New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals
Where and when: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, 1:05 pm EST
The New York Mets look to win their fourth straight game when they meet the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., for the finale of a three game set beginning at 1:05 pm EST. The Mets were able to draw first blood in the opener on Tuesday night while their pitching staff allowed two runs, or less, in each of their last three games.
And while the Mets have had their fair share of issues on the mound this year, an eight inning performance from Noah Syndergaard (3-3) certainly came at the right time as he pitching eight innings while allowing a two run blast to Victor Robles in the sixth inning to tighten the lead to 5-2. However, a first inning grand slam by Wilson Ramos certainly provided New York with even more confidence early on as the Nationals were not able to keep pace in the end.
Washington’s pitching staff continues to make huge mistakes as Jeremy Hellickson (2-2) committed a huge mistake early on in swallowing a grand slam by Ramos. In five innings, he allowed five earned runs, total, along with four walks and a homer. Hellickson has a 6.00 ERA on the year with total of seven walks in his last two in addition to surrendering three homers during this time. Washington had only five hits in the opener versus the Mets while New York had eight.
The Mets were defeated in a three-game set at Citi Field versus the Nationals on April 7th; However, have won four of the last five games versus Washington at Nationals Park. Finally, the Nationals are ranked 25th in the league in errors with a total of 28 on the season.
Sanchez continues to seek first win of 2019
Anibal Sanchez (0-6), after a 2018 season which saw him possess a solid 2.83 ERA, has now skyrocketed to 5.87 in a year that has been really frustrating, to say the least. To his credit, five of his first six starts since coming over from the Atlanta Braves were decided by a single run. Nonetheless, the Mets have only won once with Sanchez on the mound, a 3-2 home win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 13th.
However, in his last two starts, the right-hander has racked up two additional losses, with his last being only a four inning performance versus the Los Angeles Dodgers to where he allowed three earned runs along with two long balls in a 5-0 defeat. In fact, Sanchez has not gone past the fourth inning in each of his last two starts, overall. He also was met with mixed results pitching versus New York last year while suiting up for the Braves as he followed up a no decision performance at home to where he allowed four earned runs along with two homers in four innings for a 7-6 defeat by striking out nine in a six inning gem to where he allowed just one earned in a 2-1 win at Citi Field in 2018.
Wilson Ramos has had the most success versus Sanchez in batting .333 on 18 at bats while Robinson Cano (.222 on 19 AB) along with Todd Frazier (.057 on 19 AB) have not had much success at all versus the right-hander, lifetime.
Wheeler enters contest with momentum
Sanchez will be opposed by Zack Wheeler (3-2) for the Mets as he will be looking for his second straight win after a double-digit strikeout performance at home versus the Miami Marlins on May 10th. Wheeler continues to pound the strike zone in recording 58 strikeouts compared to 19 walks. In fact, he has a total of 36 strikeouts in his last three outings, alone, while the right-hander has lasted for six innings, or more, in his last six games.
However, the Mets are 0-2 versus the Nationals with Wheeler on the mound. He allowed four earned runs along with a homer in five innings in a 6-5 loss earlier in the year at Nationals Park. On the other hand, he totally stunk it up on the hill in a matchup just days later in a 12-9 defeat where he pitched just 4 ⅔ innings while permitting seven earned runs. Hitting leader Adam Eaton (.274) is hitting .600 on eighteen at bats versus Wheeler while Gerardo Parra (.417 on 18 AB) and Anthony Rendon (.333 on 30 AB) have also had their fair share of contact versus the right-hander, as well.
- WAS is 2-7 in their last 9 overall.
- WAS is 2-7 in their last 9 games on grass.
- NYM are 7-1 in their last 8 Thu. games.
- NYM are 4-9 in Wheelers last 13 starts vs. WAS.