|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, April 16, 2018
Citi Field, Flushing, New York Attendance: 22,829
Torrid start puts Mets in spot where Nationals expected to be
Washington Nationals at New York Mets
- The Mets improved to 12-2 with a 3-2 walkoff win against the Brewers on Sunday. New York has now won each of its first five series for the first time in franchise history.
- The Nationals are just 3-9 after opening the season with four consecutive wins. Washington has a team batting average of only .219 over those last 12 games.
- Wilmer Flores clubbed his third career walkoff homer in Sunday's win over Milwaukee. Flores' three walkoff home runs since the start of 2015 are the most by any Mets player.
- Matt Wieters homered for the second straight day in Washington's 6-5 loss to Colorado on Sunday. It marks the first time Wieters has hit a home run in back-to-back games since August 19-20, 2013.
- Jacob deGrom struck out five over six innings in his win at the Nats on April 5. The five strikeouts were the fewest for deGrom versus Washington since April 30, 2015 when had just four in 5.1 innings.
- A.J. Cole has allowed 12 runs through his first two starts of the season. It is the most runs allowed by Nationals starter through two starts since Jason Marquis with 12 in 2010.
- Braves claim 1st NL East title since '13
- Yanks top O's in 11 to clinch wild card
- A's walk-off Twins again, magic number 1
- Cubs beat ChiSox to extend Central lead
- Brewers blanked, wild-card lead cut to 2
NEW YORK -- During spring training, plenty of people would have found it plausible that six games would separate the New York Mets and Washington Nationals by April 16. But few would have expected the Mets to be the ones off to the fast start.
The Mets will look to continue the best start in franchise history -- and continue digging the Nationals an early-season hole -- on Monday night when New York hosts Washington in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Jacob deGrom (2-0, 3.06 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Mets against the Nationals' Jeremy Hellickson (season debut) in a battle of right-handers.
The Mets gained another game on the Nationals on Sunday when Wilmer Flores' walk-off homer in the ninth inning lifted New York to a 3-2 win over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. Meanwhile, host Washington fell to the Colorado Rockies 6-5 on Ian Desmond's solo homer in the top of the ninth.
With the win, the Mets improved to a National League-best 12-2. Before this season, New York has twice started 11-3 -- in 1986 and 2015. It made the World Series both seasons.
There's a long way to go between now and October, of course, but getting off to such a fast start has infused the Mets, who went 70-92 last season and finished 27 games behind the National League East-winning Nationals -- with a cohesion and a confidence they are building something sustainable.
"This team is really close, even though it's only been together for a couple months now," said Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who finished a double shy of the cycle Sunday. "I think everybody's pulling for each other. And when you're pulling on the same end of the rope and everybody's trying to get that team win and put good at-bats together, you're going to break through every now and then."
The Nationals (7-9) could use a breakthrough in the midst of a 3-9 spell, a stretch in which they've been outscored 58-38. Washington, which is ahead of only the dismantling Miami Marlins in the NL East, has squandered a lead in five of its losses, including Sunday, when the Rockies came back from deficits of 1-0 and 3-1.
"We've just got to keep pushing," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "We're going to win games, I know that. We've just got to play. We've got to capitalize in big moments. We haven't done that. And we've got to be able to put teams away early, when it counts, not wait until late. We had opportunities to put this team away today early and we couldn't do it."
DeGrom didn't factor into the decision in his most recent start last Tuesday, when he gave up four runs in six innings in the Mets' 8-6 win over the Marlins.
Hellickson, who signed with the Nationals in March, made two starts in extended spring training league games in Florida but hasn't pitched in an official game since his final start of last season with the Baltimore Orioles. He will be officially added to Washington's 25-man roster on Monday.
DeGrom is 6-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 13 career starts against the Nationals. Hellickson is 2-4 with a 7.81 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets. It is the highest ERA that Hellickson has posted against an opponent he has faced more than twice.
Updated April 15, 2018