The Washington Nationals have experienced some dreary nights
recently, and not simply because of poor weather conditions. After
being shut out for the second time in four games, they’ll look to
get their struggling offense going against the surging New York
The teams finish a two-game set Thursday night at Citi Field
after a soggy contest in the first meeting.
The Nationals and Mets both had games rained out Tuesday before
fighting a steady mist Wednesday, when New York won 3-0.
Washington (20-22) entered the game last in the NL in batting
average, on-base percentage and hits, and the trend continued with
its sixth shutout loss.
”We’ve just got to click as a team. We’re just waiting for that
one big hit,” shortstop Ian Desmond said.
Manager Jim Riggleman said he’s not making any major changes to
the lineup and hopes his squad’s fortunes take a turn in the near
”There’s nothing to do except work your way out of it,” he
With the Nationals struggling offensively, they’ll turn to
former Met Livan Hernandez (3-5, 3.92 ERA) on the mound. Hernandez
beat New York 4-3 on April 28, allowing three runs in eight
The Mets released Hernandez in August of 2009, and he’s gone 2-1
with a 1.96 ERA in six starts against them since.
“We just have to not swing at too many bad pitches, because he’s
going to be around the plate, so we just need to look for one pitch
and try to put it in play,” Jose Reyes, who has two career home
runs against Hernandez, told the Mets’ official website.
However, the veteran Hernandez has lost his three starts since
that April victory, including a tough-luck, 1-0 defeat against
Florida on Saturday when he went seven innings and allowed six
The Mets (20-22) played Wednesday’s win without starters David
Wright, Ike Davis and Angel Pagan, but it didn’t stop them from
winning for the fifth time in seven games.
Second baseman Justin Turner continued his hot streak with a
two-run double. He went 2 for 4 and is hitting .409 (9 for 22) with
a home run and nine RBIs over his last five games.
”It’s all about taking advantage of opportunities,” he said.
”It’s a little easier to take your at-bats and get comfortable
when you see your name in the lineup.”
Dillon Gee (2-0, 4.44 ERA) will look to bounce back from a rough
outing Friday in New York’s 6-4 loss to Houston, allowing four runs
in five innings while also walking four, hitting a batter and
committing a balk.
“I just have to get back to attacking the strike zone with all
four of my pitches and cutting down on the free passes,” Gee
Gee won his first two starts before pitching out of the bullpen
in his next three appearances. He hasn’t factored into the decision
in two starts since returning to the rotation.
Gee beat the Nationals in his major-league debut Sept. 7,
allowing one run and two hits through seven innings.