If feels like the Washington Nationals were just in New York — and they were just 15 days ago. The Nats actually did not even arrive into New Jersey’s Newark Airport until 2:52 AM today, and they finally got to their hotel rooms in Manhattan near 4 AM. If they cannot fix the travel times in the new CBA, then the MLBPA does not care about the health of their players they represent.
So here we are with the Mets and Nationals both out of the playoffs for all intents and purposes. Both teams were decimated by injuries during the season, but the difference was that the Mets, kind of, went for it at the trade deadline and tried to acquire players — but in typical Mets fashion, they even botched that. A big swing and miss by the Mets brass.
So here we are looking at a series that the Mets will pretend can get them back in the playoff hunt, and the Nats will just play this like another evaluation game, sort of.
Here are the pitching matchups for his series:
Tonight: Paolo Espino vs Rich Hill (L)
Saturday: Sean Nolin vs Marcus Stroman (R)
Sunday: Erick Fedde vs Tylor Megill (R)
With the lefty on the mound tonight for the Mets, manager Dave Martinez will have Lane Thomas in leftfield and Victor Robles in centerfield. That is fine, but why is Robles leading off? At some point he might click in, but at this point in the season, a one or two day hot streak isn’t about evaluation. His leadoff slash is a putrid .204/ .287 /.301 /.588, and to make it worse yesterday was another example of Robles getting on-base and removing himself just as quickly as he racked up another caught-stealing. In fact as a lead-off batter this season, he has been caught 3-of-4 times for a 25% steal ratio.
After this game, there are just 35-games remaining in this season. The NL East had the Mets and Nationals as the two top teams prior to Opening Day, and now it looks like the division will go by default to the Braves unless they absolutely meltdown. This will be an interesting sprint to the finish. We will also see how many NL East manager are fired. Mets’ manager Luis Rojas has the highest Vegas odds to be the first manager fired.
Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets
Stadium: CitiField, Queens, New York
1st Pitch: 7:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN; WPIX; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-ups subject to change without notice:
1. Victor Robles CF
2. Alcides Escobar SS
3. Juan Soto RF
4. Josh Bell 1B
5. Carter Kieboom 3B
6. Lane Thomas LF
7. Riley Adams C
8. Luis García 2B
9. Paolo Espino RHP