Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats at Mets (10/2-10/4)

4 of 4

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Roark (4-7, 4.63) vs. Jacob deGrom (14-8, 2.60) – 3:10 PM ET, MASN2

In his last start against the Braves, Tanner Roark pitched past the fifth inning for the first time since re-joining the rotation. Back on September 29, Roark went 6.2 innings, gave up two runs on five hits, struck out four batters, and walked one on 104 pitches in a loss. It was the first time Roark had thrown more than 100 pitches in a game since June 16 against the Rays.

The only two mistakes that Roark made during the game were the two home runs by A.J. Pierzynski. Besides that, the 28-year-old right-hander was able to induce 13 groundball outs, the most since June 28 against the Phillies. Now, Roark will get one more chance to make a case to join the 2016 starting rotation.

In four appearances out of the bullpen against New York, Roark has a 6.75 ERA. He is 5-0 lifetime in 10 games against the Mets with a 3.52 ERA. Curtis Granderson (.257, 25 HR, 69 RBI’s) is 4-for-13 with three doubles and two RBI’s against Roark.

On Sunday afternoon, the Nats will face the likely game one starter for the Mets in the NLDS, Jacob deGrom. In his last start on September 27 against the Reds, deGrom went six innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out nine batters, and did not walk anyone to pick up his 14th win of the season. He will enter this start two strikeouts shy of 200 for the season.

While all the talk nationally has been about Harvey, deGrom has flown under-the-radar in his second season. He is in the top five in the National League in ERA (2.60) and WHIP (0.99). However, he is 2-1 in his last four starts with a 4.50 ERA and opponents have hit .312 against him. But, he does have a 2.08 ERA at Citi Field this season (6-4 in 14 starts).

Against the Nationals in 2015, deGrom is 2-2 in five starts with a 3.26 ERA. Bryce Harper is 7-for-16 against him with two doubles and a home run.

Advantage: It depends on which Mets team shows up Sunday, but I would expect some of their regulars to play since it’s the last game before the postseason. If that’s the case, I like New York to win this game and take two of three from the Nats in Washington’s final series of the season.

Next: Recap: Pitching Impresses As Nats Beat Braves 3-0

More from District on Deck