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

Nationals Park 1 slice

The Mets will look for a series sweep of the Nationals on Wednesday night at Nationals Park 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
Jacob deGrom – RHP

Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:

Jacob deGrom will start for the Mets.

Stephen Strasburg will start for the Nationals.

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

Go for the jugular.

The Mets are playing with some house money on Wednesday night, but the Mets can put the Nationals in an all but impossible position if they sweep this series in what would be the absolute worst-case scenario for Washington. The Mets know that, and they know this is an opportunity to affirm their position at the top of the division over the final three weeks of the season.

And if they can win today and play their cards right the rest of the way, the final three games of the year against the Nationals can be merely an exhibition at Citi Field.

Evenness from Jake.

DeGrom hasn’t had an easy time of it lately, as he’s been up and down in each of his last three starts. But he’s pitched extremely well against Washington in three starts this season, so it’s a good opportunity for the Mets co-ace to straighten himself out a little bit and distance himself from these difficult starts he’s had. He’s lacked that crispness and that extra life on his fastball lately, which could be indicative of some fatigue setting in. But he’s going to start pitching with some added rest after tonight’s start – hopefully he has a better go of it in a big opportunity for the club tonight.

Make them earn it.

The Mets have fallen behind early only to overcome two significant deficits in dramatic fashion over the last two nights. Presumably, Nationals manager Matt Williams will pull out every last stop in an effort to beat the Mets in another must-win game for his club. He tried last night, using Drew Storen in the seventh inning and Jonathan Papelbon in the eighth inning, but saw both of them fail in a big spot. If that’s the case again, the Mets need to play crisp baseball and limit the mistakes against Washington to make them earn a win, and not let them in the door by beating themselves. That goes for the quality of play as well as the management of the game.

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