Something about facing the Nationals this season has brought out the best in Mets right-hander Dillon Gee. In three starts against Washington, Gee is 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA.
He'll look to keep up that pace on Saturday as the two clubs square off at Nationals Park after they split Friday's doubleheader.
Gee has been brilliant of late, pitching six no-hit innings during his last start against the Braves. He ended up tossing seven shutout frames while allowing just two hits, but took the no-decision in a 2-1 loss.
"They were really aggressive, swinging early," Gee said after the game. "They happened to be hitting balls at guys, obviously some really good defensive plays also."
The right-hander has tossed four quality starts in his last five outings because of his ability to change speeds and get swings and misses with his sinker and slider.
Meanwhile, the Nats will look to right-hander Dan Haren to help them out of their current funk, which has seen them go 2-7 since the All-Star break.
"It's definitely a bummer. Not something that we envisioned, but we have to deal with it," Nats catcher Kurt Suzuki said. "We have to get back on the horse again and keep going."
While Haren has pitched better since his stint on the disabled list, he hasn't won a game since May 9, a span of 11 starts.
In his previous outing against the Pirates, Haren allowed five runs on five hits in five innings of work for the loss. Surrendering a pair of home runs in the game, he is allowing a career-worst 1.9 home runs per nine innings this season.
"I felt good," Haren said after the start. "I made those mistakes up in the zone. That has kind of been the story of the year for me. Every mistake I made, I paid the price for it. If I could take those two pitches back, things would be a lot different. Fact of the matter is, I can't."
Mets: Lagares will continue in center
For the first time all season, Mets manager Terry Collins made it known after Game 1 of their doubleheader against the Nats that Juan Lagares is his everyday center fielder.
"There's no reason why he shouldn't be out there right now when you do what he did with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound," Collins said after Lagares finished 3-for-4 with a walk, three runs scored, two stolen bases and one RBI in the game. "He fouled some pitches off, got a decent ball to hit, ran the bases."
With the new adjustment, he will play most days for the immediate future.
"For me," Lagares said, "every time I get the opportunity, I want to try to do my job and try to do the best for the team."
Nationals: Harper out of lineup in nightcap
After the first game of Friday's doubleheader against the Mets, manager Davey Johnson said that Bryce Harper had aggravated a left knee injury and wouldn't be in the lineup for Game 2.
In the fifth inning, Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy hit a flare to left field and Harper ran up to make the catch. He hit his left knee on the ground during the process and was replaced by pinch-runner Scott Hairston after singling in the eighth.
"I think he dove on that ball and kind of aggravated it a little bit," Johnson said. "Afterward, he was limping a little bit. Seemed to be still running OK."
Harper did pinch-hit in Game 2, grounding out to short in the eighth inning.
• The Nats are 11-2 in one-run games against the Mets since the beginning of 2011.
• The Mets are 25-24 on the road this year, including 15-8 in their last 23 contests away from home dating back to June 5.