Series Preview: Mets vs. Nationals

Really quick preview on the Mets’ home opening series that begins this afternoon at 4:10 PM. Note: all three games will be broadcast on SNY.

Game 1: R.A. Dickey vs. Jordan Zimmermann
Friday, April 8th, 4:10 PM

The home opener, and everyone’s favorite rags-to-riches story draws the start. It couldn’t be more fitting, and it still feels too wonderful not to be a made-up Disney movie. After what Jon Niese did in Philly, and what Big Pelf did in both of his starts, R.A. looks like the de facto ace of the staff right now. Jordan Zimmerman continues his successful recovery from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2009; he was effective despite a loss in his first start of the year against the Braves, allowing 2 earned runs in 6 innings.

Game 2: Chris Capuano vs. Tom Gorzelanny
Saturday, April 9th, 7:10 PM

Capuano did not look great in his Mets debut, but in his defense it was a relief appearance and he’s been conditioned for starting; I’m not going to hold it against him. From what we saw in spring training, Capuano looks healthy and has gained some zip on his fastball, but we’ll have to see if that pinpoint location returns. He doesn’t have trouble throwing strikes necessarily, but he needs to be extremely fine with his command and change speeds well, as his fastball tends to stay on a flat plane. As I mentioned during the winter, I liked the signing of Capuano, and continue to feel confident that he will make a strong comeback this year.

Gorzelanny, meanwhile, has been something of an enigma after impressing as a youngster in Pittsburgh. The lefthander can touch 94 MPH with his fastball and has above-average complementary pitches, but is under .500 lifetime and split his time between the bullpen and rotation with the Cubs last year. This year, he’s the Nats’ fifth starter, and they skipped his turn the first time around — because he’s that bad, or because the Nats are that deep? You decide.

Game 3: Chris Young vs. Jason Marquis
Sunday, April 10th, 1:10 PM

Young is coming off a strong debut and hopes to keep the momentum going. There’s no question that Chris Young can stymie hitters with his crazy motion and solid stuff — the question is for how long can he stay healthy enough to take the mound? Marquis is coming off a disastrous 2010 that ended with elbow surgery. His first start this year was strong, allowing 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Did You Know?

This will be the second home opening start for R.A. Dickey; he started the home opener for Texas in 2004 — and won in a 7-inning effort.

The Mets relievers have allowed 41 baserunners in 23 1/3 innings, and have allowed 4 of 10 inherited runners to score.


Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Walnutz15 April 8, 2011 at 11:26 am
    Game 3 match-up – one where I can say that I’ve played against both starting pitchers.

    Jay Marquis – against Tottenville H.S., and actually played with him on a Federation Ball team.

    Chris Young – against Princeton, during college (though he never threw against us). Quite a large man to be shaking hands with after games against the Tigers.

    Cues up “Glory Days”……

    • xDanTanna April 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm
      i knew about you facing Marquis, did not realize Young as well. Pretty cool mate!
  2. Mike April 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm
    What’s a reasonable expectation? 2 of 3? Should be expect a sweep? Honestly, who is the better team? I like the pitching match ups, but to be honest we have no idea what to expect from Capuano.
    • xDanTanna April 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm
      I think anything less than 2 of 3 would be really disappointing here.
  3. gary s. April 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm
    the match ups in game 2 and 3 are interchangeable..washingtons junk pitchers that no one wants wants vs our junk pitchers that nobody wanted ..does not bode well when our pitching is interchangeable with the nats .. There is no way to say who has an edge in these kind of matchups..This is why we are going to lose a lot of games to the braves and the phillies this year..The match up vs. those 2 teams are gruesome ..