Opposite dugout: Mets host struggling Nationals ahead of All-Star break

Manager: Mickey Callaway (1st season)

Thumbnail image for mets-logo-square.jpgRecord: 37-53

Last 10 games: 5-5

Who to watch: 2B Asdrúbal Cabrera (.280 with 16 HR, 51 RBIs), CF Brandon Nimmo (13 HR), LHP Steven Matz (3.31 ERA), RHP Jeurys Familia (16 saves)

Season series vs. Nationals: 4-2

Pitching probables:

July 12: RHP Max Scherzer (11-5) vs. LHP Steven Matz (4-6), 7:10 p.m., MASN
July 13: RHP Tanner Roark (3-11) vs. RHP Noah Syndergaard (4-1), 7:10 p.m., MASN
July 14: TBA vs. RHP Zack Wheeler (2-6), 4:10., MASN
July 15: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (3-1) vs. RHP Corey Oswalt (0-2), 1:10., MASN

Inside the Mets:

The Mets’ disappointing season will be coming to the halfway mark later this weekend with the All-Star break, giving first-year manager Mickey Calloway’s club a chance to regroup and retool for the second half of 2018. They’ll decide whether to be buyers or sellers at the non-waiver trading deadline, and figure out which direction to move for the rest of the season.

Asdrúbal Cabrera (.280/.328/.485) has 51 RBIs to date, tied for his highest total before the All-Star break during his entire career. The only other Mets second baseman to ever record 50 or more RBIs in the first half of the season is Edgardo Alfonzo, who did it twice (58 RBIs in 2000 and 55 RBIs in 1999). In the days following what many considered a major All-Star snub, Brandon Nimmo launched a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning last night in the series finale against the Phillies as New York won for only the fifth time in its past 24 home games. It was the Mets’ third game-ending home run in just the last six days. José Bautista defeated Tampa Bay with his grand slam on Friday, and third baseman Wilmer Flores ended the contest on Monday in the opener against the Phillies.

Lefty Steven Matz is 1-2 with a 2.37 ERA in his six career starts against Washington. Matz has allowed just one earned run over his last two starts and hasn’t given up a hit in his opponents’ last 26 at-bats against him with runners on base. Since May 5, opponents are hitting .149 (17-for-114) with men on base and .115 (7-for-61) with runners in scoring position off Matz in 12 starts. In Matz’s last start against the Nats, he tossed four innings and allowed three earned runs on three hits while walking one and striking out six in the Mets’ 3-1 win on April 18 at Citi Field. Right-hander Noah Syndergaard (finger) is expected to come off the disabled list to start Friday against the Nationals. He has not pitched in the major leagues since May 25. He’s 2-4 with a 3.53 ERA in 10 career starts versus Washington. Righty Zack Wheeler struck out eight batters in his last start despite ending up with the no-decision on Monday against the Phillies. Wheeler has brilliant at times this season, but his inconsistencieu have raised his ERA to 4.42 heading into his last start of the first half. He had a 3.26 ERA in six winless June starts, but has posted a 4.06 ERA in two starts this month without a decision. With the Mets fresh off a walk-off victory in the first game of a doubleheader courtesy of Flores, Phillies star Aaron Nola silenced them with seven stellar innings and ruined rookie right-hander Corey Oswalt’s no-hit bid in the fifth inning with a three-run double, the Phillies’ only hit off Oswalt in a 3-1 loss on July 9. He’s never faced the Nationals.

Closer Jeurys Familia has 16 saves so far on the season, ranking him 10th in the National League. Familia has four wins to date, tied for fifth among NL relievers. Familia has 116 saves since 2015, giving him the third-most in the major leagues.

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