Nationals-Mets Preview

David Wright has feasted on Washington Nationals pitching in the
nation’s capital, including when the New York Mets took two of
three just over a week ago.

He hasn’t been nearly as effective in matchups at Citi Field,
where he’s enduring his worst home season.

Wright looks to show some improvement at the plate in Flushing
on Monday night when the Mets open a four-game series against the
Nationals.

Wright is batting .476 in New York’s last six meetings with the
Nationals (67-77), but they all came on the road.

Buoyed by Wright’s five hits – including a homer and a double –
and three RBIs, the Mets (71-75) won two of three in Washington at
the start of this month, capping the series with a 6-3 victory
Sept. 4.

The third baseman is 3 for 5 with two doubles and a homer off
Ross Detwiler (2-5, 3.83 ERA), Monday’s scheduled starter for the
Nationals. However, all of that production came in Washington.

Wright has been unable to replicate that success at home, going
3 for 21 in his last seven matchups with the Nationals.

The opponent hasn’t mattered much for Wright at Citi Field,
where he’s batting .252 – the worst home mark of his career and a
sizeable drop from his .288 home average in 2010.

Wright was on a tear at home during an eight-game hitting
streak, compiling a .444 average before going 0 for 5 in Sunday’s
10-6, 11-inning loss to Chicago. He popped up with the bases loaded
to end the 10th, and New York stranded a season high-tying 15
runners.

“As we went through the ballgame, we had the guys at home plate
we wanted to have at home plate several times,” manager Terry
Collins said. “But we didn’t get it done.”

Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (8-11, 3.47 ERA) looks to
continue getting it done on the mound, as he’s in the midst of his
longest winning streak since winning a career-best six starts in a
row May 25-June 23, 2010.

The right-hander has a 1.35 ERA during his current three-game
winning streak, which includes a 7-3 victory at Washington on Sept.
2. He allowed three runs in six innings to beat the Nationals for
the first time in four starts this year.

Dickey was even better Wednesday, baffling Florida through seven
innings while allowing four hits in a 1-0 victory.

The Nationals are coming off Sunday’s 8-2 win over Houston, but
haven’t won back-to-back games since Aug. 21 and 22. They’re 5-13
since, including 1-5 on the road.

Detwiler gets the ball after his scheduled start from Thursday
was pushed back due to a rainout.

The left-hander’s most recent trip to the mound came opposite
Dickey and the Mets on Sept. 2. Detwiler was roughed up for six
runs and seven hits, including two homers, in three innings for the
shortest start of his career.

“It wasn’t arguably my worst outing, it (was) definitely my
worst outing,” Detwiler told the Nationals’ official website.
“Nothing worked. Bad location, bad pitches, everything.”

Detwiler is 1-1 with a 5.11 ERA in four games – two starts –
against New York, but they’ve all come at home. He’s lost all three
of his road starts this year behind a 4.50 ERA.