Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Nats go for sweep of Mets behind Scherzer

The Nationals will send their ace to the mound on Wednesday as they look to sweep the Mets and extend their National League East lead in the series finale at Nationals Park.
Max Scherzer, who has struck out at least 10 batters in four of his last five starts, will look to bounce back from a shaky outing. The righty allowed five runs in six innings against the Brewers on Friday, the first time in June he gave up more than two runs.
With Steven Matz nursing a bone spur in his elbow, Logan Verrett will pitch for the Mets, who trail the Nats by five games.
Verrett will be making his fifth start of the season, after spending most of the past six weeks in the bullpen. The 26-year-old righty allowed five runs in four innings the last time he began a game, June 11 at Milwaukee. In two relief appearances against the Nationals this season, Verrett has allowed two hits and three walks but no runs in three innings.
Things to know about this game
• No Mets hitter has faced Scherzer more than Curtis Granderson, and the veteran outfielder has found success in the matchup, with a slash line of .296/.441/.630. When Scherzer faced the Mets in May, Granderson homered and walked twice in three plate appearances.
• Verrett has not thrown more than 91 pitches in any appearance this season, so the Mets' bullpen could be busy Wednesday. However, Terry Collins' squad is currently carrying 13 pitchers.
• Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon, on the disabled list with an intercostal strain, will throw a bullpen session Wednesday as he nears a return. Papelbon pitched a scoreless inning for Triple-A Potomac on Monday.

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