joey lucchesi mets
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The Mets’ West Coast road trip didn’t end how they hoped. Instead of winning a four-game set against the San Francisco Giants, they dropped each of their last two to split the matchup. But still, a 7-3 showing in California is pretty dang good.

After getting much-needed rest on Monday, they’ll welcome the Washington Nationals to Citi Field for a three-game set. At 7-14 to start the 2023 campaign, the Nats are among the National League’s worst teams.

New York went 14-5 against Washington in head-to-head matchups last year. With them hot on the Braves’ tail to start the year, this is an opportunity to get healthy against an inferior opponent before welcoming Atlanta to Queens for a four-game set later this week.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. Before that happens, here are the probable pitching matchups between the Mets and Nationals.

Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET: Jose Butto vs. Josiah Gray

After getting called upon to make a spot start in Oakland, Jose Butto is getting the call again for New York. This time, though, it’ll be at Citi Field. While he allowed nine baserunners in five innings (five hits, four walks) against the A’s, the right-hander allowed just one run. This will be his third career MLB start, and he’s still looking for his first win.

Josiah Gray has allowed a lot of traffic on the bases (1.48 WHIP) but has limited runs from scoring (3.74 ERA). That hasn’t allowed him to stay out of the loss column, as he’s 0-4 through his first four starts. This will be Gray’s fourth career start against the Mets, who have terrorized him in his young career. Across 12 innings, the right-hander has allowed 16 runs on 21 hits (five home runs), eight walks (one intentional), and nine strikeouts.

Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET: Kodai Senga vs. MacKenzie Gore

Kodai Senga is undefeated (3-0) through his first four MLB starts, but he’s definitely not satisfied with what’s been going on. While the Mets did well out west, Senga struggled on the mound. He allowed eight runs on 12 hits (four homers), eight walks, and 11 strikeouts in 9.2 innings. His season-long ERA has gone from 1.59 to 4.29 during that time.

MacKenzie Gore — one of the players who came over in last summer’s Juan Soto trade — is 2-1 with a 3.43 ERA and 1.38 WHIP through 21 innings. He’s at least pitched into the sixth inning in three of his four starts and will be making his first career appearance against New York.

Thursday at 7:10 p.m. ET: Joey Lucchesi vs. Trevor Williams

Joey Lucchesi made his triumphant return to the big leagues in San Francisco after Tommy John surgery. He looked fantastic in getting the win, allowing just four hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in seven shutout innings. He last faced the Nats in 2021, striking out five in 5.1 innings.

Old friend Trevor Williams will face New York for the first time since signing with Washington over the winter. He’s 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.08 WHIP through four starts. The right-hander has lasted at least five innings while surrendering three or fewer earned runs each time out on the mound. Williams last faced the Mets in 2021 before he was acquired by them at the trade deadline. He allowed two runs on five hits, one walk, and six strikeouts in five innings.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.