The first time the Mets played the Nationals, it was late April and the Mets were on a four game losing streak, coming home after getting swept in St. Louis. New York won the opener of that series and took two of three from the worst team in baseball.
The next matchup was a three-game series that started on Memorial Day. The Mets had just returned to Citi Field after a roller coaster ten game road trip. They were dealing with a bunch of injuries and wanted to get the homestand off on the right foot. Taking on a Nats team that was 13-31 at the time was just what they needed.
The Mets swept that series and followed it up by taking two of three from the Marlins.
Tonight, the Mets head to Washington at just the right time. They are even more banged up than they were 10 days ago—it was announced today that set-up man JJ Putz will have surgery on his elbow and be out eight to 10 weeks—and just lost three straight to the Pirates. Fortunately for New York, the Nationals have only won once since the last time they faced. Once!
So even with a depleted lineup, even without Johan Santana or Mike Pelfrey scheduled to pitch, the Mets should get back on track this weekend.
After all, the Nats have made the most errors (50), have the worst ERA (5.67), and have the worst record record in baseball (by a lot).
Of course, even against a woeful team like Washington, it can be hard to overcome poor starting pitching and tonight's starter for the Mets, Tim Redding, has been knocked around his last two outings.
The Nationals have made a habit out of losing even against sub-par pitchers though, so there can't be any excuses for the Mets this weekend. Not winning the series would be a big disappointment.