Game Details: New York Mets (35-26, first place in the NL East) vs. Washington Nationals (30-35, fourth place in the NL East)
Pitching Matchup: LHP Joey Lucchesi (1-4, 5.18 ERA) | RHP Erick Fedde (4-4, 3.86 ERA)
Date & Time: Friday, June 18, 2021 | 7:05 p.m. | Game #66 / Home #35
Location: Washington Nationals Park | Washington D.C.
TV: MASN 2
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
SiriusXM Radio: 898
Game Time Weather via the National Weather Service: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72. South wind 7 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Today in Nationals History:
2018 – The Washington Nationals welcomed the New York Yankees back to Nationals Park to complete the suspended May 15th contest and to make up for the postponed May 16th tilt between the two clubs. When the original contests took place, Juan Soto was a member of the Double-A Harrisburg Senators. He entered the game for Matt Adams (who injured his finger a few days prior, but was in the original May 15 lineup) and clubbed a two-run, pinch-hit, go-ahead homer on a 3-1 pitch in the sixth inning. The Nationals won the first game, 5-3, but dropped the second game, 4-2.
Washington Nationals Game Storyline:
It’s Game Time! If the Nationals are going to make a push to win the NL East, this weekend’s series against the New York Mets is going to be important. Hopefully, tonight, the Nationals can start the series off on the right foot with a curly W.
RHP Erick Fedde (4-4, 3.86 ERA)
Erick Fedde made his return to the Nationals’ rotation last week, and he looked great. He pitched five innings and gave up no runs in a gem against one of the best offenses in the NL.
AGAINST THE METS: Fedde will face the Mets for the second time this season. In the previous start on April 23, he tossed five innings and gave up three earned runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Fedde is 0-2, 5.23 ERA, in pitching nine games in his career against the New York Mets.
LHP Joey Lucchesi (1-4, 5.18 ERA)
Lucchesi has looked pretty good in his last four starts. Despite his high ERA, he has only given up three runs in those games. He has not given up many runs recently, but he also has not gotten very deep into games. Only three Nationals have more than five at-bats against Lucchesi; of those three, Victor Robles had the most success, with three hits and a home run over six at-bats.The trick for the Nationals will be to see the ball up in the zone. Lucchesi uses mostly a sinker and a curveball. If the team does not focus on getting the ball up, we may be struggling with ground-ball outs all day. This pitching matchup favors the Nationals, and it would be huge to start out this series with a win.
A Race to the Top
If the Washington Nationals are going to make any noise and try to win the NL East (which for now is their only way of making the playoffs in October), the next two series against the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies are going to be key. The Nationals need to “win” both series to really make a dent in the standings. This season, the Nationals are 13-25 against the teams in the NL East. The series against the Mets will include a doubleheader on Saturday to make up for the postponed April 1 game. Back in April, the Mets won two out of three games in their only other series so far this season.
We’re Going Streaking in the Quad…
Washington enters this series on a four-game winning streak, tied for its longest this season. The Nationals have won six of their last eight games, outscoring opponents 31-14 over this stretch.The Nationals secured their third sweep of the season on Wednesday afternoon, topping the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1.
Improbable Pitching Performances
One of the many highlights from this past week was the impressive pitching performances that were pitched by Scherzer, Strasburg, and Lester. Washington’s pitching staff has pitched to a 0.90 ERA (6 ER/60.0 IP) with 51 strikeouts, 11 walks, and a .189 opponents’ batting average over the last seven games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this stretch of six earned runs in seven games is the best in Nationals history (2005-pres.).The Nationals are tied with the Dodgers (5/15–21) for the best seven-game stretch in MLB this season. Right-hander Paolo Espino earned his first career win, tossing a career-high five shutout innings in the final game of the Pittsburg series.
Now Leading Off…#12, Kyle Schwarber
Kyle Schwarber is 7-for-21 (.333) with four homers, eight RBI, two walks and five runs scored over his last six games. Schwarber is tied for first in the National League and tied for second in Major League Baseball with nine game-winning RBIs. His eleven home runs since May 9 are tied for second in the NL and are tied for fourth in MLB.
Facing the Top of the NL East: The New York Mets
The Mets are heading to D.C. with a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday at Citi Field. In their recent homestand, the Mets won five of seven games against the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres and are in first place in the NL East with seven games ahead of the fourth-place Nationals. The Mets have only lost three times in the last eleven games.
Game Lineups (Subject to Change)
Kyle Schwarber – LF
Trea Turner – SS
Juan Soto – RF
Ryan Zimmerman – 1B
Yan Gomes – C
Josh Harrison – 2B
Jordan Mercer – 3B
Victor Robles – CF
Erick Fedde – P
Jonathan Villar – 3B
Francisco Lindor – SS
Dominic Smith – LF
Pete Alonso – 1B
Billy McKinney -RF
Luis Guillorme – 2B
Tomas Nido – C
Mason Williams – CF
Joey Lucchesi – P