Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats vs. Mets (7/20-7/22)
By Ricky Keeler
Jul 17, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; xxx Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Noah Syndergaard (4-5, 3.05) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (8-5, 3.27) – 12:35 PM ET, MASN and MLB Network
This will be the first time that the Nationals will be facing Noah Syndergaard. The 22-year-old right-hander was acquired by the Mets via a trade with the Blue Jays in 2012 along with catcher Travis d’Arnaud in exchange for R.A. Dickey.
Over his last four starts, Syndergaard has given up a total of five runs in a 29 inning span. One thing that Syndergaard can do is rack up the strikeouts. Back on July 10 against the Diamondbacks, he struck out 13 batters and gave up one hit over eight innings. The problem for him is that the Mets don’t score him any runs. Out of his 12 starts, the Mets have scored two runs or fewer in seven of them.
Jordan Zimmermann will come into this game after an abbreviated start against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On July 17, he went four innings, gave up two runs on three hits, struck out three, and walked one. He left the game after 63 pitches because of the lighting delays.
Still, Zimmermann has done a good job of minimizing the damage in most of his outings. In five of his last six starts, he has given up three runs or fewer. Plus, his control seems to be back as he has walked one batter or less in eight of his last ten outings.
Zimmermann’s only start against the Mets this season was on April 8 against Jacob deGrom. He went six innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out four and walked none in the victory. In 21 starts against New York, he is 8-5 with a 2.91 ERA. Daniel Murphy is 17-for-53 against him with three home runs and eight RBI’s.
Advantage: I expect all three games in this series to be close and low scoring. The problem for Syndergaard is that the Mets don’t get enough runs for him when he pitches. Both pitchers will have good outings, but I give the slight edge to Jordan Zimmermann as the Nats avoid the sweep and stay on top of the NL East.