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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Preview: 2011 Regular Season Game 23 - Mets at Nationals

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New York Mets (9-13) at Washington Nationals (10-10), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Chris Young (1-0, 1.46) Washington - Jordan Zimmermann (1-3, 3.70)

The New York Mets will take their new-found winning ways to Washington this evening for the start of a three-game series with the Nationals.

New York ran its win streak to four games Sunday by completing a weekend home sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks. David Wright clubbed a two-run homer in the first inning and added a solo shot in the fourth, while Jason Pridie belted a three-run homer in the 8-4 victory. New York starter Jon Niese (1-3) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on six hits over seven innings to help the Mets extend their longest winning streak of the season following a dismal 2-12 stretch.

"It's always good to get the offense going. It makes me a lot more comfortable on the mound," Niese said. "We're playing good baseball right now."

Veteran right-hander Chris Young gets the call for New York this evening, making his first start in over two weeks after spending time on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. Young last pitched April 10 versus Washington in what was a fine outing spoiled by the Mets' bullpen. The 31-year-old went seven innings, giving up just one hit and one run with two walks and five strikeouts. He retired the final nine batters he faced, but the bullpen couldn't hold a 3-1 lead in the eighth.

Injuries have derailed much of the last three seasons for Young, who last faced the Nationals in the final month of the 2008 season while with San Diego. He tossed seven innings of two-hit shutout ball that day and boasts a 3-1 career ledger and 2.18 earned-run average over five starts against Washington.

The Nationals wrapped up their extended three-game set with Pittsburgh Monday, dropping the rubber match at PNC Park by way of a 4-2 final following Friday's rainout of the opener.

Adam LaRoche provided all of the Nats' offense with a two-run single while starter John Lannan (2-2) surrendered four runs on five hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings to suffer the loss.

Jordan Zimmermann gets the start for Washington this evening aiming to bounce back from consecutive losses. The 24-year-old right-hander was last in action Wednesday versus St. Louis, going six innings and yielding five runs on eight hits over six frames of a 5-3 defeat. He was a bit unlucky in his prior start, falling to Philadelphia despite allowing just a single earned run (three unearned) in seven innings of an eventual 4-0 final.

Zimmermann made two starts against the Mets last season totaling 10.0 innings but did not record a decision in either outing. He let in just two earned runs, four total, on six hits in that span. In five career starts versus New York, Zimmermann is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA.

Washington and New York split 18 matchups last season.
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