The New York Mets continue their six-game road trip Friday when they kick off a series with the first place Washington Nationals.
The visitors will try to use the brilliant start on Thursday from rookie Matt Harvey in an 8-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds as a springboard to turn around their terrible second half. The righty allowed just one run while pitching into the eighth inning and striking out a career-high eight.
Trying to follow up the stellar performance from Harvey is a man that delivered one of the best starts in Mets history earlier this year in Johan Santana. However, things haven't gone very smoothly for the veteran lefty sinece his historic no-hitter. Santana has pitched to a 17.36 ERA over his last four starts, including an awful outing Saturday in his return from an ankle injury in which the Atlanta Braves roughed him up for eight runs in less than two innings of work.
In his career, Santana has enjoyed facing off against the Nationals, earning a 6-3 record with a 2.91 ERA in ten starts, including a perfect 3-0 at Nationals Park.
Santana isn't the only pitcher looking forward to Friday's matchup. After going less than five innings in his last start against the Arizona Diamondbacks, lefty Ross Detwiler is surely looking forward to facing the Mets. Detwiler has more career wins against the Mets (3) than any other team and he has yet to give up a run against New York this season in two starts.
The Nationals will try to beat on the Mets in order to build up their division lead (currently four games) before they decide to shut down ace Stephen Strasburg and give the Braves a chance to catch them. Fresh off an 8-2 road trip, Washington is in a much better place than New York, who have gone 3-7 over the same stretch.
You can catch all the action locally on SNY or WFAN 660 with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.