Team Record: 27-17
Mets up next - Just four days after the Nats and Mets wrapped up their first head-to-head series of the season, they will meet again at Nationals Park in three games Monday through Wednesday. The Nationals took two of three in New York and outscored the Mets 16-2 in the final two games. The only game they lost was against Noah Syndergaard and he isn't pitching in this series. Neither is Jacob deGrom, which should bode well for the Nats.
Since they last saw each other, the Nationals took two of three at the Miami Marlins, while the Mets rebounded with a sweep against the lowly Milwaukee Brewers at home. This will be an important series for the Mets, who are about to go through one of their toughest stretches of the 2016 season. After playing at the Nats, they host the Dodgers and White Sox, then go at the Marlins and at the Pirates.
The one game that stands out among the three the Nats and Mets are set to play is Tuesday with Mets pitcher Matt Harvey set to make his first since the worst outing of his career last Wednesday. Harvey gave up eight earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings of work vs. the Nationals. The Mets floated the idea of adjusting his next start that night, but opted to keep him in there for a rematch against the Nats. How he responds to that outing will be watched very closely by Mets fans and baseball fans alike.
Ramos ranks among best catchers - Catcher Wilson Ramos pitched in on Sunday with two hits and a walk in the Nats' victory over the Marlins. It was the 12th time in his last 13 games that he's reached base at least once and he's now batting .347/.389/.525 on the season. His average ranks at the top of the majors for catchers with at least 100 at-bats:
Wilson Ramos .347
Yadier Molina .307
J.T. Realmuto .304
Welington Castillo .288
Jonathan Lucroy .287
Ramos was terrific in April with a .317 average in 57 AB and in May he's hitting .377 (61 AB). He's played in only 33 out of the Nats' 44 games, but so far is enjoying a career year. His .914 OPS ranks third on the team behind Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy. Ramos has never held an OPS over .779 in his seven MLB seasons.
Belisle set to rehab - The Nationals are close to getting reliever Matt Belisle back, as the veteran continues to recover from a right calf strain. On Monday night, he will begin a minor league rehab assignment with the Single-A Potomac Nationals. Manager Dusty Baker revealed the plan to reporters in Miami over the weekend.
We don't know how long Belisle will be playing minor league games before he returns, but it could be interesting once he does make it back. The guy who replaced him, lefty Sammy Solis, has been strong with a 2.38 ERA in nine appearances. He's the Nats' third lefty reliever right now. Do they send him back down, or go with somebody else? If it were just based on numbers, Felipe Rivero's 10 earned runs in 20 innings would stand out. But Rivero is a rare talent with his triple digits fastball as a lefty and has at times this year looked like a useful weapon. A lot can change in a week or two, but it doesn't appear to be an easy decision at this point.
NL East Standings
Offensive game of the week: Daniel Murphy 5/19 vs. Mets - 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2B, 2 R, BB
Pitching line of the week: Stephen Strasburg 5/19 vs. Mets - 6.0 IP, ER, 6 H, 10 SO, BB, 113 pitches (78 strikes)
Quote of the Week
"91-93 [miles per hour] instead of 97-98. I think that goes back to, he had surgery last year and forced 230 innings.
I feel bad for him. He comes off the mound and gets booed, and he's one of the best in baseball."
Tweet (or Instagram) of the Week
Haaaaaa!!! You were a great teammate. Let's play again. https://t.co/H048CAXYet— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) May 17, 2016
Mon. - 7:05 p.m. vs. New York Mets (Gonzalez vs. Colon)
Tue. - 7:05 p.m. vs. New York Mets (Strasburg vs. Harvey)
Wed. - 7:05 p.m. vs. New York Mets (Roark vs. Matz)
Thu. - 7:05 p.m. vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Ross vs. Leake)
Fri. - 7:05 p.m. vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Scherzer vs. Garcia)
Sat. - 7:15 p.m. vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Gonzalez vs. Wainwright)
Sun. - 1:35 p.m. vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Strasburg vs. Wacha)