Wednesday, May 31, 2023
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MLB Preview: New York Mets (18-20) at Washington Nationals (16-21)


METSCELLANEOUS: The Mets fell to the Reds, 5-0, yesterday… It was the seventh time the Mets were blanked this season…New York has dropped four of their last five games and 13 of their last 17 contests…New York continues a seven-game road trip (1-2) to Cincinnati (1-2) and Washington D.C. (four games)…Following this series, the Mets head home for a six-game homestand against Tampa Bay (three games) and Cleveland (three games).

FIRST THINGS FIRST: The Mets have been outscored 34-9 in the first inning this year…The Mets are 5-18 when their opponent scores first…On the other hand, the Mets are 13-2 when scoring first this season…Their .867 winning percentage when scoring first ranks second in the majors.

WASHINGTON D.C., IT’S PARADISE TO ME: Pete Alonso is a lifetime .341 (45-132) hitter with 24 runs, nine doubles, a triple, 12 home runs, 29 RBI, 16 walks with a .417 OBP a .697 SLG in 35 career games in Washington D.C…Mark Canha has hit .429 (12- 28) with six runs, a home run, five RBI and three walks in seven games at the ballpark…Jeff McNeil has slashed .328/.390/.508 with 16 runs, six doubles, two triples, four home runs, 20 RBI and 12 walks in 33 contests in the district…Brandon Nimmo has slashed .303/.425/.408 with 23 runs, seven doubles, a triple, two home runs, seven RBI and 29 walks in 43 games at the home of the Nationals.

STARTING PITCHING: Mets starting pitchers have tossed 185.2 innings this year, tied for the fourth-fewest innings in the majors…They have surrendered 37 homers, the fourth-most in the majors…New York starters have issued 92 walks, the most in the majors…They are 12-16 with a 5.38 ERA (111 earned runs/185.2 innings).

THE EAST IS A BEAST: The Mets are 7-6 against the division this year…The team went 50-26 against the East in 2022…Their .658 winning percentage against the East was the best mark in club history.

23 AND ME: The Mets have used 23 pitchers so far this season… That is tied for the most in the National League with the Miami Marlins…Only the Oakland Athletics (23) have used as many or more pitchers this season.

DOCTOR ROBERT-SON: David Robertson has appeared in 14 games and has allowed one run in 15.1 innings of work, good for a 0.59 ERA…He has allowed eight hits, five walks while striking out 20 in that span…He is holding left-handed hitters to a .148 (4-27) batting average this season…He has converted all eight save opportunities he’s had this season…Overall, he has recorded 164 saves in his career…That is the seventh-most among active players.

CLOSING TIME: New York’s bullpen has three blown saves this year, tied for the second-fewest in the majors…The pen is 6-4 with a 3.88 ERA (61 earned runs/141.1 innings).

BRIGHAM OUT, BRIGHAM OUT: Jeff Brigham has not allowed a run in eight of his 10 appearances this season, posting a 3.27 ERA (4 ER/11.0 IP)…He has struck out 14 and allowed five hits and four walks in 11.0 innings this year.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: New York will play their 24th road game today, tied for the second-most in the majors…New York is 11-12 on the road this season…They are 3-3-1 in road series in 2023.

INVADER NIM: Brandon Nimmo ranks sixth in the National League with a .312 batting average, is eighth with a .409 OBP and is ninth with 43 hits…Over the last 25 games, Nimmo is batting .337 (34-101) with 15 runs, six doubles, one triple, three home runs, 10 RBI, eight walks with a .903 OPS…He ranks 10th in the majors and fifth in the NL with a 1.7 fWAR.

GUESS WHO’S BACH?: Over his last 21 games, Daniel Vogelbach is 16-55 (.291) with four runs, three doubles, two home runs, 10 RBI, nine walks with a .391 OBP and a .455 SLG…He has posted a .389 OBP in 31 games this season, which is second on the team.

AND THEY’RE OFF: Starling Marte is tied for 13th in the majors and tied for seventh in the NL with nine steals…He ranks third among active players with 323 career steals…Only Elvis Andrus (340) and Billy Hamilton (326) have more…The Mets are fifth in the National League with a 81.3% success rate in steals this season…The Mets are seventh the NL with 26 steals this season.

JEFF McHITS: Jeff McNeil is batting .305 (25-82) with 10 runs, two doubles, a triple, two home runs, seven RBI, six walks with a .374 OBP and an .800 OPS over his last 23 games…Overall, he is batting .269/.368/.373 in 38 games this season.

