Mets Game Preview: (4/23/21) vs. Washington Nationals (7-9)

The New York Mets return home to Citi Field to rebound from their ugly three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs. They face the Washington Nationals, who struggled early but have rebounded to put themselves within one game of first place in the NL East.

The 7-7 Mets would like to flush the “s— sandwich” of a sweep, as Pete Alonso called it, to get their groove back at home. They were just 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position in the three losses, and none of their starting pitchers complete four innings. Their defense was somehow worse by making six errors in the series, half belonging to J.D. Davis at third base.

Unfortunately, Davis is the only healthy player who is hitting well. He is 8-for-18 (.444) on the season and 2-for-4 (.500) w/RISP. On the bright side, his defense cannot get much worse, and we should expect to see him handling the hot corner once again. Brandon Nimmo is still day-to-day with hip stiffness and is a game-time decision for Friday’s game.

The Nationals come off a series win against the St. Louis Cardinals, where they won the final two games of the series. The Mets will avoid a few of their key players like Juan Soto, Jon Lester, Wander Suero, and Stephen Strasburg are all on the IL. Max Scherzer will not take the mound this weekend because he pitched during the series against the Cardinals.

Trea Turner leads the Nationals offense with a .302 average, four home runs, and five stolen bases. Brad Hand has been an anchor in the bullpen with six shutout innings, and three perfect save attempts to begin his Nats career. The Nationals have one of the weaker offenses in baseball. They have 55 runs scored (29th), 14 home runs (28th) but have a .253 team average (T-4th).

Pitching Matchup

Jacob deGrom takes the mound after a very dominant outing against the Colorado Rockies. In six innings, deGrom struck out 14 for the second consecutive start, fanning nine in a row at one point. He allowed three runs, but all of them were unearned, which helped lower his ERA to 0.45, the second-best in MLB. deGrom has always had success against the Nats with a 2.61 ERA in 20 career starts.

Erick Fedde gets the start for the Nationals and is coming off back-to-back solid outings. He combined for 9.2 innings, allowing two runs, and struck out 14 in that span. Fedde won’t provide much distance in the game because opposing hitters hit .328/.400/.648 the third time they face him. He has a 5.19 ERA in 26 innings against the Mets in his career, and he will have a tall task to keep the Nationals in the game with deGrom on the mound.

Matchups To Lookout For

Erick Fedde vs. Jeff McNeil: 5-for-7 (.714), Double, Walk, Strikeout

Erick Fedde vs. Michael Conforto: 3-for-7 (.429), Home Run, Strikeout

Jacob deGrom vs. Starlin Castro: 11-for-36 (.306), 2 Doubles, 2 Walks, 5 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Ryan Zimmerman: 5-for-27 (.185), 2 Home Runs, 9 Strikeouts