Originally written August 17, 2012 on The Daily Stache:
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If one of the last resorts of 2012 for the New York Mets is to play spoiler for the top half of the NL East, it would be nice to see the Washington Nationals go down in flames down the stretch. The Mets have three games to be obnoxious at the home stadium of the National League’s best.  Coming off a night where it was all about young star-in-the-making Matt Harvey, it will be difficult to suck in as much fan attention as the team did last night. It will be Johan Santana’s second start since returning from the disabled list, and aside from rooting for Ross Detwiler for fantasy baseball purposes, all eyes, mine included, will be on Santana’s ability to bounce back from his latest of injury issues. With Ian Desmond returning to action, the Nats get a little extra punch in the infield, rounding out one of the most potent National League lineups. Lineups New York Mets 1) Ruben Tejada SS
2) Andres Torres CF
3) David Wright 3B
4) Scott Hairston RF
5) Daniel Murphy 1B
6) Ronny Cedeno 2B
7) Jason Bay LF
8 ) Kelly Shoppach jC
9) Johan Santana LHP Washington Nationals 1) Jayson Werth RF
2) Bryce Harper CF
3) Ryan Zimmerman 3B
4) Mike Morse LF
5) Adam LaRoche 1B 6) Ian Desmond SS
7) Danny Espinosa 2B
8 ) Kurt Suzuki C
9) Ross Detwiler LHP Matchup NYM: Johan Santana (6-8, 4.58 ERA) It gradually seems as if Johan Santana used up all the gas left in him back on June 1 in his stellar no-hit effort. It’s been downhill since. He’s been somewhat erratic, but worst of all, he’s had the tendency to get shelled off the bat allotting him absolutely no time to settle into his starts. If he can’t settle in, we wouldn’t even know what he can provide this rotation. Johan’s only other start against Washington this year was a well-pitched five inning, one run loss. With the Nationals lineup back at full strength, it will be a tall order tonight for the struggling southpaw. WAS: Ross Detwiler (6-5, 3.18 ERA) In and out of the Nationals rotation this year, Ross Detwiler has found a home as a starting pitcher after trying to break through for a few seasons. Detwiler completely shreds his way through left-handed pitching. His last several starts haven’t been his best in the books this year, but still he’s been effective in tough spots. Besides, to this point in 2012, Detwiler has held the Mets to only one run in 14 innings. That would be the textbook domination that lefty pitching has held over the Mets this year. Detwiler simply isn’t allowing hits of late and the Mets must decipher that. Stache Keys to the Game
  1. Through whatever means necessary, the Mets must find a way on base tonight and make Detwiler labor.
  2. It is time to see a resurgence in the game of Johan Santana. He is up against Washington, but an iffy start tonight could mean his future looks a bit grim.
  3. .The Mets will obviously rely on the plentiful right-handed bats in the lineup tonight
Slated for a 7:05 PM ET start, catch the game live on SNY and WFAN 660.
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