9/8/15 Game Preview: Duda back for Mets, Zimmerman sits for Nats

The Mets (76-61) take on the Nationals (71-66) at 7:05 PM at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. Matt Harvey (2.60 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 1.01 WHIP, 161 1/3 IP over 25 starts) faces Jordan Zimmermann (3.31 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 1.21 WHIP, 173 IP over 28 starts).

Lineups:

Mets:

  1. Curtis Granderson, RF (L)
  2. Yoenis Cespedes, CF (R)
  3. Daniel Murphy, 2B (L)
  4. David Wright, 3B (R)
  5. Lucas Duda, 1B (L)
  6. Travis d’Arnaud, C (R)
  7. Michael Conforto, LF (L)
  8. Wilmer Flores, SS (R)
  9. Matt Harvey, P (R)

Nationals:

  1. Jayson Werth, LF (R)
  2. Anthony Rendon, 2B (R)
  3. Bryce Harper, RF (L)
  4. Yunel Escobar, 3B (R)
  5. Clint Robinson, 1B (L)
  6. Ian Desmond, SS (R)
  7. Wilson Ramos, C (R)
  8. Michael Taylor, CF (R)
  9. Jordan Zimmermann (R)

Matt Harvey, over 4 starts this season against Washington, has allowed only 3 earned runs (6 runs in total) across 27 2/3 IP. That’s good for a 0.98 ERA and a 0.867 WHIP. Jordan Zimmermann has allowed 9 runs in 19 IP over 3 starts against the Mets this season (4.26 ERA and 1.053 WHIP). The Mets did the most damage the last time they faced him, hitting 3 home runs in a series of 5 pitches against him to score 5 fast runs.

Lucas Duda returns to the lineup for the Mets. In 48 plate appearances against Washington, he is hitting .222/.317/.619 against them, with 3 doubles and 3 home runs. All three of those home runs came in Duda’s last two games against them, on August 1st and 2nd. That being said, Duda has struggled on the road this season, hitting only .200/.291/.293 with three home runs (.264 wOBA, 62 wRC+). By comparison, he has hit .295/.401/.655 at home with 18 home runs.

Clint Robinson plays 1st base for the Nationals today in place of Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman was scratched from the lineup on Sunday due to a flareup of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. It is unclear whether he is sitting for that reason today. Robinson is hitting .267/.364/.422 on the season, but he has struggled in his home ballpark to a tune of .218/.333/.361 (.309 wOBA and 94 wRC+).

**UPDATE: Zimmerman is out due to a strained left oblique, an injury he suffered taking a swing during yesterday’s game. It is unclear what the severity of the injury is.


This is a big start for Matt Harvey. While I don’t think he can silence his doubters and critics completely with a good performance, a good performance would go a long way towards doing so. While the Mets have a 5 game lead, this is a big game for the team too. Building on their division lead is key for the Mets, who likely won’t have Matt Harvey to rely on for much of the rest of the season.

As always, LET’S GO METS!

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