New York (66-69) at Washington (63-72)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 84° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 2, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The New York Mets are trying to remain focused on the field.

Facing the struggling Washington Nationals may provide some assistance in doing that.

The Mets will try to ride David Wright’s(notes) hot bat to a seventh win in eight tries Friday night when they open a three-game series in the nation’s capital.

New York (66-69) has won six of seven with Wright batting .478 with three doubles, one homer, six RBIs and six walks during that span.

He had a two-run single and walked twice in Thursday’s 7-5 win over Florida, but the outcome was overshadowed by more news of unrest among Mets’ ownership.

A $200 million sale for a stake in the team to hedge fund manager David Einhorn has fallen through, denying the flagging franchise the money needed to repay a loan from MLB and bolster its operating capital.

While ownership is confident in finding another investor, the players are trying to stay focused on the diamond despite a fifth straight year out of postseason.

“The uncertainty that rests is not with the people in here. It’s with the overall direction of the club from a corporate standpoint,” R.A. Dickey(notes) told the team’s official website. “The game doesn’t change, that’s the beauty of baseball. It’s still 60 feet, six inches to the mound. It’s still 90 feet to the bases.

“You still have to execute what you’re trying to do as a team to win the game. … What’s happening in the peripheries, it doesn’t matter. And that’s kind of our mentality.”

Dickey (6-11, 3.57 ERA) looks to continue doing his part as he takes the mound on three days’ rest.

The right-handed knuckleballer lost his only start of the season on three days’ rest, allowing four runs and eight hits in eight innings of a 4-3 defeat to Houston on April 20.

He was far more effective Monday in a 2-1 win over Florida, scattering six hits over seven scoreless innings while striking out six.

Dickey is 0-2 with a 4.08 ERA in three starts against Washington (63-72) this season.

The Nationals, though, have dropped eight of nine, hitting .116 with runners in scoring position in those games. They went 0 for 8 with four strikeouts and three walks in that situation during Thursday’s 5-2 loss to Atlanta.

“We’ve shown flashes,” manager Davey Johnson said. “We’ve got some young guys finding their way. We’re just not hitting well enough to win. I think the talent is there. Unfortunately, it hasn’t produced. That’s the frustrating part, I know we’re capable.”

Jayson Werth(notes) has been a bright spot lately, hitting .313 with three homers and six RBIs in 12 games. His .233 season average may be a disappointment, but he’s batting .348 with two homers and five RBIs in six home meetings with the Mets.

Werth is 8 for 19 with two homers off Dickey.

Ross Detwiler(notes) (2-4, 2.86) has enjoyed his own success against New York, going 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA in three games - one start. The victory came in that lone start on Sept. 28, 2009, when he allowed one run in six innings of a 2-1 home win.

The left-hander is 1-4 with a 3.14 ERA in his past five starts, yielding six runs - three earned - and eight hits over six innings of a 6-3 loss at Cincinnati on Saturday.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Dickey Tor vs. R. Detwiler Tex
8-13 Record 4-5
3.28 ERA 3.00
134 K 41
54 BB 20
1.23 WHIP 1.26


Friday, Sep 2