What to look for: Mets vs. Nationals, 7:05 PM

Nationals Park slice 1

The Mets will look for a series win in their showdown with the Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington at 7:05 pm.

BaronHere is tonight’s starting lineup for New York:

Curtis Granderson – RF
Yoenis Cespedes – CF
Daniel Murphy – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Lucas Duda – 1B
Travis d’Arnaud – C
Michael Conforto – LF
Wilmer Flores – SS
Matt Harvey – RHP

Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:

Matt Harvey (12-7, 2.60 ERA) will start for the Mets.

Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.38 ERA) will start for the Nationals.

Mets vs NationalsHere’s what I’m looking for from the Mets tonight:

Don’t stop now.

The Mets now could go a long way towards creating legitimate distance from Washington with a win tonight. It would slot them six games behind the Mets in the standings with 24 games left to play and a steep hill to climb as a result. They have most of their position players back with the exception of Michael Cuddyer, and while they’re facing a tough customer in Jordan Zimmermann, so are the Nationals in Matt Harvey. It should be a fun game with a lot on the line for both clubs tonight.

It’s #HarveyDay.

Despite what has happened lately, the team is still better when he is active and available (which is really the core of the gripe here). The Mets need Matt Harvey to be Matt Harvey tonight and deliver one of his patented shutdown performances to help create some more breathing room down the stretch of the season. He owns a 0.99 ERA in eight lifetime starts against Washington and they need that to live up to its standard in the biggest start of his career.

That would mean he has to tune out the noise and the chatter, and be the pitcher he proclaimed he would be for this team in spring training.

Get it going early.

Zimmermann is typically one of those pitchers that if he’s going to be beat, he has to be beaten early and often. He has tremendous stuff and is usually a thorn in the Mets sides, as he is against most opponents in this league.

So if the Mets are going to put on a light show with their bats, it likely needs to take place right out of the gate before Zimmermann gets comfortable and into a rhythm.

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