MULTIPLICITY: McNeil has recorded 10 multi-hit games this season…He has 173 multi-hit games in his career, which places him 19th on the Mets all-time list…He has 63 multi-hit games since the start of last season, which is tied for the third-most during that span behind Bo Bichette (70) and Freddie Freeman (69).

A HIT’S A HIT: The Mets have collected 41 infield hits this season, which is the fifth-most in the majors…Last year, the Mets collected 186 infield hits, the fifth-most in franchise history and the third-most in MLB in 2022.

OUCH: The Mets have been plunked 23 times this season…That is tied for the second-most in the majors and the most in the National League…Since the start of last season, the Mets have been plunked 135 times, the most in the majors.

ATTABOY ÁLVAREZ: Over the last 16 games, Francisco Álvarez is hitting .304 (14-46) with seven runs, three doubles, three home run, five RBI, four walks with a .360 OBP and a .565 SLG…He is now slashing .246/.292/.443 in 21 games this season.

D-FENCE: The Mets have committed 12 errors in 38 games this season…That is tied for the second-fewest in the major leagues… The Padres lead the big leagues, committing only 10 errors this year…New York’s .991 fielding percentage is fourth in the majors and third in the National League.

2023 STATS: 3-2, 4.33 ERA

Pitch Type Usage Rate vs. LHB vs. RHB Avg. Velocity
Four-Seam Fastball 55% 59% 51% 94.3 mph
Slider 22% 8% 36% 83.0 mph
Changeup 15% 21% 10% 88.6 mph
Curveball 8% 12% 3% 77.2 mph

LAST TIME OUT: Threw 4.2 innings and allowed three runs on six hits, three walks and four strikeouts in the Mets 5-2 loss against the Rockies on May 6 at Citi Field…Suffered the loss.

BIG DRIP VS. THE NATIONALS: Megill has faced the Washington Nationals five times in his career…He is 2-2 with a 6.52 ERA (14 ER/19.1 IP)…His last appearance against the Nationals came in relief in an 8-0 shutout victory on October 4, 2022…Threw 2.0 innings, allowing two hits and no runs.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: This season, Megill is 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA (9 ER/14.0 IP) in three road starts this season…In four home starts this season, Megill is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA (8 ER/21.1 IP)…In 20 career road games (16 starts), Megill is 5-6 with a 5.04 ERA (45 ER/80.1 IP) and in 20 career home games (18 starts), Megill is 6-4 with a 4.30 ERA (44 ER/92.0 IP).

THE FRANCHISE HAS COMPANY: On April 7, the Mets home opener vs. Miami, Megill threw 6.0 scoreless innings and allowed three hits…Megill joined Tom Seaver (April 5, 1983) as the only other pitcher in franchise history to throw 6.0 shutout innings and allow three hits or fewer in a home opener…Courtesy of Elias.

DOIN’ THE SPLITS: This season, righties are hitting just .235 (16-68) against Megill…On the contrast, left-handers have batted .288 (19-66) against Megill, the 22nd-highest mark in the majors among starting pitchers (Min. 50 LHB faced)… For his career, Megill owns a .208 (69-331) opponent’s average against righthanded batters since his major league debut on June 23, 2021, the 16th-best mark among starting pitchers during that span (Min. 300 RHB faced)…During that same time frame, left-handed batters have a .303 (100-330) average against Megill, the third-highest mark among starting pitchers (min. 300 LHB faced).


The Washington Nationals open a stretch of 10 home games in 14 days on Friday night against the New York Mets…Following this four-game weekend series, the Nationals will travel to Miami for three games before returning to D.C. for a seven-game homestand against Detroit and San Diego, May 19-25.

  • The Nationals return home after completing a 3-3 road trip capped by an 11-6 win and a series victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday afternoon.
  • Washington has won four of five home games after starting the season 2-11 in its first 13 home games of the season.

The Nationals have won three of four, six of nine and seven of 11 games…They are 11-8 (.579) dating to April 21 at Minnesota…The Nationals have won four of their last six series.

  • Washington is .500 (15-15) after losing six of seven games to start the season…That stretch included series against the Atlanta Braves (1-2) and Tampa Bay Rays (0-3) as well as a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies on their Opening Day.

Jim Hickey’s starters have pitched to a 3.23 ERA (22 ER/61.1 IP) with just six home runs allowed in 11 games dating to April 30…Their 0.88 home runs allowed per 9.0 innings rank second in the National League, while the 3.23 ERA ranks fourth…The Nationals are 7-4 during this stretch.

