Jacob deGrom Max Scherzer
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

Runs will likely be at a premium as the last two National League Cy Young Award winners will meet in the New York Mets next contest. 

Despite it only being May, this week’s series against the Washington Nationals was big for both clubs. With rumors about both Mickey Callaway and Dave Martinez‘s job security circulating, each team needed to snap out of their recent funk.

Through the first two games of the four-game set, the New York Mets have seized the opportunity and sent the Nationals reeling.

Riding a modest two-game winning streak, things will get tougher for the Mets on Wednesday night, however.

In what could be the best pitching matchup of the season, RHP Max Scherzer (2-5, 3.72 ERA) will toe the slab against Jacob deGrom (3-5, 3.98 ERA).

Looking past Scherzer’s win-loss record, the veteran is having another great season. His 87 strikeouts lead the NL, while his 6.21 K/BB ratio is the second-best mark of his potentially Hall of Fame career.

Aware of the challenge before them, the Mets want to simply keep stringing good days together. “(Tuesday) was definitely a really good day for us,” first baseman Pete Alonso said. “Same thing tomorrow (Wednesday). Same plan tomorrow.”

Look for deGrom to bounce back

deGrom, meanwhile, has yet to really hit his stride this season. After a stint on the IL in April due to strep throat and a sore elbow, the Mets ace was shelled in his last start in Miami. The last-place Marlins tagged him for six earned runs in just five innings.

There are reasons to expect a bounce-back performance tonight, though. deGrom is averaging 11.6 K/9, which the highest mark of his career. The Nationals offense ranks in the bottom third of the league averaging 9.48 K/game. A double-digit strikeout performance for deGrom tonight is not out of the question.

This will be the second meeting of the year between the two aces. Having met on Opening Day, deGrom had the edge with 10 strikeouts over six shutout innings.

While Tuesday’s starter Zack Wheeler had historically struggled with the Nationals in his career, this is not the case with deGrom.

In 16 career starts against the NL East rival, the 30-year-old is 8-4 with a 2.50 ERA.

The Mets have a golden opportunity to secure a much-needed series win tonight. With deGrom on the hill, they have to like their chances.

Mets Roundup

Rosario records first career walk-off hit

Thanks to his hustling down the line, SS Amed Rosario lifted the Mets to a 6-5 win on Tuesday night.

“It was an incredible feeling,” Rosario said through a team interpreter. “How emotional it was because it was my first walk-off and our second (win) in a row after a bad stretch.”

Alonso sets club record for first-half home runs by a rookie

Pete Alonso’s game-tying home run in the eighth inning on Tuesday was his 16th of the season. This moved the 24-year-old into sole possession of the team record for home runs by a rookie prior to the All-Star break.

“That’s really humbling. That’s really cool,” Alonso sounded. “It justifies all the hard work I’ve put into myself.”

With 43 games remaining until the All-Star break, the slugger has plenty of time to add to this record.

For the latest on everything Mets, follow Teddy Rydquist on Twitter @TeddyRydquist.

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