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Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Fister(11-3) L:J.Niese(5-8)
HR: NYM- None WAS- A.LaRoche 2 (15), D.Espinosa (7)
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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, August 6 (All times Eastern)

New York Mets (54-59) at Washington Nationals (60-51), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Jonathon Niese (5-7, 3.24) Washington - Doug Fister (10-3, 2.68)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Have a leaky bullpen? Simple, hand the ball to Doug Fister.

The first-year Washington Nationals pitcher has matched his effectiveness with durability and will take the mound on Wednesday night when the hosts meet the New York Mets in game two of a three-game series at Nationals Park.

Fister has worked at least seven innings in four of his last five starts, which could help a staff of relief pitchers who've been slumping lately in the midst of a solid all-around season.

The bullpen's earned run average of 2.95 is sixth-best in the major leagues, but the Nationals' recent stretch of six losses in nine games has seen the relievers' ERA balloon to 7.48 while opponents have compiled a .380 batting average. In its last two games, including a loss to the Mets in Tuesday's opener, the bullpen has surrendered four runs in 12 hits.

It's been a struggle on offense, too, with Washington scoring just nine runs -- and allowing 28 -- in its last five losses.

"There's no common thread," manager Matt Williams said. "There's no way to say, 'OK, this is because, this is why.' It seems like it's going the wrong way the last couple of days, but we can turn that around."

Fister allowed two runs in seven innings of a hard luck 2-1 loss to Philadelphia in his last start on Friday, which nonetheless was his ninth of the season of seven innings or more.

He's 4-1 with a 2.41 ERA in his last five starts, and was a 6-1 winner in his lone career start against the Mets last season while with the Detroit Tigers.

New York goes with lefty Jonathon Niese, who's lost three in a row since a trip to the disabled list with a shoulder strain.

He hit two batters, allowed three earned runs and threw 87 pitches in eight innings of a 5-1 loss on Friday against San Francisco. He's thrown more than 90 pitches just once in those three post-DL starts.

"We have to get this guy some work," manager Terry Collins said. "If he keeps coming out after five innings or 60 or 70 pitches, he's not going to help us when we really need it in crunch time to where he gets into the 80- and 90- pitch mark. We've got to get some strength in his shoulder."

He'd been unbeaten in five straight starts at Nationals Park before dropping a 5-2 decision there on May 16, when he allowed five runs in four innings.

On Tuesday, Daniel Murphy went 3-for-4 and knocked in a pair of runs in the Mets' 6-1 win.

Murphy backed a rather shaky start out of Zack Wheeler (7-8), who gave up just one run but allowed seven hits and four walks in hard-earned 6 2/3 innings. Wheeler also had an RBI, while David Wright, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Lucas Duda each drove in a run for the Mets.

Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez (6-8) was charged with four runs on six hits with six strikeouts for the NL East leaders.

08/06 10:49:45 ET

TV
  • Hoops Headquarters: Final Four Special

    Friday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBS Sports Spectacular: NCAA March Madness Confidential

    Sunday at 5:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship

    Monday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 104
BOS 116
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
CAR
 
Final
DET 2
ATL 4
Final
TAM 6
BAL 6
Final
PIT 18
PHI 4
Final
STL 6
WAS 2
Final
NYM 7
MIA 1
Final
CWS 1
CLE 4
Final
OAK 11
COL 2
Final
TEX 7
KAN 11
Final
SEA 5
ANA 3
Final
CIN 3
SDP 6
Final
CHC 8
SFG 5
Final
ARI 2
LOS 4
Final
HOU 4
TOR 7
Final
BOS 14
MIN 2
1:05pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
STL
MIA
 
1:05pm Today
WAS
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
DET
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
PHI
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
LOS
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
MIL
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
COL
 
4:05pm Today
CLE
SEA
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
TEX
 
6:05pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
KAN
 
Final
CHA 104
BOS 116
Final
PHI 111
LAL 113
Final
TOR 99
HOU 96
Final
ATL 101
MIL 88
Final
MEM 97
SAC 83
Final
MIN 84
UTA 104
Final
POR 109
PHO 86
7:30pm Tonight
DET
ATL
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
SAN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
GSW
 
Final
LOYC 65
LAMON 58
7:00pm Tonight
TEMPL
MIAMI
 
7:00pm Tonight
EVAN
TENNM
 
9:00pm Tonight
NARZ
YALE
 
9:00pm Tonight
ODU
STAN
 
Final
MON 3
TAM 5
Final
STL 1
VAN 4
Final
DAL 3
CAL 5
Final
CHI 4
LOS 1
Final
COL 1
EDM 4
Final
ARI 1
BUF 4
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
NJD
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
OTT
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
TAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
NYR
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
VAN