The visiting New York Mets will be looking to take advantage of one final meeting with the skidding Washington Nationals when the clubs go head-to-head for the eighth time in 10 days on Monday afternoon.
The Mets (69-68) fell a season-high eight games off the pace in the National League East following a 2-1 home loss to the Nationals (56-80) last Friday.
But they’ve since won seven of eight, including five of six against Washington, to remain relevant in the NL East, pulling within 3 1/2 games of the first-place Atlanta Braves (72-64) and 1 1/2 of the second-place Philadelphia Phillies (70-66).
New York has captured three of four against the Nationals in their current five-game set, which will complete the season series between the two. The Mets’ 13-6 win on Sunday, a game that was tied entering the eighth inning, was their 11th in 18 meetings with Washington this season.
Right-hander Trevor Williams (4-2, 4.27 ERA) will be tasked with claiming a 12th win over the Nationals in the series finale.
The 29-year-old will be making his third start since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline. He has pitched well as a starter for the Mets, having allowed just one earned run in 8 2/3 innings over two games.
Williams’ first start for the Mets came last month against the Nationals, when he allowed just one run in 4 1/3 innings in a 5-4 home win. He’s 1-2 with a 4.71 ERA in seven lifetime appearances, including six starts, against Washington.
Williams will be looking for the type of support that has put up 33 runs so far in the series, including double-digit totals in each of the last two days.
Several Mets have a history of putting up big numbers against Washington’s scheduled Monday starter, left-hander Patrick Corbin (7-14, 6.26). He’s been roughed up for five homers and a .370 average by Michael Conforto, four homers and a .321 average by J.D. Davis, three homers and a .296 average by Pete Alonso, two homers and a .294 average by Javier Baez, and a .476 average to Jonathan Villar.
Conforto, Alonso, Baez and Villar combined for 11 hits, including three doubles and two homers, along with six RBIs and nine runs scored in Sunday’s win.
“I think the sky’s the limit for this offense,” Kevin Pillar insisted after contributing a grand slam to Sunday’s win.
Added Baez, who went 4-for-4, “It feels great to be hot at the plate right now. Hopefully I’ll keep it going.”
Corbin, the NL’s losingest pitcher, is coming off consecutive losses to the Miami Marlins and Phillies in which he was ripped for 12 runs and 13 hits in eight innings.
He’s gone 1-1 against the Mets this season, improving his career record against them to 5-7 with a 4.36 ERA in 19 games, including 18 starts.
Washington has lost eight of nine, a slump manager Dave Martinez attributes to a younger lineup that’s resulted from deals in July.
“These young guys, a lot of them are going to be critical,” he assessed. “A lot of them take accountability for what they’re doing. But they’re going to get better.”
–Field Level Media