Mets' power bats back Bartolo in win vs. Nats

Mets' power bats back Bartolo in win vs. Nats

WASHINGTON -- In a reversal of a meeting between the same two pitchers last week, the Mets hammered left-hander Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals and rode a strong start from Bartolo Colon to a 7-1 victory at Nationals Park on Monday night. New York pulled to within a half-game of Washington in the National League East with the win.

The Mets unleashed a flurry of offense against Gonzalez that included seven runs on 10 hits, including three home runs. David Wright smashed a three-run homer as part of a five-run third inning and Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker hit back-to-back homers in the fifth.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets lose Duda to lower-back stress fracture

No timetable for slugging first baseman's return; utility man Kelly joins team

Mets lose Duda to lower-back stress fracture

WASHINGTON -- Quietly, often lost amid the shuffle of his more famous teammates, Lucas Duda has spent the past three seasons as one of the Mets' most valuable sluggers. They will now proceed without their starting first baseman for weeks or even months, placing Duda on the disabled list Monday with a stress fracture in his lower back. There is no timetable for his return.

"It will be a while," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We're looking at a fairly long period before he's going to be able to get back and do some baseball stuff."

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

10 first-base options for Mets with Duda out

10 first-base options for Mets with Duda out

WASHINGTON -- Not long after the Mets received a lump of bad news Monday regarding Lucas Duda, who will miss weeks or even months with a stress fracture in his lower back, manager Terry Collins approached team captain David Wright. He floated the idea of potentially moving the lifelong third baseman to first. Wright's response: "Whatever the team needs, I'm willing to try it."

The Mets are not willing to go down that road just yet. Too many other options exist on their roster, ranging from neatly inside the box to well outside of it. For now, the Mets are likely to keep to the conservative path, although that could change in the future.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wheeler remains on track for early July return

Mets righty throws off slope of mound for first time since surgery to remove stitch

Wheeler remains on track for early July return

WASHINGTON -- A second operation now fully in his rearview, Zack Wheeler is back on a throwing progression that should put his return from Tommy John surgery around July 1. Wheeler on Monday threw off the slope of a mound for the first time since a minor procedure to remove a stitch from his arm.

Wheeler, who underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2015, had been throwing off the slope of a mound during Spring Training. Surgery to remove an undissolved stitch delayed him from advancing past that benchmark, but did not knock Wheeler off course from a potential July 1 return. He should advance to full bullpen sessions in the coming weeks.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

We meet again: Stras, Harvey face off in DC

We meet again: Stras, Harvey face off in DC

Matt Harvey and Stephen Strasburg square off Tuesday night in a rematch of last week's showdown turned mismatch.

Strasburg and Harvey have much in common -- both are 27-year-old right-handers who faced and met sky-high expectations after overcoming Tommy John surgery -- but the two pitchers have gone opposite directions in 2016. Strasburg is second in the National League in wins (seven) while sporting a 2.80 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning, while Harvey is tied for the league lead in losses (six), with a 5.77 ERA and a career-low strikeout rate.

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Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Legend of Bartolo grows larger with age

On his 43rd birthday, baseball's oldest player more colorful than ever

Legend of Bartolo grows larger with age

Baseball's oldest player turns 43 today, and Bartolo Colon's career would be enthralling enough if sheer longevity were his only calling card.

But of course, Big Bart -- or Big Sexy, if you prefer -- has given us so much more. The lost helmets. The belly jiggle. The fascinating fielding prowess. And of course, the shocking shot heard 'round the world.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. Reporters Anthony DiComo, Jane Lee and Bryan Hoch contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets heavy on sluggers even without Duda

Wright, Cespedes, Walker go deep in win against Nationals

Mets heavy on sluggers even without Duda

WASHINGTON -- Depth is not necessarily linear. For example: the Mets lost a first baseman on Monday, placing Lucas Duda on the disabled list for the foreseeable future. As assistant general manager John Ricco put it, "We're not going to be able to replace Lucas internally. We're losing one of our better players. It's not like we have another Lucas Duda in the organization."

