Series: Game 3 of 4

Washington leads 2-1 (as of 9/13)

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 10

(84-63, 38-35 away)

Mets 3

(72-77, 37-37 home)

    Coverage:  WPIX

    7:10 PM ET, September 13, 2014

    Citi Field, New York, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    WSH 020131012 10 15 1
    NYM 000021000 3 6 4

    W: D. Fister (14-6)

    L: Z. Wheeler (10-10)

    Nationals-Mets Preview


    After ending their run of dominance at Citi Field, the Washington Nationals will look to Doug Fister to get their NL East title push back in line with another superb performance against the New York Mets.

    Fister, though, might have to outduel Zack Wheeler for a victory Saturday night.

    Washington (83-63) nearly rallied to extend its 12-game road win streak over New York on Friday but fell 4-3 after failing to respond to Juan Lagares' go-ahead double in the fifth inning. Anthony Rendon hit a tying solo homer in the top half of the fifth for Washington -- which trailed 3-0 after the opening inning -- and had three hits for the second straight game, but couldn't keep his club from just its third loss in the last 19 matchups with the Mets (72-76).

    Washington's magic number in the division, though, was cut to eight after Atlanta lost 2-1 in Texas.

    Fister (13-6, 2.53 ERA) will try to reduce that number again while improving to 4-0 in four career starts against the Mets. He gave up one unearned run in 14 1/3 innings in a pair of 7-1 victories versus New York last month. He has a 0.44 ERA against the Mets, easily his lowest against any opponent, and he's 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA in two lifetime road matchups.

    Fister snapped a three-start losing streak in which he recorded a 5.94 ERA with a 2-1 victory over Atlanta on Monday, yielding two hits and three walks in seven scoreless innings.

    "He was good from the beginning," manager Matt Williams told MLB's official website.

    The Mets turn to Wheeler (10-9, 3.38), who has been one of the NL's best starters since June 29, going 7-1 with a 2.21 ERA in 13 starts. The right-hander gave up one run in six innings Sunday, a 4-3 victory in Cincinnati, and continues to pitch well despite logging a career-high 170 1/3 innings.

    "It is late in the season and I'm starting to wear down a bit, but I'm learning how to pitch through it," Wheeler said. "Honestly, I feel good."

    Wheeler permitted one run in 6 2/3 innings in his most recent start against Washington, a 6-1 road win Aug. 5, after going 1-4 with a 4.75 ERA in his first five matchups. He was 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in his first two meetings this season.

    Behind Wheeler, the Mets will try to move within three games of .500 for the first time since they were 28-31 on June 4. New York has won eight of 10 and five of six at home.

    Wheeler will have to be careful pitching to Denard Span. The Nationals outfielder is 8 for 18 (.444) lifetime against him and is batting .333 in his last 14 games.

    Teammate Jayson Werth could return to the lineup after resting for what Williams called "dead legs" and reportedly a bout of the flu. Werth is 2 for 15 (.133) in his last five games but has hit safely in all 10 games against the Mets this season, batting .385. He's 3 for 9 this season versus Wheeler.

    New York's Daniel Murphy sat out Friday after getting hit on the left wrist by Washington reliever Matt Thornton in Thursday's opener. His status is unclear for this weekend.

    Murphy is batting .364 this season against Washington and is 2 for 6 versus Fister.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     WashingtonNew York
    Current StreakW2W2
    Last 108-26-4

    Pitching Matchup

    WashingtonNew York
    D. Fister
    16-6, 2.41 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/26 vs MIA
    9.0 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = Win
    Z. Wheeler
    11-11, 3.54 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/25 at WSH
    5.0 IP, 3 ER
    Dec = Loss

    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. A. Cabrera, 2B W. Flores, SS
    8. J. Lobaton, C D. Herrera, 2B
    9. D. Fister, P Z. Wheeler, P