Originally posted on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 8/17/12

By SBRForum.com

The Mets may have spared their blushes a little bit by winning their final game in Cincinnati, but now they have to head to the nation’s capital to play one of baseball’s hottest teams in the Washington Nationals.

What was a great start to the season for New Yorkhas quickly turned into another forgettable campaign. The Mets currently sit at 56-62 on the season and are miles behind in the NL East.

The good news? New York will begin a seven-game home stand against Colorado and Houston starting on August 20.

The bad news? The Mets will have to battle it out with the Nationals first and the MLB odds aren’t going to be in their favor.

In the first game of the series, Johan Santana gets the call and he goes up against Ross Detweiler.   Santanta, in his first start in close to two weeks, got absolutely shelled against Atlanta, surrendering eight hits and eight runs while not even getting out of the second inning.

Obviously the Mets will be hoping to get a little more out of their former ace.

Photo by Michael G. Baron

On Saturday it’s Jonathon Niese against Edwin Jackson and this game will be one of New York’s best chances to grab a win in this series.  Niese has been solid as a rock this season, while Jackson has looked a little shaky here over his last few starts.

It gets miles tougher on Sunday though as the Mets have to cope with Gio Gonzalez, who’s 15-6 with a 3.29 ERA this season.

They themselves have to rely on Jeremy Hefner, who’s 2-4 with a 4.76 ERA on the year.  He had been pitching in relief until recently getting the call back into the starting rotation. It could be a long day for Hefner against a surging Nationals ballclub.

This could be a season-defining series for New York.  A win or two could boost morale and set them up nicely for the rest of the year, but getting swept could spell the end.

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