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Major League Baseball
Washington at NY Mets
When: 7:10 PM ET, Friday, July 31, 2015
Where: Citi Field, New York City, New York

The New York Mets had crawled within one game of first place in the National League East earlier in the week but find themselves three back of the first-place Washington Nationals, who come to town Friday for the opener of a three-game series. The Mets must regroup from a crushing defeat, blowing a six-run lead at home for the first time in 45 years in Thursday's 8-7 loss to San Diego.

Ace Matt Harvey takes the mound for New York looking to register back-to-back victories for the first time since winning his first five starts this season. The Mets suddenly have issues at the back end of their bullpen as closer Jeurys Familia suffered his third straight blown save since the All-Star break. Washington unveiled its revamped bullpen Thursday as new acquisition Jonathan Papelbon nailed down his first save with the team in a 1-0 victory at Miami. The Nationals won two of three versus New York last week before embarking on their current 10-game road trip, on which they are 3-4.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN (Washington), SNY (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals LH Gio Gonzalez (8-4, 3.83 ERA) vs. Mets RH Matt Harvey (9-7, 3.16)

Gonzalez has turned his season around over the past five weeks, going 4-0 while surrendering a total of five earned runs over his last five starts. Gonzalez, who has not permitted more than six hits in a game during his unbeaten streak, gave up one earned run in five innings to beat Pittsburgh last time out. He improved to 9-4 with a 2.88 ERA against the Mets by limiting them to two runs over six innings on July 20.

Harvey allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings last time out and was backed by 15 runs - more than he received in his previous six starts combined - in a rout of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He struggled in his previous outing at Washington, allowing five runs (four earned) over seven innings of a 7-2 loss. Harvey is 3-2 with a 1.34 ERA in seven starts versus the Nationals and has held Bryce Harper to 0-for-14 with seven strikeouts.


1. Mets 1B Lucas Duda has homered six times in the last five games but is only 3-for-17 against Gonzalez.

2. Nationals CF Michael Taylor has three homers and six RBIs during a six-game hitting streak.

3. Mets C Travis d'Arnaud (elbow) was activated off the 15-day disabled list Thursday and C Anthony Recker was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas.

PREDICTION: Nationals 3, Mets 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Washington 54-46 W2 28-19 26-27 27-17 10-16 9-4 8-9
NY Mets 52-50 L2 35-18 17-32 24-17 9-17 14-12 5-4
Last Meeting
Washington NY Mets
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/22/15 NYM 3 WAS 4 .290 0 .758 .212 0 .455
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington I. Desmond .344 11 .995
NY Mets K. Johnson .351 13 .802
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington I. Desmond 1 6 2
NY Mets J. Uribe 2 3 2
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 2.12 .222 85
NY Mets 2.69 .217 82
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington B. Harper .335 107 1.153
NY Mets D. Murphy .271 80 .717
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington B. Harper 29 68 68
NY Mets L. Duda 18 50 45
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 3.59 .251 785
NY Mets 3.31 .235 807