Chris Young returns for the Mets after more than a year on the shelf due to shoulder surgery. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
The New York Mets will ride the high of a 7-4 homestand that included their first ever no-hitter when they hit the road for a pivotal nine games starting Tuesday night in Washington, DC against the first-place Nationals.
Terry Collins' crew wrapped up their extended stay at Citi Field with a 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals that prevented a four-game sweep. In addition to the historic no-no from Johan Santana, the Mets were carried by solid performances by R.A. Dickey, Jonathan Neise and Dillon Gee as they briefly climbed into a tie atop the National League East. New York now sits a half game behind the Nationals and Miami Marlins.
The Mets search for the fifth pitcher to round out their rotation continues on Tuesday when they hand the ball to veteran righty Chris Young. GM Sandy Alderson took a flier on Young last season and saw good early returns in four starts (1.88 ERA) before losing him to season-ending surgery to repair the torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder (similar to the one Santana underwent).
After Young surprisingly reunited with the Mets shortly before the season on a minor-league deal, he proved himself to be healthy before finally getting the call back to the majors so he can face the Nationals and help Collins shift the rotation. Santana's 134-pitch effort in his no-hitter is forcing the ace back to Friday against the New York Yankees instead of the Wednesday game in Washington.
Young will be competing with Wednesday's starter, Jeremy Hefner, for the right to stick in the rotation along with Miguel Batista, another veteran coming off an injury.
Facing off against Young Tuesday will be 26-year-old Jordan Zimmerman (3-5, 2.80). Last time out against the Marlins, Zimmerman gave up four runs in six inning on eight hits, though he didn't walk a batter.
Zimmerman has yet to face the Mets this season, but is 2-2 in seven appearances against New York in his career. The first time these teams faced each other this year was the first week of the season when Washington took two of three at Citi Field.
You can catch all the action locally on SNY or listen on WFAN 660 with first pitch schedule for 7:05 p.m.