Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats at Mets (7/31-8/2)

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Jul 28, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Zimmermann (8-6, 3.36) vs. Noah Syndergaard (5-5, 2.70) – 8:08 PM ET, ESPN

Last time out against the Marlins and Jose Fernandez, Jordan Zimmermann put together a quality outing, but could not get the win. On July 28, Zimmermann went six innings, gave up three runs on eight hits, struck out two, and walked two.

It was an up and down month of July for Zimmermann. The 29-year-old went 2-1 with a 4.03 ERA, but he still showed his usual control. He struck out 23 batters and walked four in 29 innings. However, since coming out of the All-Star Break, he is 0-1 with a 4.24 ERA in three starts.

Against the Mets on July 22, Zimmermann went seven innings, gave up three runs on seven hits, struck out six, and did not walk a batter in a no-decision. The only inning where the Mets were able to score was the fourth inning. Those runs came on a Kirk Nieuwenhuis two-run double and Kevin Plawecki RBI single.

When you look at Zimmermann’s career numbers against the Mets, he is 8-5 with a 2.96 ERA in 22 career starts and he is 5-2 with a 2.75 ERA in ten starts at Citi Field. This season, in two starts at home, he is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA. Daniel Murphy is hitting .339 (19-for-56) with three home runs and eight RBI’s.

In his last start against San Diego, Noah Syndergaard was able to control his pitches and had some of his dominant stuff. On July 28, he went eight innings, gave up no runs on three hits, struck out nine, and did not walk a batter. He was perfect through six innings until Wil Venable led off the seventh inning with a base hit.

During the month of July, the 22-year-old right-hander went 2-1 with a 1.32 ERA in four starts. He had 38 strikeouts to ten walks in 34 innings and held opponents to a .161 opponents’ batting average. Syndergaard has been comfortable pitching at Citi Field this season. He is 5-1 with a 1.46 ERA in seven starts.

Even though his start against San Diego was impressive, Syndergaard showed some grit in his outing against Washington on July 22. Despite walking five batters, he gave up only one run on five hits in five innings. He was in line for the win, but Bobby Parnell gave up the game-tying single to Michael Taylor in the bottom of the eighth.

Advantage: The Nationals made a small statement when they beat these three Mets starters at home last week. However, they have a chance to make a larger statement if they could win two at Citi Field this week. Both pitchers have showed dominance and inconsistency at times this month, but I’m going to go with Syndergaard and his fastball to have the slight edge in this game. The Nats will still leave Citi Field with a two game lead, but this is a must win series for the Mets if they want to stay confident about their NL East hopes.

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