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Preview: Nationals (11-8) at Mets (9-9)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 2
Venue: Citi Field
Date: April 20, 2013 3:05 PM EDT
  

Superb pitching has been vital to the New York Mets' early success at Citi Field.

They may need another strong performance on the mound if they're going to beat Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals on Saturday.

New York (8-7) has won five of seven home games thanks in large part to a 2.14 ERA - 1.87 from the rotation. That's a dramatic difference from the Mets' 6.42 ERA in eight road games.

They got another strong performance in the opener of this series Friday, when Matt Harvey outpitched Stephen Strasburg in a 7-1 victory, ending their eight-game home slide to Washington (9-7). Harvey allowed one run and four hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings.

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"He pitched great, but that's the mark of a true ace," manager Terry Collins said. "Games like that can spread to great seasons."

Gonzalez (1-1, 4.50 ERA) pitched plenty of great games last season for the Nationals in finishing third in the Cy Young Award voting, and he certainly had his way with the Mets in his final three starts. The left-hander won all three while posting a 0.96 ERA.

That includes limiting New York to a .116 average in two road outings.

Gonzalez will try to continue that dominance while rebounding from Sunday's 9-0 loss to Atlanta. He was tagged for seven runs and seven hits - two homers - with three walks in five innings after compiling an 0.82 ERA over his first two starts.

"Our job is to make sure we keep them as close as possible, and I didn't do that," Gonzalez said.

Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 7.20) hasn't come close to doing that, either.

The right-hander has surrendered seven runs and four homers in four innings over his last two games - one start. Rain and snow postponed two games and have kept him from starting since a 7-3 loss at Philadelphia on April 10.

Hefner, however, was impressive in his only home start so far, yielding one run in six innings of a 7-5 loss to Miami on April 5.

Hefner's recent troubles may only continue since he lost all three starts versus the Nationals as a rookie last year while compiling a 5.29 ERA. Bryce Harper went 3 for 9 with a double, a triple and a homer in their matchups.

The Mets have 12 homers at Citi Field after going deep four times Friday, and they've hit at least one in each of their first seven home games for the first time since 2002.

They haven't put together a longer season-opening string at home since homering at least once in the first 14 games of their inaugural season of 1962.

Ike Davis and Lucas Duda hit two each Friday, and all three of Davis' have come at home. The first baseman is hitting .173 while tying Marlon Byrd with a team-high 15 strikeouts, but at 4 for 10 he's one of the few Mets who has had some success against Gonzalez.

Duda, 1 for 2 against Gonzalez, is 7 for 17 with four solo homers and seven runs over the past six games.

New York last won back-to-back home meetings with the Nationals when it swept a two-game set from May 18-19, 2011.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Nationals at Mets
Fri, Apr 19 Final 1 to 7
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Nationals at Mets
Sat, Apr 20 Final 7 to 6
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Nationals at Mets
Sun, Apr 21 Final 0 to 2
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 WAS  -145   +110   7.5 
 NYM  +135   -130   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 WAS  -150   +105   7.5 
 NYM  +135   -125   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 WAS  87%   76%   91% 
 NYM  13%   24%   9% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Apr 19, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 1 Over: 8 
 NYM 7 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Mar 28, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 NYM 1 Under: 6 
 WAS 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 23, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 1 Over: 4 
 NYM 3 Cover: +110 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 28, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 NYM 4 Over: 8 
 WAS 4 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 25, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 6 Cover: +100 
 NYM 4 Over: 10 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 23, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 3 Over: 8 
 NYM 5 Cover: +105 
 Tools:   Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Saturday, Apr 20
 
    Yankees at Blue Jays
1:05 PM EDT
    Royals at Red Sox
1:10 PM EDT
    Marlins at Reds
1:10 PM EDT
    Twins at White Sox
3:05 PM EDT
    Tigers at Angels
3:05 PM EDT
    Nationals at Mets
3:05 PM EDT
    Dodgers at Orioles
7:05 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Phillies
7:05 PM EDT
    Braves at Pirates
7:05 PM EDT
    Cubs at Brewers
7:10 PM EDT
    Indians at Astros
7:10 PM EDT
    Athletics at Rays
7:10 PM EDT
    Mariners at Rangers
8:05 PM EDT
    Diamondbacks at Rockies
8:10 PM EDT
    Padres at Giants
9:05 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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