The Nationals are hoping the new beginnings for Mat Latos will resemble the ace performances he put up in April for the White Sox. This is Latos’ first start for the Nationals. The ramifications of this game is larger for the Mets with 19 games to play as they fight for a Wild Card spot, but also for Mat Latos who is trying to resurrect his career as he will be a free agent after the season. The Nationals had a need, and Mat Latos took a chance signing with the Nationals on a minor league deal, and here he is back on the big stage with playoff implications.
Latos had a 0.74 ERA after his fourth start of the 2016 season, and he is hoping to finish this season the same way he started it and earn a post-season roster spot and a big free agent deal.
Dusty Baker said that the decision to go with Latos over another option was a ‘group’ decision coupled with the fact that the Mets have not seen Latos in a while. Latos won’t operate on a pitch count rather what Dusty calls a ‘performance count’.
When Dusty Baker said that the Mets had not seen Latos in a while, the term ‘a while’ is relative as they did face him in an inter-league start this season on May 31st as well as a relief appearance just 8 days ago (sorry for outing you Dusty). Latos was pitching for the White Sox at that time of that May 31st start and held the Mets to two earned runs over 5 innings. In the relief appearance against the Mets eight days ago, Latos pitched an efficient first inning of work, but then got touched up for a two-run home run.
The Mets are in a similar situation as the Nationals as they are starting Rafael Montero who is a fill-in for them. Montero is a small framed 25-year-old from the Dominican Republic. He has a 4.63 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP this season with two prior starts plus his work out of the bullpen.
Washington Nationals and New York Mets
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, SNY, MLB.TV
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Trea Turner CF
- Jayson Werth LF
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Bryce Harper RF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Wilson Ramos C
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Danny Espinosa SS
- Mat Latos RHP