Team Record: 85-58
New York Mets up next - Though it still appears to be a foregone conclusion that the Nationals will win the NL East, the Mets have certainly made things interesting by winning seven of their last eight games, including two against the Nats earlier this month. They have ensured that this week's series in Washington will mean something, which wasn't a certainty just over a week ago.
Now the Mets find themselves holding an NL Wild Card spot. They are playing their best baseball in a while and have their sights set on what is realistically their last chance to get back into the division race. They have three games at the Nats and currently trail by nine in the division. A sweep would get them to six games back with 16 left to play. It would preserve the Nats' magic number at 11.
Conversely, with any number of wins against the Mets this week, the Nats can essentially put New York down for good in the NL East. If they sweep, they will be up 12 games coming out of the series with a magic number of just five. That could put clinching the division well in play for their upcoming road trip.
The Nats lost two of three the last time they played the Mets, but they have had the upperhand this season. They are 10-6 in their head-to-head matchups with a 69-45 advantage in runs scored.
Now, the Mets are playing like a much different team than they were back in May, June and July. They are actually scoring runs and have the third-highest scoring lineup in the NL so far this month. Asdrubal Cabrera has been on fire with a 1.077 OPS in September, while Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson each have 10 RBI in nine September games.
The Nationals, though, have also been playing well. And like the Mets, they have been beating up on some bad teams. The Nats have won six of their last seven and 10 of their last 13.
This will be the last time the Nats and Mets match up in the regular season this year and there is plenty on the line, particularly for the Mets who are clinging to their playoff hopes in a heated wild card race.
Syndergaard hates the wave? - Pitching for the Mets on Tuesday will be Noah Syndergaard, one of the top candidates for NL Cy Young this season. He's very good, but it turns out Syndergaard really doesn't like the wave. A lot of people don't, so that's fine. But Syndergaard doesn't like it to the point that he tweeted this about a video of Navy midshipmen doing the wave at Nats Park:
Syndergaard then backed off from those comments a bit with this tweet:
After intense public debate...it MAY be acceptable for children and the military to do the wave. But plz don't #banthewave— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) September 12, 2016
Under normal circumstances, Nats fans may agree with all that Syndergaard said. But now they know what gets under his skin, just in time for his start on Tuesday night. There have already been some Nats fans on Twitter trying to organize the effort to do the wave while he's pitching on Tuesday.
NL East Standings
Offensive game of the week: Trea Turner 9/9 vs. Phillies - 2-for-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Pitching line of the week: Max Scherzer 9/10 vs. Phillies - 6.2 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 8 SO, BB, 117 pitches (76 strikes)
Quote of the Week
- Tanner Roark on Trea Turner after his walk-off homer vs. Phillieshttp://www.csnmidatlantic.com/washington-nationals/trea-turner-continues-surprise-and-impress-nats-hes-perfect
Tweet (or Instagram) of the Week
Mon. - 7:05 p.m. vs. New York Mets (Latos vs. Montero)
Tue. - 7:05 p.m. vs. New York Mets (Cole vs. Syndergaard)
Wed. - 4:05 p.m. vs. New York Mets (Roark vs. Gsellman)
Thu. - OFF
Fri. - 7:35 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Scherzer vs. Gant)
Sat. - 1:05 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Gonzalez vs. Perez)
Sun. - 1:35 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (TBA vs. Foltynewicz)
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