But the Mets do have other power hitters. So while they may not be particularly deep at first base, as evidenced by the fact that they are considering moving Michael Conforto or even David Wright to the position, they are deep with sluggers. The Mets proved that for the umpteenth time on Monday, bashing three homers en route to a 7-1 win over the Nationals.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

More for Thor: Righty earns 2nd weekly award

Syndergaard named NL's top player with back-to-back starts on par with Doc

More for Thor: Righty earns 2nd weekly award

WASHINGTON -- Noah Syndergaard's week was impressive enough to invoke statistical comparisons to Dwight Gooden, Nolan Ryan and Clayton Kershaw. So it was only natural that it was also strong enough to earn him National League Player of the Week honors. Major League Baseball made the announcement Monday, a day after Syndergaard capped a two-start week with a 2-0 record, a 0.00 ERA, 21 strikeouts and zero walks.

On Tuesday, Syndergaard outpitched Nationals ace Max Scherzer with seven scoreless innings in a 2-0 Mets victory. Five days later, he beat the Brewers, 3-1, allowing just an unearned run with 11 strikeouts in seven innings.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Paul Hagen

Hagen: Panic concerning Harvey overblown

Mets righty needs to show signs of improvement, but he has time to turn things around

Hagen: Panic concerning Harvey overblown

WASHINGTON -- The hot takes have been flying. The anonymous scouts have been polled. Calipers have been used on every bit of Matt Harvey's velocity, statistics and mechanics than can be measured. That which can't be quantified -- his psyche, his confidence -- has been speculated on at length.

All of which has left the impression that the 27-year-old Mets right-hander will be making the biggest start of his career when he takes the mound opposite the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg on Tuesday night at Nationals Park. That he needs to dial up the sort of dominance that used to be his norm. Or else.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

43 reasons to love Bartolo on his 43rd birthday

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43 reasons to love Bartolo on his 43rd birthday

On May 24, 1973, the world was given a great gift: Bartolo Colon was born. On Tuesday, Colon celebrates his 43rd birthday -- 43 years spent pitching, laughing, hitting dingers and bringing joy to us all. The right-hander got the party going early during his start against the Nats on Monday, giving up just five hits and one run over seven innings in the Mets' 7-1 victory. In order to truly celebrate the 19-year vet, we've compiled 43 reasons why he is the best. Check 'em out below.

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Knight looking forward to 1986 Mets reunion

World Series MVP says team had a 'closeness that was unsurpassed'

Knight looking forward to 1986 Mets reunion

WASHINGTON -- Ray Knight has a lot of fond memories of the 1986 Mets, who won the World Series in seven games over the Red Sox. Knight was the everyday third baseman for New York that year, and he finds it hard to believe that he won the World Series MVP 30 years ago this October.

Knight often thinks about those glory days. To him, it seems like they happened recently, until he looks at his daughter, Erinn, who was born in May 1986. That's when he says, "No way. That was a long time ago."

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Franco to represent Mets at Draft

Franco to represent Mets at Draft

Twenty-three former All-Stars. The winningest pitcher in postseason history. Three pitchers who tossed perfect games. A Most Valuable Player, a Rookie of the Year, a Hall of Fame manager and a Hall of Fame broadcaster.

They will be among team representatives on the floor at MLB Network's Studio 42 when the 2016 MLB Draft gets underway on June 9.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets share diamond with kids for Play Ball

Mets share diamond with kids for Play Ball

NEW YORK -- When Mets players ran out to their respective spots on the diamond Sunday afternoon at Citi Field, they found they were not alone.

Local youth baseball players joined the Mets at each position as part of Major League Baseball's Play Ball initiative, chatting with their professional counterparts before Noah Syndergaard began throwing his warmup pitches.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Thor of the same: Ace K's 11 as Mets sweep

Thor of the same: Ace K's 11 as Mets sweep

NEW YORK -- Needing a win to enter this coming week's showdown in Washington with some momentum, the Mets on Sunday let their recently minted ace carry them to one.

Quite clearly New York's best pitcher at this juncture of the season, Noah Syndergaard struck out 11 batters en route to a 3-1 win over the Brewers at Citi Field. Allowing nothing more than an unearned run in seven innings, Syndergaard walked nobody and allowed six hits, dominating Milwaukee to win his third straight start. He owns a 0.82 ERA, 27 strikeouts and one walk over that stretch.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Brewers on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rivera on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Rivera on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

The latest edition of MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week, for the week of May 16-22, is highlighted by a trio of 20-year-old prospects in Willy Adames, Cody Bellinger and Jamie Westbrook, all of whom have excelled this season against older competition in their first tastes of the Double-A level.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Syndergaard 'on his way' to being elite pitcher

Mets righty notches second straight outing of double-digit K's with no walks

Syndergaard 'on his way' to being elite pitcher

NEW YORK -- Veterans in the Mets' clubhouse agree: The term "ace" is thrown about too lightly in today's game. Some fans believe every club has an ace. Purists tend to opine that in all of baseball, only six or seven such pitchers exist.

