It looked for all the world like we were right back where we were when the Mets and Nationals met July 20-22, with the Nats (54-46) two games in front of the Mets (52-50).
Instead, Washington holds a 3-game lead over New York (more on that in a minute), as the two teams open a 3-game series at Citi Field.
The Nationals, after taking two of three in Miami, are now 3-4 on their 10-game road trip. The Mets are coming off a series with the Padres where they won the first game and have lost two straight.
*The Last Time…
In that last three game series the Nationals took two of three from the Mets. The Nationals are 6-4 on the season against the Mets, including 3-1 in New York.
*In The Other Dugout
Just how bad a 24-hour stretch was it for Mets fans beginning at 7pm on Wednesday night? First the Padres soundly beat the Mets, 7-3, on Wednesday night in a game that was no contest from the start. During the game, word spread over social media, on game broadcasts, and into the Mets dugout that the Mets had traded Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler for Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez. After the game, of course, the deal was revealed to have fallen apart, and the Mets were right back at it on the field Thursday afternoon. They took a 7-1 lead, which after a Derek Norris grand slam turned to a 7-5 lead which the Mets held until there were two outs in the ninth. At that time the rain at Citi Field got so bad that the umpires decided to delay the game, and when the 9th inning resumed 45 minutes later the Padres put together back-to-back singles, and a home run by Justin Upton gave San Diego the lead. Another rain delay followed, and the Mets lost just before 7pm Thursday evening, losing another game in the standings to the Nationals, who saw their new trade acquisition, Jonathan Papelbon, secure a one-run win. Don’t be surprised if the Mets pull off one more move before the deadline ahead of the opening game of this series.
*Matchup To Watch
Bryce Harper is still hitless against Matt Harvey, now 0 for 14, but Harvey looked to be pitching Harper very carefully the last time the two faced off. It’s worth watching how Harvey approaches Harper Friday night, especially since he was mostly ineffective against a Nationals team that did not feature Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth about ten days ago.
Two Mets worth watching: Daniel Murphy, not a huge home run threat, is 19 for 56 (.339) against Jordan Zimmermann with three homers in his career. Juan Lagares is 10 for 22 with 3 doubles, a triple, and a homer against Gio Gonzalez.
Friday, 7:10pm: Gio Gonzalez (8-4, 3.83 ERA) vs. Matt Harvey (9-7, 3.16 ERA)
Saturday, 7:10pm: Joe Ross (2-3, 3.03 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (10-6, 2.05 ERA)
Sunday, 8:00pm: Jordan Zimmermann (8-6, 3.36 ERA) vs. Noah Syndergaard (5-5, 2.70 ERA)