Washington Nationals hits the road looking to close in on the franchise’s first playoff berth since the team was based in Montreal in 1981. The Nationals lost two of three at home to Miami last weekend, capping an 11-game homestand at 8-3. Washington leads Atlanta by 5 ½ games in the NL East, with a three-game series in Atlanta looming this weekend. New York Mets was swept at home by the Braves, has scored three runs or fewer in its past 10 games at Citi Field and is 4-18 at home since the All-Star break.
Washington left-hander Gio Gonzalez starts the opener, looking to become the first pitcher to 19 victories. He is tied with New York’s R.A. Dickey (who starts Tuesday) for the major-league lead in victories with 18. New York turns to rookie right-hander Collin McHugh, who took the loss in his last outing, Sept. 3 at St. Louis.
Washington at New York
When: 7:10 PM ET, Monday, September 10, 2012
Where: Citi Field, New York, New York
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN (Washington), SNY (New York).
PITCHING MATCHUP: Washington LH Gio Gonzalez (18-7, 2.98 ERA) vs. New York RH Collin McHugh (0-1, 3.27)
Gonzalez continues to build his case for NL Cy Young Award honors. The left-hander has won five of his past six starts, holding the Cubs to three hits and no earned runs with nine strikeouts in seven innings Wednesday. He is 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts against the Mets this season.
Things were not as smooth for McHugh in his second major-league start Wednesday against St. Louis. McHugh allowed four earned runs on six hits in four innings. He fared much better in his debut Aug. 23 against Colorado, striking out nine and allowing two hits and no runs in seven innings.
1. Gonzalez is fourth in the NL in strikeouts (185) and sixth in ERA.
2. The Nationals lead the season series 11-4, outscoring the Mets 69-48.
3. New York is 19-35 since the All-Star break.