"When I think of ace, I think of the team's elite," Mets third baseman David Wright said. "I don't just think of a team's No. 1 starter. There's a handful out there. Not every team has one."

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fight for your Wright: Capt. stages walk-off party

Mets third baseman puts struggles aside for now, sets off wild celebration

Fight for your Wright: Capt. stages walk-off party

NEW YORK -- Had David Wright glanced into the Citi Field dugout, or at third-base coach Tim Teufel down the line, he would have seen that his superiors were freeing him to swing away. The Mets were stuck in a tie game, had been for most of Saturday, but Wright was batting with a 3-0 count and every base occupied. Fearing the take sign, he just didn't look.

Wright was also stuck in 3-for-31 slump, striking out roughly one out of every two trips to the plate, even eliciting a smattering of boos following his third at-bat Saturday. He knew that his best chance to shove all of that away, if only for a day, might well be a 3-0 fastball. So Wright dug in, leering at the pitcher, then laced Michael Blazek's obligatory heater into right-center field for a walk-off single.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cespedes continues tear with game-tying blast

Cespedes continues tear with game-tying blast

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes had bounded out of the Mets' dugout and was already there, waiting to wrap David Wright in a bear hug when the Mets' captain rounded first base on his walk-off hit that gave New York a 5-4 win against the Brewers. Watching the euphoria in Cespedes' reaction, it was easy to forget that the Mets, once again, might well not have been at that point without him.

Cespedes hit another home run Saturday at Citi Field, a game-tying big fly in the sixth inning that let Wright have his stage in the bottom of the ninth. Cespedes' 14th long ball of the season, which arced high and tucked just inside the left-field foul pole, pulled him back into a tie for the Major League lead with Colorado's Nolan Arenado.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wright sends Mets to first walk-off win of 2016

Wright sends Mets to first walk-off win of 2016

NEW YORK -- David Wright's season has so far been a cocktail of frustration and exasperation, his baseball worth inextricably linked to the health of his back. He has been the subject of boos and howls, talk-radio callers taking pocket knives to his reputation.

But Wright is still the captain, one of the most well-respected Mets ever to step foot on Flushing soil. So the entire Mets team was elated when Wright's difficult season swung dramatically upward Saturday, his walk-off RBI single leading them to a 5-4 win over the Brewers at Citi Field. It was Wright's franchise-record ninth career walk-off RBI, giving the Mets their first walk-off victory since Wilmer Flores' game-winning homer last July 31.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Brewers on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reed, Teufel take part in Mets' Play Ball clinic

Reed, Teufel take part in Mets' Play Ball clinic

NEW YORK -- About 100 kids gathered in Hinton Park in Corona, Queens, on Saturday morning, Citi Field just a few blocks away, as the Mets hosted a youth baseball clinic as part of Major League Baseball's Play Ball initiative.

In attendance at the clinic were Mets setup man Addison Reed and third-base coach Tim Teufel, who coached the Jr. Mets Kids participants at stations for hitting, pitching and fielding. With the upper reaches of the stadium visible through the trees behind them, Teufel rolled the kids ground balls, Reed inspected their pitching motions and Mr. Met smiled approvingly as they took swings.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets slot Harvey in for Tuesday after sim game

Mets slot Harvey in for Tuesday after sim game

NEW YORK -- As teammates clambered to the top step of the dugout, Matt Harvey took the mound Saturday amid an unusual scene at Citi Field. Throwing multiple innings in a simulated game, Harvey put in the extra work that he hopes will help him begin climbing out of his career-worst funk.

