It has taken a while but the New York Mets (67-67) have finally found their way back to .500. A 6-2 win over the Washington Nationals (55-78) in 10 innings helped the Mets pick up ground on both the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East race. The Mets open the day four games out of the division lead and can pick up as much as 1.5 games in the standings if they can sweep a doubleheader with the Nationals today. First pitch for Game 1 is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. at Nationals Park while Game 2 of the split-admission twin bill is slated for 6:05 p.m.
Right-hander Marcus Stroman (9-12, 2.85 ERA) is set to start Game 1 for the Mets today. Stroman pitched well against the Nationals last Saturday, giving up two runs in six innings of work, but was not a factor in the decision. The Mets ended up winning that game 5-3 thanks to a late three-run homer from Michael Conforto. The Nationals will counter with righty Erick Fedde (6-9, 5.08 ERA). Fedde got hammered by the Mets on Sunday, giving up six runs (five earned) in 5.1 innings to suffer his ninth loss of the year.
The Mets will send rookie righty Tylor Megill (2-3, 4.04 ERA) to the mound in the nightcap. Megill picked up his second win of the season on Sunday, holding the Nationals to two runs in five innings of work. Washington hasn’t named a starter for Game 2 yet but one candidate could be lefty Josh Rogers (7-6, 4.48 ERA for two minor league affiliates), who was scratched from his scheduled start for AAA Rochester last night. Rogers would be making his major league debut if this is the case.
New York Mets Lineup (Game 1):
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 4, 2021
- Both games will be scheduled for seven innings as part of the 2021 health and safety rules.
- Today’s second game is a makeup of a COVID-related postponement on April 4, the final makeup game from the season-opening series that was completely wiped out by a COVID outbreak for the Nationals.
- This will be the 13th doubleheader of the season for the Mets. They are 15-9 in doubleheader games this season and have secured at least a split in each of their previous 12 twin bills, including their most recent sweep of a doubleheader against Washington on August 12.
- This is the sixth doubleheader of the season for the Nationals, who are 4-8 in doubleheader games and were swept by the Mets in their most recent twin bill on August 12.
- Stroman is 1-1 with a 4.11 ERA in three starts against the Nationals this season.
- Fedde is 0-2 with a 4.22 ERA in four starts against the Mets this season.
- Jeff McNeil will start in left field for Game 1 and bat seventh.
- Alex Avila (2 for 5, 2B), Yadiel Hernandez (3 for 7, 2 RBI), Juan Soto (3 for 7, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Andrew Stevenson (2 for 3) and Lane Thomas (2 for 3, 2 2B, RBI) have done well against Stroman in the past.
- Pete Alonso (6 for 12, 2 2B, RBI), Javier Baez (2 for 4, HR, 3 RBI), Michael Conforto (5 for 14, 2B, HR, 3 RBI), J.D. Davis (2 for 5, 2B, RBI), McNeil (5 for 10, 2B, RBI), Luis Guillorme (2 for 5) and Jonathan Villar (3 for 11, 3B) have good numbers against Fedde.
- Josh Bell launched a two-run homer against Megill at Citi Field on Sunday.