Series: Game 1 of 4

Washington leads 1-0 (as of 9/11)

Game 1: Thursday, September 11
NY Mets2
Game 2: Friday, September 12
NY Mets4
Game 3: Saturday, September 13
NY Mets3
Game 4: Sunday, September 14
NY Mets0

Nationals 6

(83-62, 37-34 away)

Mets 2

(71-76, 36-36 home)

    Coverage:  SNNY

    7:10 PM ET, September 11, 2014

    Citi Field, New York, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    WSH 202200000 6 8 1
    NYM 000010100 2 9 1

    W: T. Roark (13-10)

    L: B. Colon (13-12)

    Nationals-Mets Preview


    No David Wright? No problem for the New York Mets.

    That's likely to change, however, with a four-game set against the NL East-leading Washington Nationals.

    After winning the first two games without their All-Star third baseman, the Mets now look to end their longest home losing streak to any opponent in Thursday night's opener with the Nationals.

    New York is 5-7 without Wright this year, but the team has won back-to-back contests since he's been ruled out for the rest of the season with persistent inflammation in the rotator cuff of his left shoulder.

    The Mets (71-75) beat Colorado 2-0 on Wednesday for their seventh win in eight games. The surge has made New York relevant in the postseason chase, trailing Pittsburgh by 5 1/2 games for the NL's second wild-card spot with Atlanta, Milwaukee and Miami in between.

    "I'm very pleased," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I think when you walk through the clubhouse doors right now in September, even though you're looking at a wild card, you're still playing for something. And that's the only way to go in every day, to know that it's fun to go out there and compete."

    Gaining ground in that race would require New York to find some success against Washington (82-62), which leads the division by eight games on the second-place Braves after losing 6-2 to them Wednesday.

    The Mets have lost 25 of their past 29 meetings with the Nationals at Citi Field, including 11 in a row for their longest home losing streak to any team in franchise history.

    It's also Washington's longest road winning streak in any all-time series, and giving the ball to Tanner Roark (12-10, 2.97 ERA) may keep it going.

    Roark has a 3.18 ERA while winning all three of his starts against the Mets, including both visits to Queens. He earned an 8-2 win in his most recent April 3, yielding two runs in six innings as the Nationals swept the season-opening three-game set.

    The right-hander, however, enters this one having lost three straight starts behind a 4.42 ERA. He was backed by five total runs of support in those outings, though, and two of them were quality starts.

    Roark gave up three runs with eight strikeouts in six innings of Saturday's 3-1 loss to Philadelphia.

    "My ball was up and it really wasn't locating the way I would want it to be," Roark said.

    The Mets are countering with Bartolo Colon (13-11, 3.96), who has lost three home games in a row with a 6.88 ERA. However, his best outing of that stretch came in a 3-2 loss to Washington on Aug. 13, allowing two runs -- one earned -- with eight strikeouts in seven innings.

    The rotund right-hander owns a 2.57 ERA in three meetings with the Nationals this year, but he's 1-2 since he's been backed by one run in each of those defeats.

    Colon enters this matchup after allowing two runs in seven innings of Friday's 14-5 victory at Cincinnati, having more trouble battling a cold than the Reds.

    "If he would have felt good, he would have gone nine," Collins said.

    Collins may opt to keep Daniel Murphy at third in place of Wright after he singled Wednesday. He's 10 for 28 (.357) in his last seven games, a stretch interrupted with a stint on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf.

    Murphy has a .390 average in 10 games versus Washington, and he's 3 for 9 with a double versus Roark.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     WashingtonNew York
    Current StreakW2W2
    Last 108-26-4

    Pitching Matchup

    WashingtonNew York
    T. Roark
    15-10, 2.85 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/23 vs NYM
    6.1 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = Win
    B. Colon
    15-13, 4.09 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 vs HOU
    6.0 IP, 3 ER
    Dec = Win

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.WashingtonNew York
    1. D. Span, CF E. Young Jr., LF
    2. A. Rendon, 3B J. Lagares, CF
    3. J. Werth, RF D. Murphy, 3B
    4. A. LaRoche, 1B L. Duda, 1B
    5. I. Desmond, SS T. d'Arnaud, C
    6. B. Harper, LF C. Granderson, RF
    7. W. Ramos, C D. Herrera, 2B
    8. A. Cabrera, 2B W. Flores, SS
    9. T. Roark, P B. Colon, P

    Research Notes

    Bartolo Colon is throwing his fastball an MLB-high (among qualifiers) 83 percent of the time this season. Jayson Werth is hitting .273 against right-handed pitchers this season: .310 against fastballs and .229 against all other pitches.

    ESPN Stats & Information