|10:35 AM PT11:35 AM MT12:35 PM CT1:35 PM ET13:35 ET17:35 GMT1:35 10:35 AM MST12:35 PM EST1:05 PM VEN21:35 UAE12:35 PM CT, March 31, 2019
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia Attendance: 23,430
Corbin set for Nationals' debut against Mets
New York Mets at Washington Nationals
- The Mets went 147-177 (.454) in 2017 and 2018 combined -- their worst record in a two-season span since 2003-2004 (137-186, .424). Last year's team started 11-1 before going an NL-worst 21-47 between April 14 and June 30.
- The Nationals finished over .500 in seven straight seasons entering 2019 -- yet they failed to win a playoff series in any of those years. Only the Yankees (26), Cardinals (11) and Dodgers (eight) have longer active streaks of consecutive seasons with winning records.
- Washington went 84-47 against the Mets between 2011 and 2017, but New York took 11 of 19 meetings between the clubs a season ago. The Mets went 6-3 at Nationals Park, matching their best single-season record there (6-3 in both 2008 and '15).
- No current member of the Mets or Nationals hit as many as 30 home runs or drove in 100-plus runs last year. Among current Nats, Anthony Rendon had the top 2018 totals, 24 homers and 92 RBI. Michael Conforto had the most homers among active Mets with 28; Jed Lowrie the top RBI figure, 99.
- The NL Cy Young winner in 2018, Jacob deGrom had a 1.70 ERA -- third lowest in the last 50 seasons by any pitcher with at least 30 starts, bettered by only Dwight Gooden (1.53 for the 1985 Mets) and Zack Grienke (1.66 for the '15 Dodgers).
- Last year's Cy Young runner-up, Max Scherzer had his seventh season in succession with at least 230 strikeouts -- a streak unmatched in MLB history. Scherzer has joined Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson as the only pitchers to post four straight seasons with 250-plus strikeouts and an ERA under 3.00.
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- Price returns from IL as BoSox rout Jays
- Sanchez HR in 9th lifts Yanks over O's
- Embattled Mets top Nats, end 5-game skid
Washington will send out left-hander Patrick Corbin for his first start with the Nationals, who will be looking to avoid a three-game sweep when they play against the visiting New York Mets on Sunday.
Right-hander Zack Wheeler will start for the Mets, who won 11-8 Saturday.
"We kind of kept the train moving," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said of the offensive approach Saturday. "Guys had some really good walks. Our offense was fantastic today."
Corbin, a right-hander who signed as a free agent in the offseason after pitching for six seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, will try to slow down that train. He is 1-4 with a 5.10 ERA against the Mets; Wheeler is 4-8 with a 4.37 ERA against the Nationals.
Washington manager Dave Martinez preached fundamentals in spring training after some questioned his laid-back camp in 2018. He is also trying to figure out playing time with two new catchers and a slugging first baseman, Matt Adams, who is stuck behind starter Ryan Zimmerman.
The Nationals acquired veteran catchers Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes in the offseason. Suzuki was with Atlanta last year; Gomes was with the Cleveland Indians.
Gomes started the opener on Thursday, with Suzuki behind the plate Saturday to catch Stephen Strasburg. How will Martinez use them?
"It's a combination of both," Martinez said of Gomes catching Max Scherzer in the opener.
"He's worked with him before; he's caught him in spring training. They seem like they work really good together. Like I said, I wanted to make sure Suzuki is playing his share of games as well, and I thought it was a good matchup (Saturday)."
The Nationals have young Victor Robles in center and Adam Eaton in right. Robles had a throwing error Saturday and had some balls go over his head for hits when he initially broke in at the crack of the bat.
"They communicate a lot," Martinez said of Robles and Eaton.
"We talked a lot about that and worked on it this spring with (Robles), letting him know that he's the captain out there, but yet he's got a veteran outfielder next to him that he can work with as well. So just work together, and they do."
The Mets can sweep the three-game series Sunday after going 11-8 last season against the Nationals, including a 6-3 mark in the nation's capital.
Callaway said reliever Seth Lugo would not be available Sunday after appearing in the first two games of the season, throwing 41 pitches Saturday. Young hitters such as rookie first baseman Pete Alonso (three hits, two RBIs Saturday) and Jeff McNeil (four hits, two RBIs) have stepped up.
"He is more comfortably, obviously," Callaway said of McNeil, who started in left field Saturday. "Getting some success at the major league level. He is relaxed and has confidence in his defense. He puts together good at-bats."
McNeil played in 63 games last season while Alonso made the team this season out of spring training.
"We felt they would come up and contribute," Callaway said. "It is good to see (Alonso) more comfortable. You have to continue to battle. It paid off today. Those seven runs we scored in the last two innings became a huge factor in this game."
--Field Level Media
Updated March 31, 2019