driving in Amed Rosario. Sacramento tied the game 2-2 in the sixth when Ryder Jones hit an RBI double, bringing home Christian Arroyo. Starter Ricky Knapp (1-1) got the win while Chase Johnson (0-2) took the loss in relief in the Pacific Coast League game. Paul Sewald struck out the side for his third save of the season. Las Vegas remains undefeated against Sacramento this season at 4-0. BOX

Mets AA - Erie 5, Binghamton 1: Matt Crouse allowed just three hits over six innings, leading the Erie SeaWolves over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in a 5-1 win on Saturday. Crouse (2-0) allowed one run while striking out three and walking three to pick up the win. Trailing 1-0, the SeaWolves took the lead for good with four runs in the third inning. Logan Watkins drove in three runs and Jeff McVaney drove in one en route to the three-run lead. The SeaWolves tacked on another run in the fifth when McVaney hit an RBI double, driving in Jason Krizan. Casey Delgado (0-3) went five innings, allowing five runs and four hits in the Eastern League game. He also struck out six and walked four. BOX

Recap: 2017 Season - Game 18 - Nationals (3) at Mets (1) - Nats Win Sixth Straight, Mets Fall Two Games Under .500

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  W: G. Gonz├ílez (2-0)   L: J. deGrom (0-1)   S: K. Glover (1)

Recap: 2017 Season - Game 18 - Nationals (3) at Mets (1) - Nats Win Sixth Straight, Mets Fall Two Games Under .500

Image result for gonzalez nationalsGio Gonzalez mentioned the tasty Latin food served in the visitors' clubhouse. And the airplanes that fly overhead. And the pretty features of the ballpark.

But if there's a real reason why the Washington lefty is so successful at Citi Field, he isn't saying.

"Any secrets?" he offered. "No."

Gonzalez pitched no-hit ball into the sixth inning to win again at the Mets' stadium, and the Nationals beat New York 3-1 on a drizzly Saturday for their sixth straight victory.

Gonzalez improved to 9-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 14 career starts at Citi Field. Overall, he's 12-5 against the Mets.

"I don't have any clue," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.

Gonzalez (2-0) gave up two singles in 6 1/3 innings. Washington moved to 5-0 on its road trip that started in Atlanta, with one game left in New York and then four more in Colorado.

Still missing slugger Yoenis Cespedes and other injured starters, New York has lost three in a row and seven of eight.

Koda Glover, the fourth Washington pitcher, completed the combined two-hitter by getting the last out for his first big league save.

Jacob deGrom (0-1) struck out 10 and walked a career-high six in 5 2/3 innings - he matched a career best by fanning 13 in his last start. He was supposed to pitch Friday night but was scratched with a stiff neck after sleeping on it wrong. Mets pitchers fanned 15 in all.

"I don't have an answer for you except we're not hitting," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Our pitching has kept us in the game, even look today."

"When you get beat 3-1 and you think you got blown out, that's not good. Our pitching staff has kept us in games and we're just not giving them any help," he added.

Trea Turner returned to the Nationals' starting lineup from a strained right hamstring and hit an RBI double. A day after being activated from the disabled list, he hustled home on Ryan Zimmerman's single for a 3-0 lead in the fifth. Turner got two hits and reached on an error.

"Good to see Trea back," Baker said. "He forces mistakes."

Gonzalez struck out six and walked three in the 10th straight quality start by Washington pitchers. He worked around a pair of walks in the first, then retired 13 batters in a row until walking pinch-hitter Jose Reyes to begin the sixth.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Preview: 2017 Season - Game 18 - Nationals at Mets - deGrom vs Gonzalez - 4:05 PM

Preview: 2017 Season - Game 18 - Nationals at Mets - deGrom vs Gonzalez - 4:05 PM

Game 18 - Washington Nationals (11-5, 5-2 Road) at New York Mets (8-9, 4-6 Home)

Probable Pitchers: WAS - Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 1.33 ERA) vs NYM - Jacob deGrom (0-0, 1.89 ERA)

TV/Radio - SNY/WOR 710 AM

Game Time: 4:05 PM

Batters vs Pitchers Stats at bottom of page

Image result for gio gonzalez 2017
New York Mets manager Terry Collins believes he has a team that can contend with the Washington Nationals for the National League East title. But with 145 games to play, the Mets might already be running short on time -- and bodies -- to keep pace with the Nationals.

The Nationals will look to lengthen their early season lead over the Mets on Saturday afternoon when the two teams play the middle game of a three-game series at Citi Field. Washington (11-5) won the opener 4-3 on Friday in 11 innings to move 3 1/2 games ahead of New York (8-9).

The Mets fielded a lineup missing four Opening Day starters.

First baseman Lucas Duda (left elbow) was placed on the 10-day disabled list. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (left hamstring) is expected to miss the series with an injury suffered Thursday. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (left hamstring) and catcher Travis d'Arnaud (right wrist) are each day to day, though both players were able to pinch-hit on Friday.

"I've got a good team," Collins said of the Mets, who have lost six of seven since a 7-3 start. "They're only good when they're playing. We've been through it before."

Eight of the Mets' 10 Opening Day starters last season (they opened the campaign at the Kansas City Royals in a rematch of the 2015 World Series) spent time on the disabled list.

"It's frustrating, the fact that I know we're better than what's going on right now," Collins said.

The Nationals, meanwhile, are getting healthier. Second baseman Daniel Murphy returned to the lineup after missing Thursday's game with a right leg injury. Shortstop Trea Turner was activated from the 10-day disabled list. Turner, who missed 11 days with a right hamstring injury, didn't start but drew a bases-loaded walk to force him the go-ahead run in the 11th inning. He is expected to start Saturday.

Left fielder Jayson Werth (left groin) missed his second straight game, but Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Werth was feeling better and could return for Sunday's series finale.

The additions of Turner and Werth should provide a boost to the Nationals, who are in the midst of a stretch of 26 games in 27 days.

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