Washington Nationals vs. Mets Series Preview (5/23-5/25)

Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
May 18, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) pitches against the New York Mets during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Bartolo Colon (3-3, 3.75 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 1.86) – 7:05 p.m ET, broadcast on MASN

These two pitchers faced each other last Tuesday at Citi Field with the Washington Nationals getting the win in that one, 7-1. First, let’s start with the Mets’ starter, Bartolo Colon. Colon had some command issues in that outing. He went 4.2 innings, gave up three runs on five hits, struck out four, and walked five in the loss.

The 42-year-old right-hander had only four walks in his six prior starts coming into Tuesday night’s game. Plus, he has given up three runs or more in five of his last six outings. This month, he is 2-2 with 4.07 ERA in four starts and he has a 4.81 ERA on the road this season (2.66 at home).

Against the Nats, Colon is 3-6 with a 3.33 ERA in ten games (nine starts). Anthony Rendon is 6-for-16 (.375) with one home run and four RBI’s in his career against Colon.

As for Gonzalez, he was in complete control against New York on Tuesday. The left-hander went 6.1 innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out five, and walked one on 94 pitches to pick up his third win of the season.

The one mistake that Gonzalez made in the game was a solo home run hit by Cespedes in the bottom of the fourth. Other than that, he threw 16 first pitch strikes to the 25 batters he faced and 62 of his 94 pitches went for strikes.

This month, Gonzalez has a 2.35 ERA in four starts, which is the lowest of any pitcher in the Washington Nationals starting rotation. His 1.86 ERA this year is third in the National League behind Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta.

Gonzalez is 10-4 with a 2.59 ERA in 18 career games against the Mets and he has given up only four runs in his last five outings against New York. Cespedes is 4-for-7 against him with that solo home run.

Prediction: With the Nats getting more success from the top of the lineup, I expect the team to take the same approach against Colon and try to draw walks. If Colon is not locating with his fastball, I think the offense can give Gonzalez the one big inning he needs to pick up the win.

Next: Tomorrow's Matchup