  • Jake Irvin (6.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 SO), Patrick Corbin (6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, HR, 3 SO) and Josiah Gray (7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO) have combined to pitch to a 1.86 ERA over the last three games.
  • On the season, the staff is tied for third in the National League in starts of at least 5.0 innings this season with 29…In 2022, the Nationals ranked 28th in Major League Baseball with 94 starts of at least 5.0 innings.

Some streaks to keep your eyes on:

  • Joey Meneses is 9-for-22 (.409) with a double, homer, six RBI, one walk and six runs scored during his current five-game hitting streak.
  • Dominic Smith has both hit safely in four straight games (6-for-12, 3 RBI, HBP, 5 BB) and has driven in at least one RBI in three straight games.
  • Lane Thomas has hit safely in eight straight games, two short of his career-high of 10 games in 2022… Thomas is hitting .364 (12-for-33) with a triple, three homers, seven RBI, one walk, one stolen base and seven runs scored during this streak.

Thanks to strong infield defense so far this season, Nationals opponents have a .219 batting average on ground balls, sixth-best in Major League Baseball (MLB avg: .243)…In 2022, the Nationals had the third-highest opponents’ batting average on ground balls in Major League baseball (.260).

  • Washington ranks third in Major League Baseball with 39 double plays turned this season.

Luis García is 11-for-27 (.407) with two doubles, a home run, two RBI, two walks and four runs scored over his last six games…He’s reached safely in all six games.

  • Since April 14, García is hitting .290/.350/.452 with nine walks and 10 strikeouts after starting the season .179/.172/.214 with no walks in his first eight games of the season.

The Nationals popular cherry blossom-themed City Connect uniforms debuted last season and return in 2023 with on-field wear dates scheduled for every Friday and Saturday home game going forward.

  • The City Connect design is a celebration of the beautiful gift of cherry blossom trees from the people of Japan to the city of Washington, D.C.
  • Just as cherry blossoms are sewn into the city’s culture, they are threaded into the uniforms themselves.
  • The bold lettering across the chest echoes the District’s chiseled monuments and takes inspiration from the iconic W shape of the 1924 World Series champion Washington Senators.

Left-handed starter was acquired by Washington at the 2022 Trade Deadline…Entered 2020 as the No. 6 prospect in all of baseball and 2021 as the No. 10 prospect, according to Baseball America …Was cited by Baseball America as having the “Best Fastball” in San Diego’s system entering the 2022 season and the “Best Slider” in 2021 and 2018…Was the 2017 Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year, just the second baseball player to win the award at the time (Dylan Bundy in 2011; Bobby Witt Jr. in 2019).

Worked 6.0 innings, struck out nine and allowed two runs on eight hits against Arizona on May 6…His nine strikeouts were his second-highest total in a game this season, falling one short of matching a career-high…Gore took a no decision and despite a comeback effort that saw the Nationals score five runs in the ninth, they fell, 8-7 to the Diamondbacks in walk-off fashion.

Faces the Mets for the second time this season…Matched a career-high with 10 strikeouts in a win on April 26 at Citi Field…Gore tossed 6.0 innings and allowed one run on four hits and two walks…Gore’s effort helped the Nationals clinch a series win in New York.

Gore leads all Major League left-handed pitchers, ranks fifth in all of Major League Baseball (3rd in the NL) with 11.68 strikeouts per 9.0 innings…His 48 strikeouts are tied for ninth in the National League.

Gore ranks fifth among all MLB left-handed pitchers with 97 swings and misses this season, according to MLB Statcast…On April 19 vs. Baltimore, he induced a career-high 18 swings and misses in 6.0 innings pitched.

Gore’s curveball boasts a 42.0% whiff rate, third-best among all MLB left-handed pitchers (min. 25 PA)…His .154 opponents’ batting average (6-for-39) ranks second among MLB lefties.

Gore’s 48 strikeouts through seven starts are the fourth-most in Nationals history (2005-pres.) by any pitcher in his first seven starts with the club behind Max Scherzer (55 SO in 2015), Patrick Corbin (50 SO in 2019) and Gio Gonzalez (50 SO in 2012).

  • Gore would need 19 strikeouts today to pass Scherzer (66 in 2015) for the most strikeouts through a pitcher’s first eight starts with the club.

Earned the win in his Nationals debut on April 2 vs. Atlanta…Allowed one earned run on three hits with six strikeouts and four walks…With the win, Gore became the seventh Nationals pitcher (2005-pres.) to win his debut with the team while allowing three hits or less in at least 5.0 innings of work.

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