A good chunk of the Mets' clubhouse, including several players and coaches, spilled out to the field to watch Harvey's session. Throwing all of his pitches, Harvey faced a tandem of right-handed infielder Matt Reynolds and left-handed first-base coach Tom Goodwin, who took turns swinging away. Reynolds smacked one pitch on a few hops to the left-field wall.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matz eases elbow concerns with brisk gem

After skipping a start, Mets lefty works quickly over 7 innings of 2-run ball

Matz eases elbow concerns with brisk gem

NEW YORK -- Earlier this week, Steven Matz stepped into the usual Manhattan office and underwent the typical battery of tests. Doctors took X-ray images of his left elbow. They gave him a CT scan. They sent him through an MRI tube. Afterward, they shot Matz full of cortisone to heal what discomfort he had been feeling in his prized left arm.

All tests came back negative, which eased Matz's mind, and he felt well enough to throw off a mound two days later. But until Friday's 3-2 win over the Brewers, Matz had not tested his clean bill of health in a game. He had not yet overcome the mental hurdle of standing in front of 36,239 people at Citi Field, rearing back and letting it rip.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Opposite-field homer a good sign for Conforto

Mets' lefty-swinging outfielder hits first HR to left in '16 after 5 the other way in '15

Opposite-field homer a good sign for Conforto

NEW YORK -- Until Friday night at Citi Field, Michael Conforto hadn't homered once to left field this season. Not even in his red-hot April, when he hit .365, and certainly not in his ice-cold May, a month in which he had been hitting .158 and not driving much of anything the other way.

However, in the Mets' series-opening 3-2 win over the Brewers, Conforto put one out to the opposite field -- a go-ahead two-run shot on a 95-mph Wily Peralta fastball that was down but over the middle of the plate.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets hold Play Ball parade around Citi Field

Club celebrating its participation in the program this weekend

Mets hold Play Ball parade around Citi Field

NEW YORK -- The Mets kicked off their participation in this year's MLB Play Ball program with a parade around the warning track for youth baseball and softball players before Friday's game against the Brewers at Citi Field. Players donned uniforms of all colors, styles and allegiances, parading from Citi's left-field corner to the right-field line.

Though last weekend was MLB's official Play Ball Weekend, the Mets are celebrating now because they were on the road at the time. Reliever Addison Reed, outfielder Juan Lagares and third-base coach Tim Teufel will host a Play Ball clinic for over 100 children Saturday in Corona to highlight the Mets' participation in the program. The team will also donate baseballs and softballs to approximately 70 local youth leagues, and pair up with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund to collect equipment for underserved communities.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets ride Matz, Conforto to win over Brewers

Mets ride Matz, Conforto to win over Brewers

NEW YORK -- Needing a victory to shove memories of Matt Harvey and this week's Nationals series firmly into the past, the Mets turned Friday to two of their budding stars. Steven Matz pitched seven sharp innings to win his sixth consecutive start, and Michael Conforto delivered the decisive two-run homer in a 3-2 triumph over the Brewers at Citi Field.

Making his first start since skipping an outing due to left elbow soreness, Matz fell into an early hole when Chris Carter hit a two-run homer off him in the first. But the left-hander retired 15 in a row after that, cruising through seven innings with eight strikeouts and no walks.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Brewers on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Students take center stage at Harlem RBI

Mets, Brewers focus on fun aspects of baseball at annual event

Students take center stage at Harlem RBI

HARLEM, N.Y. -- It may not be Citi Field or Yankee Stadium, but for a couple hours Friday afternoon, the epicenter of New York baseball was the Harlem R.B.I. baseball complex.

New York Mets Curtis Granderson and Eric Campbell, as well as a handful of Milwaukee Brewers -- including Chris Capuano, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Zach Davies -- joined together in Harlem on Friday with the students from the New York Center for Autism Charter School to teach, encourage and play with the children over an afternoon of baseball. The event, which is now in its fourth year, featured makeshift hitting, fielding and running drills run by the players, who traded their competitive edges for a mentality of fun -- something that obviously showed through in their actions.

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Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets fall in rout as Nats take series at Citi

Mets fall in rout as Nats take series at Citi

NEW YORK -- It was supposed to be power vs. power between Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey, but it turned out to be a one-sided affair as the Nationals pounded the Mets, 9-1, at Citi Field on Thursday night. The Nationals took two out of three games in the series between National League East rivals and remain in first place in the division, one game ahead of the Phillies.

"This means I would like to do the same thing in Miami. We are just starting this road trip, so we have to keep it rolling," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "We have some guys that are starting to swing the bat pretty good in the series."

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Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York and covered the Mets on Thursday.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.