The upstart Nationals will aim to continue their success on Tuesday, while the Mets will be focused on taking down their opponent both on the field and on the standings. With their win on Monday, the Nationals officially took hold of second place in the National League East.
New York has used strong starting pitching and an outpouring of long balls to put together its home dominance, knocking 16 homers at Citi Field so far this season.
But the Nats have the right starter to shut down the Mets' offense in Scott Olsen, who, after being sent down earlier this season, has bounced back in a big way. Over his last several starts, he recorded 20 consecutive scoreless innings and took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his last start, against the Braves.
"Basically, we were using [the fastball] a lot -- using it in and out. We gambled on those guys," veteran catcher Ivan Rodriguez said of Olsen's gem. "He didn't do anything different. He threw a lot of strikes, and they made great plays behind him."
Olsen continues to prove to the Nats that he can be a consistently strong member of the rotation and will try to add another quality outing to his record on Tuesday.
His opponent, rookie left-hander Jon Niese, has also shown himself to be a consistent starter.
"I gave up 12 hits [last Wednesday in Cincinnati], but I think a lot of those were ground-ball hits," Niese said. "I thought I executed some pretty good pitches. Unfortunately, they hit it where we weren't."
Niese will at least have the element of surprise on his side, as he has never faced the Nationals.
Mets: Castillo playing through pain
Second baseman Luis Castillo returned to the Mets' starting lineup on Monday night with an orthopedic wrap on his left foot. He is still fighting through pain, and the bone bruise on his heel could last for some time, but he wasn't letting it keep him out of the lineup. "He's had some issues with it before," manager Jerry Manuel said. "I think they have done a tremendous job in treating it. It might be one of those things that just occasionally will need rest. I don't see it as something that will hinder him from playing at the level he's playing at this point."
Nationals: Clippard on par with Doc, Ubaldo
The Nats' bullpen has been led by 25-year-old Tyler Clippard, who has picked up his sixth win on Sunday afternoon. His win total has him tied for the Major League lead with Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez and Philadelphia's Roy Halladay. Though he's received a bit of good-natured ribbing from his teammates, Clippard is just happy his team is picking up the wins. "It's weird, man. The last three wins are something I did not want to happen, but if you look at it in a positive light, we are getting wins. That's all that matters," Clippard said. "Whoever gets them in the stats column, it doesn't really matter. We are getting wins."
The Nationals now hold a winning record against all three NL divisions: 10-9 vs. the East, 4-2 vs. the Central and 4-3 vs. the West ... Nationals reliever Miguel Batista picked up his first save of the season on Monday.
Tue, 5/11 7:10 PM ET
Never-say-die Mets keep pace with Nats
Though the Nats controlled most of the game, big hits by Chris Carter and Rod Barajas powered a six-run eighth as the Mets evened the series and pulled into a tie with Washington for second place in the NL East.
|Guzman, C, 2B||3||2||2||0||2||0||1||.304|
|Dunn, A, 1B||5||1||1||3||0||2||5||.250|
|Rodriguez, I, C||5||0||1||2||0||0||0||.383|
|Walker, T, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-Gonzalez, Ab, PH-2B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.303|
|Castillo, L, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.269|
|c-Carter, C, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||1.000|
|Rodriguez, Fr, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Reyes, Js, SS||4||0||0||0||1||0||4||.230|
|Wright, D, 3B||4||2||3||0||1||1||3||.293|
|Davis, I, 1B||5||1||0||1||0||1||9||.288|
2B: Guzman, C (6, Niese).
HR: Dunn, A (7, 1st inning off Niese, 2 on, 1 out).
TB: Guzman, C 3; Zimmerman; Dunn, A 4; Rodriguez, I; Desmond; Taveras 2; Gonzalez, Ab.
RBI: Dunn, A 3 (17), Rodriguez, I 2 (15), Desmond (15).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Zimmerman 2; Morgan 2; Dunn, A 2.
Team RISP: 3-for-8.
Team LOB: 10.
E: Desmond (6, throw).
DP: 3 (Olsen-Desmond-Dunn, A, Desmond-Guzman, C-Dunn, A, Guzman, C-Desmond-Dunn, A).
2B: Wright, D 2 (7, Olsen, Bruney), Barajas (4, Clippard), Carter, C (1, Clippard).
TB: Pagan 2; Castillo, L; Carter, C 2; Bay 3; Wright, D 5; Francoeur; Barajas 3; Niese; Matthews; Cora.
RBI: Francoeur 2 (19), Davis, I (10), Barajas 2 (19), Pagan (14), Carter, C (1), Bay (15).
2-out RBI: Francoeur.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Barajas; Francoeur; Bay 2; Reyes, Js; Davis, I 2.
GIDP: Davis, I; Pagan; Castillo, L.
Team RISP: 6-for-20.
Team LOB: 10.
SB: Bay (3, 2nd base off Olsen/Rodriguez, I), Francoeur (3, 2nd base off Olsen/Rodriguez, I).
|Clippard(BS, 5)(L, 6-1)||0.1||4||3||3||0||1||0||1.88|
IBB: Reyes, Js (by Batista), Zimmerman (by Valdes).
Pitches-strikes: Olsen 82-55, Walker, T 8-6, Slaten 15-8, Bruney 7-5, Clippard 14-11, Batista 20-8, Niese 91-51, Acosta 21-11, Takahashi 18-13, Valdes 20-13, Rodriguez, Fr 6-3.
Groundouts-flyouts: Olsen 5-6, Walker, T 0-1, Slaten 1-1, Bruney 1-0, Clippard 0-0, Batista 0-1, Niese 7-1, Acosta 0-1, Takahashi 3-3, Valdes 2-0, Rodriguez, Fr 1-0.
Batters faced: Olsen 24, Walker, T 2, Slaten 4, Bruney 3, Clippard 5, Batista 4, Niese 24, Acosta 4, Takahashi 7, Valdes 5, Rodriguez, Fr 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Walker, T 1-1, Clippard 2-2, Batista 2-1, Acosta 2-1.
Umpires: HP: John Hirschbeck. 1B: James Hoye. 2B: Wally Bell. 3B: Laz Diaz.
Weather: 52 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 12 mph, Out to LF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media