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10:05 AM PT11:05 AM MT12:05 PM CT1:05 PM ET13:05 ET17:05 GMT1:05 10:05 AM MST12:05 PM EST12:35 PM VEN21:05 UAE11:05 AM CT, March 30, 2019
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia  Attendance: 33,765

Nationals' Strasburg gets crack at Cano, Mets

According to STATS
According to STATS

New York Mets at Washington Nationals

  1. The Mets went 147-177 (.454) in 2017 and 2018 combined -- their worst record in a two-season span since 2003-2004 (137-186, .424). Last year's team started 11-1 before going an NL-worst 21-47 between April 14 and June 30.
  2. The Nationals finished over .500 in seven straight seasons entering 2019 -- yet they failed to win a playoff series in any of those years. Only the Yankees (26), Cardinals (11) and Dodgers (eight) have longer active streaks of consecutive seasons with winning records.
  3. Washington went 84-47 against the Mets between 2011 and 2017, but New York took 11 of 19 meetings between the clubs a season ago. The Mets went 6-3 at Nationals Park, matching their best single-season record there (6-3 in both 2008 and '15).
  4. No current member of the Mets or Nationals hit as many as 30 home runs or drove in 100-plus runs last year. Among current Nats, Anthony Rendon had the top 2018 totals, 24 homers and 92 RBI. Michael Conforto had the most homers among active Mets with 28; Jed Lowrie the top RBI figure, 99.
  5. The NL Cy Young winner in 2018, Jacob deGrom had a 1.70 ERA -- third lowest in the last 50 seasons by any pitcher with at least 30 starts, bettered by only Dwight Gooden (1.53 for the 1985 Mets) and Zack Grienke (1.66 for the '15 Dodgers).
  6. Last year's Cy Young runner-up, Max Scherzer had his seventh season in succession with at least 230 strikeouts -- a streak unmatched in MLB history. Scherzer has joined Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson as the only pitchers to post four straight seasons with 250-plus strikeouts and an ERA under 3.00.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 3/28/2019 thru 3/31/2019
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

After the Mets acquired Robinson Cano from Seattle he went out to eat "several times" with Mickey Callaway, now in his second year as the manager.

It didn't take Callaway long to realize Cano would make his new team better.

"I saw it right away," Callaway said.

And the left-handed hitting second baseman has made a difference right away for the Mets (1-0), who send Noah Syndergaard to the mound Saturday in Washington against Stephen Strasburg.

Strasburg is 8-5 with a 2.83 ERA in 17 career starts against the Mets, but that didn't include Cano as part of the lineup.

Cano had a solo homer in his first at-bat with the team. He also had an RBI single and helped turn a nifty double play in the 2-0 Opening Day win on Thursday.

What was the most impressive?

"Can I say all of the above? He is probably the only guy in baseball that makes that play," Callaway said of the double play in the third.

A pair of speedsters were on the bases - Victor Robles at third and Adam Eaton at first - when Anthony Rendon hit a grounder to short in the third inning. The Mets got the force at second and when Robles broke for home, Cano threw to catcher Wilson Ramos and Robles was trapped in a rundown to end the inning against Jacob deGrom.

"Make other teams pay when they make a mistake," Callaway said of Cano. "He shows the rest of the team ... what winning is all about. Fighting off a good pitch for an RBI (single) or making a head's up baseball play (in the field). That is what it takes to win. He is an impact baseball guy who brings knowledge to what he does. He makes us a much better team."

Nationals manager Dave Martinez, also in his second season, took some heat for not pinch-hitting for Max Scherzer in the last of the seventh Thursday with his team losing 1-0.

"We had six more outs to get a run. I knew that spot would come up again, I was trying to save (Matt Adams) to face either (Edwin) Diaz or (Jeurys) Familia if we get to that spot," Martinez said. "I communicate with Max day in and day out during the games and he looked good. I was trying to give him a chance to stay in the game and win the game, and I knew we had six outs with our top guys coming up to hit."

"We had some chances early on and didn't execute," Nationals right fielder Eaton said. "That's kind of how it goes with the talent that was on the mound."

Right-hander Syndergaard is 3-5, 3.43 in 12 appearances (all starts) against the Nationals, with two starts last year. Strasburg faced the Mets just once in 2018. New York is the team he has faced the least in his career in the division.

Syndergaard made headlines recently when he blasted the team's decision to fly from Florida to Syracuse, New York, the home of the Mets' new Triple-A affiliate. The team plane was three hours late Monday leaving Florida, and the Mets worked out in Syracuse before heading to D.C. before the opener Thursday. Both teams were off Friday.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 30, 2019

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