The Nationals are looking to sweep the three-game series against the Mets on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field. Washington right-hander Tanner Roark, a late replacement for Jordan Zimmermann, scratched because of flu-like symptoms, will face New York right-hander Zack Wheeler.
The 27-year-old Roarke, 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA in 14 appearances (five starts) as a rookie last season, fared well in the spring, too, striking out 11 while walking three in 13 2/3 innings.
As for Wheeler, he will face the Nationals for the fourth time in his career. He has allowed eight runs in 18 1/3 innings against Washington.
This is Wheeler's first full season in the big leagues, and he hopes to have similar success to that which he had last season. In 17 starts, Wheeler was 7-5 with a 3.42 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 100 innings.
Mets: Farnsworth back in 'pen
On Wednesday, the Mets placed closer Bobby Parnell on the 15-day disabled list, recalling right-hander Kyle Farnsworth from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Parnell will embark upon a two-week period of rest and a four-week rehab program, during which the Mets will determine if he needs to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.
"There's always a question of timing, and the fact that we're investing a period of time in a conservative approach," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "But I think all things considered, the best approach in this case is the conservative route. Hopefully that will work for Bobby, and he'll be back as soon as possible."
In the interim, veteran closer Jose Valverde will pitch the ninth for the Mets. Valverde signed with the team on an unguaranteed Minor League deal this winter.
Nationals: Storen dominating when it counts
During Spring Training, Nationals reliever Drew Storen was inconsistent, allowing six runs in 6 2/3 innings. But in two regular-season games, Storen has been dominant, pitching two shutout innings and striking out four batters.
"Spring Training is a different animal. You are working on things, getting everything in gear," Storen said. "Anytime you can get off to a good start [during the regular season], it's fun to build off that."
Manager Matt Williams is not surprised by Storen's success. The skipper noticed that Storen's fastball has picked up a notch or two since the regular season began.
"His heater is a lot better than it was in the spring," Williams said. "Then again, he is working on stuff, he is working on his slide step, and doing all that stuff. That's a process. He has been good. I think his fastball is better because he has a little adrenaline."
Mets outfielder Chris Young left Wednesday's game with tightness in his left quad. … In his last three starts against the Mets, Gio Gonzalez is 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA. … Juan Lagares has three extra-base hits. Last season, he didn't pick up his third extra-base hit until the 18th game of the season. … Jayson Werth went 4-for-5 on Wednesday and is now 5-for-10 (.500).
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.