(Sports Network) - The New York Mets will be the next team to try and trip up
the red-hot Washington Nationals when the teams open a three-game series at
Nationals Park on Friday.
Washington has won eight of its last nine after capping a three-game sweep
over the Miami Marlins with Thursday's 9-0 victory.
But is the recent surge too little, too late? Atlanta has the National League
East all but wrapped up, with a 13-game cushion entering the day. However, the
Nationals find themselves 6 1/2 games behind Cincinnati for the second wild
"It's not gonna be easy, and we've got a long ways to go," right fielder
Jayson Werth said of his team's playoff chances. "But we've got to grind it
out and win tough games and come from behind if we want to give ourselves a
shot in the end. But nobody said it was going to be easy, so we've just got to
The Nats out-hit Miami, 12-4, on Thursday as Werth, Bryce Harper and Ian
Desmond homered. Harper extended his career-best hitting streak to 11
games, while Desmond is 13-for-26 with three homers and eight RBI over his
last six games. Gio Gonzalez tossed seven shutout innings and allowed only
three hits to get the win.
"We're a scary team when we're going good, and I think everybody knows that,"
New York split a four-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies this week. The
Mets are hoping to carry the momentum from Thursday's 11-3 rout into Friday's
Carlos Torres allowed only four hits in 6 2/3 innings, while Daniel Murphy
matched that hit total himself with four hits in the victory. The Mets scored
at least one run in each inning from the third inning through the final frame.
Dillon Gee will hope for that kind of run support when he gets the call for
Friday's series opener. He gave up a season high-tying 10 hits in six innings
against Detroit on Sunday and lost for only the third time in 16 starts.
Taking the hill for Washington is Jordan Zimmermann, who is tied for the NL
lead with 15 wins. He rebounded from a tough outing against the Cubs (career-
high eight runs and three homers allowed) to hold Kansas City to two runs in 7
2/3 innings his last time out.
"Against the Cubs, I was nibbling a little bit and throwing too many offspeed
pitches and that's not the way I pitch," Zimmermann said. "(The Royals) knew
that and they were super aggressive and I was able to mix the changeup around
the fourth inning on. I got some quick outs and I was able to stay in the game
a little longer."
Washington has a 7-5 edge in the season series with New York, as the teams are
even in run differential in those previous 12 meetings (52-52).
The Sports Network