Washington Nationals: Storylines to watch this weekend in Queens

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 19: Manager Terry Collins
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 19: Manager Terry Collins /
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(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Pitching matchup of the weekend

For the fourth time in their respective careers, it will be Strasburg vs. Harvey tomorrow night at Citi Field. In these two pitchers, their seasons have gone in opposite directions. First, let’s start with the positive (Strasburg).

Strasburg did lose his 35 inning scoreless streak on Sunday, but still put up a good effort against one of the contending teams in the National League. He went six innings, gave up one run on three hits, struck out eight, and walked three on 94 pitches.

In his last eight starts, Strasburg has had one of the more dominant stretches of his career. He is 5-1 with a 0.72 ERA and has 62 strikeouts over his last 50 innings. As I wrote earlier this week, he has put himself into the Cy Young conversation because of this recent stretch. Plus, he has held teams to a .198 average away from Nats Park.

At Citi Field, Strasburg is 7-1 with a 2.10 ERA in nine career starts and he has a 2.33 ERA in three starts against the Mets this year (1-1 record). Asdrubal Cabrera is 3-for-14 against him with a pair of home runs and three RBI’s.

Meanwhile, in New York, Harvey is trying to figure out what is going wrong because he has run out of answers. In a year filled with injuries and not showing up to the ballpark, Harvey told the media after his outing Monday that he doesn’t know what the solution is:

Harvey went four innings on Monday, gave up seven runs on 12 hits, struck out two, and walked two on just 76 pitches. He has only thrown more than 80 pitches once in his last four outings (13.19 ERA, .457 batting average against).

Two years ago, Harvey had a ton of confidence and now it is almost gone. The question now is whether or not the Mets will tender a contract to him for 2018 or will he become a free agent? You would think New York would give him the contract and see what he has next year, but it is not a guarantee.

While Harvey has a 2.99 ERA in 14 career starts against the Nats, he hasn’t beaten them since 2015 and has given up 15 runs in 18.1 innings. Daniel Murphy is 3-for-9 against him with a pair of home runs and four RBI’s.

On paper, Strasburg has the clear edge, but it’s a stark reminder of how the seasons have gone for both of these Scott Boras clients this year. Two years ago, this would be an even pitching matchup, but Harvey can’t seem to find what was dominant for him then.