Washington (51-97) at New York (64-85)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 1:10 pm EDT Sun Sep 20, 2009
  • TV: MASN2, SNY
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With wins tough to come by this season, the New York Mets will gladly take each victory that comes their way.

Even if it’s against the club with the worst record in the majors.

New York goes for just its second series win since late July as it meets the Washington Nationals on Sunday at Citi Field.

After losing four times by one run during their six-game slide, the Mets (64-85) defeated Washington 3-2 on Saturday. New York had dropped three straight to the Nationals, who have lost six of eight at Citi Field.

A Mets victory Sunday will lock Washington (51-97) into the NL East basement for the fourth time in five seasons.

New York would be assured of ending up fourth, its worst finish since 2004— also the last time it finished below .500. That will happen again this year partly because the only series the Mets have won of the 14 they’ve played since the beginning of August came from Sept. 4-6, when they won two of three against the Chicago Cubs.

Mets right fielder Jeff Francoeur(notes) grounded out with two runners in scoring position to end Friday’s 6-5 defeat, but he went 2 for 4 on Saturday and drove in a run.

“I feel good. I feel confident,” said Francoeur, batting .475 in his last 10 games. “I’m a happy-go-lucky guy and I’m trying to keep this clubhouse that way. It’s a tough season.”

Francoeur is hitting .476 against Washington in the teams’ last five meetings.

The Mets give the ball to John Maine(notes) (5-5, 4.45 ERA) in the series finale.

Making his first start since June 6 due to right shoulder fatigue, Maine allowed one run and two hits over three innings in Sunday’s 5-4 loss at Philadelphia.

“My arm strength was not what I wanted, but I had the jitters,” he told the Mets’ official Web site following his 57-pitch performance. “I wanted to prove I was good to go, but I was nervous.”

Maine, whose pitch count Sunday should be around 80, is 7-3 with a 4.52 ERA in 12 starts against the Nationals.

Washington counters with Garrett Mock(notes) (3-8, 5.89). The 26-year-old right-hander is 0-3 with a 7.65 ERA in his last four starts.

Mock has no record with a 1.80 ERA in six career relief appearances against the Mets, most recently a scoreless inning in an 8-1 victory on April 26.

In Tuesday’s 5-0 loss at Philadelphia, Mock allowed one hit in his final four innings after surrendering five runs in the first two.

“If you look at how those guys got on base, it was just good pieces of hitting because I made my pitches,” he told the Nationals’ official Web site. “I felt totally fine with them. It’s just that they hit the ball where they weren’t.”

Mock is 0-2 with a 5.25 ERA in his last two road starts.

Nationals shortstop Christian Guzman is batting .200 against the Mets in 2009. He is 0 for 13 lifetime versus Maine.

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Starting Pitchers

G. Mock Ari vs. J. Maine Mia
3-10 Record 7-6
5.62 ERA 4.43
72 K 55
44 BB 38
1.73 WHIP 1.29


Sunday, Sep 20