For starters, it could be the final game for Mets manager Jerry Manuel as rumors swirl that he is likely to be replaced when the season's complete.
And don't forget about personal milestones. Mets starter Mike Pelfrey, one of the club's most consistent contributors this season, will look to establish some career highs on Sunday in strikeouts, innings and ERA against the Nats who have made life difficult for the left-hander this season. Washington's bats have put up 12 runs in 15 1/3 innings against Pelfrey, who is attempting to grab his 16th win of the season.
On the Nats side, Sunday offers a chance to close the season out in the win column, rather than with a four-game losing streak. Washington dropped the first two games of the series with New York after losing the series finale against Philly.
It also offers one more chance to appreciate the year handed in by Livan Hernandez, who gets the ball in the season finale. In his last start against the Braves, Hernandez surpassed 200 innings for the first time since the 2007 season -- something he noted had been a goal of his.
"It's a number I've been looking for and it happened," Hernandez said. "I'm happy for myself and we won. That is more important."
The veteran currently owns a 3.73 ERA and with a strong start on Sunday will likely finish the season with an ERA under four for the first time since 2005. The right-hander owns a 2.85 ERA in day games this season and a 2.03 mark against the Mets in four starts, so the odds are in his favor.
Nationals: Dunn looks to return for finale
Nats first baseman Adam Dunn was out of Saturday's starting lineup against the Mets due to a right hamstring issue, and Washington is hopeful he'll be able to return for Sunday's finale -- representing what could be his last game in a Nationals uniform. Dunn pinch-hit on Saturday and walked. Dunn's hamstring has been causing him trouble for a few weeks, but became a larger problem on Friday.
"Last night, it was damp and cold," Riggleman said. "Before the game, I checked with him and the hamstrings were barking at him a little bit, and it didn't get any better as the game went on. Hopefully, we will have him for the last game tomorrow."
Mets: Young bats proving worth down the stretch
It hasn't come about in an ideal way, but the last month has given the Mets a chance to see some of their young players in valuable action. After witnessing their second straight victory propelled by young talent, the Mets have to at least feel positive about the futures of Josh Thole, Ike Davis and even Lucas Duda. Duda hit his fourth home run of the season on Saturday and Thole is 3-for-7 this series against the Nats heading into Sunday.
Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano made his 92nd appearance of the season on Saturday. ... Dunn is just two bases away from securing his second consecutive 300-plus total base season, just the third in Nationals history. ... The Nats have lost four straight games to the Mets.
Sun, 10/3 1:10 PM ET
Kennedy helps Nats edge Mets to close out 2010
Adam Kennedy was hit by an Oliver Perez pitch and scored on a Justin Maxwell walk to break a deadlock and lift the Nats past the Mets in extras. Livan Hernandez and Mike Pelfrey dueled early, before the 'pens took over.
|Dunn, A, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.260|
|1-Kennedy, A, PR-1B||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||.249|
|Rodriguez, I, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.266|
|Burnett, S, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Peralta, Jo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b-Maxwell, J, PH-RF||1||0||0||1||2||1||0||.144|
|Gonzalez, Ab, 3B||6||0||2||1||0||0||5||.247|
|Hernandez, L, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||3||.148|
|Ramos, W, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.278|
1-Ran for Dunn, A in the 9th.
|Reyes, Js, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.282|
|Feliciano, J, RF||5||0||0||0||0||1||2||.231|
|Wright, D, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.283|
|Green, S, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b-Castillo, L, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.235|
|Perez, O, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.111|
|Davis, I, 1B||6||0||1||0||0||0||3||.264|
|Tejada, R, 2B-SS||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.213|
|a-Carter, C, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.263|
2B: Gonzalez, Ab (8, Pelfrey), Morgan (17, Igarashi).
TB: Espinosa; Morgan 2; Dunn, A; Harris; Gonzalez, Ab 3.
RBI: Gonzalez, Ab (5), Maxwell, J (12).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Bernadina 2; Desmond; Gonzalez, Ab.
GIDP: Hernandez, L; Gonzalez, Ab.
Team RISP: 2-for-10.
Team LOB: 9.
SB: Kennedy, A (14, 2nd base off Perez, O/Thole).
E: Desmond (34, fielding).
DP: (Espinosa-Desmond-Dunn, A).
2B: Tejada, R (12, Hernandez, L).
TB: Reyes, Js; Arias; Davis, I; Pagan; Duda; Thole; Tejada, R 3.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Reyes, Js; Pelfrey; Carter, C; Pagan; Arias.
SAC: Pelfrey; Feliciano, J; Tejada, R.
Team RISP: 0-for-8.
Team LOB: 10.
CS: Davis, I (2, 2nd base by Hernandez, L/Rodriguez, I).
DP: 2 (Davis, I-Wright, D-Tejada, R, Arias-Tejada, R-Davis, I).
|Peralta, Jo(W, 1-0)||2.0||1||0||0||0||3||0||2.02|
HBP: Tejada, R (by Hernandez, L), Kennedy, A (by Perez, O).
Pitches-strikes: Hernandez, L 85-51, Burnett, S 22-10, Slaten 7-5, Storen 29-20, Peralta, Jo 23-19, Batista 17-8, Pelfrey 102-65, Igarashi 20-12, Takahashi 23-14, Green, S 13-12, Acosta 30-19, Perez, O 30-11, Misch 3-3.
Groundouts-flyouts: Hernandez, L 6-6, Burnett, S 3-0, Slaten 1-1, Storen 1-2, Peralta, Jo 2-1, Batista 1-0, Pelfrey 8-3, Igarashi 0-1, Takahashi 0-0, Green, S 2-0, Acosta 2-4, Perez, O 0-0, Misch 1-0.
Batters faced: Hernandez, L 26, Burnett, S 6, Slaten 2, Storen 8, Peralta, Jo 7, Batista 4, Pelfrey 26, Igarashi 4, Takahashi 5, Green, S 3, Acosta 9, Perez, O 5, Misch 1.
Inherited runners-scored: Burnett, S 2-0, Misch 3-0.
Umpires: HP: Mike Estabrook. 1B: Jeff Kellogg. 2B: Larry Vanover. 3B: Mark Carlson.
Weather: 61 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 18 mph, In from CF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media