National League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, September 10th (All times eastern)
Washington Nationals (86-54) at New York Mets (65-75), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Gio Gonzalez (18-7, 2.98) New York - Collin McHugh (0-1, 3.27)
(Sports Network) - Now that Stephen Strasburg is on the shelf for the Washington Nationals, more pressure will be put upon the shoulders of Gio Gonzalez.
The left-handed Gonzalez gets the nod Monday in the opener of a three-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field, and is trying to become the first 19-game winner in the major leagues. Gonzalez has won two straight and five of six starts and struck out nine over seven scoreless innings of a 9-1 drubbing of the Chicago Cubs last Wednesday.
Gonzalez, who threw a shutout versus St. Louis on Aug. 31, is 18-7 with a 2.98 earned run average in 28 starts. He has been impressive on opposing mounds this season, going 10-3 in 15 starts, and is 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts against the Mets this season. Gonzalez is 2-1 in four career starts in this series.
Washington finished an 11-game homestand (8-3) by losing two of three meetings with the Miami Marlins over the weekend. Edwin Jackson was roughed up in Sunday's 8-0 loss at Nationals Park and surrendered six runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings for the loss.
"I have to do a better job making pitches out of the stretch with men on base. I have to do a better job at damage control," Jackson said on the club's website.
The NL East-leading Nationals were outhit, 14-4, and Chad Tracy had the lone extra-base hit with a double.
Washington will begin a six-game road trip against the Mets and Atlanta Braves, and has a 5 1/2-game lead over the Braves in the division.
New York was swept in three games by the hard-charging Braves and dropped a 3-2 decision in 10 innings on Sunday. Brian McCann lifted a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning to score Martin Prado, and David Wright flied out to end the game in the bottom half with a runner on third.
"I thought we had some good at-bats today," New York manager Terry Collins said. "We just aren't doing the thing that made us really good in the first half and that's the key hits with two outs."
Daniel Murphy had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and scored twice, while Ike Davis and Wright each knocked in a run. The Mets have lost five of six games and starter Chris Young permitted two runs in six innings. Bobby Parnell was saddled with the loss, walking two and giving up the go-ahead run.
Mets rookie Collin McHugh will handle pitching duties tonight and is 0-1 with a 3.27 earned run average in two starts. McHugh lost to St. Louis last Monday and was reached for four runs in four innings of a 5-4 setback.
"I didn't have very good command," McHugh said. "I've got to be smarter, it's as simple as that. I put us in a pretty deep hole early on. Hats off to the guys for scraping, but I've got to do better than that."
The right-hander made his debut Aug. 23 versus Colorado and struck out nine through seven shutout innings in the no-decision.
New York has lost 11 of the 15 meetings with Washington so far this season and five in a row as the host (1-5).
09/10 10:34:06 ET