A sweet Friday night matchup

If you don’t happen to have anything planned for tonight, I suggest you find a seat on your sofa or local bar stool around 7:05 p.m., and flip on MASN2 HD.

Tonight’s pitching matchup in New York is a really good one: Stephen Strasburg against Matt Harvey.

The 24-year-old Harvey might have just 13 career starts under his belt, but he’s already making quite an impression in the big leagues.

Harvey has started this season 3-0 with a filthy 0.82 ERA in his three starts. He’s gone 22 innings, allowed just two earned runs, struck out 25 and walked six.

Opposing batters are hitting .088 off the 2010 first-round pick.

Strasburg, the 2009 No. 1 overall pick, has gotten off to a pretty impressive start to 2013, as well.

The righty is 1-2 in his three starts, but he’s posted a 2.95 ERA over his 18 1/3 innings. He’s struck out 15 and walked five.

For those who like high radar readings, this game is for you. Strasburg has the highest average fastball velocity in the majors among starters at 95.7 mph, according to FanGraphs. Harvey isn’t far behind; he ranks third, coming in with an average fastball velocity of 94.3 mph.

The Nationals faced Harvey once last season in his rookie campaign, and the young right-hander didn’t disappoint Mets fans that night at Citi Field, allowing just one run on five hits and striking out 10 over five innings.

Harvey ended up getting stuck with the loss, however, as the Nats got 5 2/3 scoreless innings from John Lannan and won 2-0.

Ryan Zimmerman homered off Harvey in that Sept. 12 game.

Lannan, by the way, could miss the next 6-8 weeks as the left-hander suffered a strained quadriceps tendon in his left knee. Lannan’s first two starts with the Phillies this season were both quality outings, but he got smacked around his most recent time out and now has landed on the disabled list.

On another note, I’m going to be taking the rest of today and tomorrow off as I head out to West Virginia to run in the Tough Mudder. Byron Kerr and the MASN staff will have you covered on all Nats happenings in my absence.

The last time I did a Tough Mudder (last September), the Nats unexpectedly shut down Strasburg following a start against the Marlins. Let’s hope my absence the next couple days doesn’t force them to do the same after tonight’s outing.

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