MLB: Mets look to move above .500 in rematch vs. Nationals


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Phil Maton can’t get to New York fast enough to help the Mets’ beleaguered bullpen.

For the Washington Nationals, the beginning of the game is the problem.

The Mets will hope to have Maton in uniform Wednesday night when they host the Nationals in the middle contest of a three-game series between the National League East rivals.

Right-hander Luis Severino (5-3, 3.83 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets against Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin (1-8, 5.49).

The Mets got back to .500 Tuesday night after Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo combined for two homers and six RBIs in a 7-5 victory.

An eventful final two innings in which the Nationals scored all of their runs served as a timely reminder of why the Mets acquired Maton from the Tampa Bay Rays earlier Tuesday.

After Jose Quintana allowed just one hit over seven innings, New York needed four relievers to record the final six outs.

The Mets (45-45) are 1 1/2 games behind the San Diego Padres in the National League wild-card race. The Padres currently occupy the third and final playoff spot.

Maton has a 4.28 career regular-season ERA but has posted an 0.83 ERA with 22 strikeouts over 21 2/3 innings in the playoffs. He is expected to help the Mets immediately while allowing president of baseball operations David Stearns to continue evaluating the team before the July 30 trade deadline.

Stearns said Maton would join the Mets on Wednesday or Thursday. Maton is 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA and two saves this season.

“I think (Maton is) a piece that we think today helps our bullpen and helps our team,” Stearns said Tuesday afternoon. “And we’re going to continue to see what is out there and moves that may make sense for us and also continue to learn about our team in the coming weeks.”

The Nationals were hampered again Tuesday by a sluggish start on offense. Washington is 3-6 this month, during which it has scored 15 of its 45 runs after the sixth inning.

Quintana retired the first six batters he faced Tuesday. He ended his outing by retiring 13 straight after the Nationals loaded the bases with two outs in the third inning.

The left-hander threw 103 pitches before Washington rallied and forced New York to bring in closer Edwin Diaz with two outs and one on in the ninth inning. Diaz uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Jacob Young to score from second base before striking out CJ Abrams to earn his ninth save.

“To finish it like we did — hey, let’s come back tomorrow and start like that,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “That’s the key. We’ve got a tough opponent again in Severino. We’ve got to get him over the plate, make him throw strikes, be aggressive in the strike zone.”

Severino allowed seven runs over six innings to take the loss in a 14-2 setback to the Pittsburgh Pirates last Friday. He is 2-0 with an 0.61 ERA in two career starts against the Nationals.

Corbin didn’t factor into the decision last Friday after surrendering three runs over five innings in the Nationals’ 7-6, 11-inning loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He is 8-12 with a 5.01 ERA in 29 games (28 starts) against the Mets.

–Field Level Media


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