Mets Rumors & News
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The big news coming out of Queens is word that Billy Wagner is done for the season, and most likely next year too, as he’ll need Tommy John surgery. And that will probably be the end of Wagner’s career with the Mets. The Mets will look to former Nationals reliever Luis Ayala to continue filling the role of closer. The 30-year-old right-hander is 1-0 with five saves, a 2.70 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 10 games with the Mets. For his career he has 14 saves, a 3.31 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. The Mets have been winning without Wagner for the last month (and I don’t think anybody was really counting on him coming back so this isn’t a complete shock to the team) but it’s more like hanging on than thriving. While the bullpen hasn’t given up an earned run in 24 straight innings, they’d still be better off with Wagner. But at least they have a lot of experience without him now. Thank god for Ayala and Brian Stokes. And with John Maine really nowhere in sight (he may begin throwing next week, and his only chance of contributing this year would be in the bullpen, but I’d be surprised to see him back at all) and Pedro Martinez not even close to being the Pedro of old or any kind of Pedro for that matter, the Mets will have to do with a makeshift rotation. The off days this week will help, but they’re still going to need another starter to pitch about three games to fill out the season. Jerry Manuel will have his hands full.

Now that the Mets-Phillies madness is done for the year, the Nats zip into Queens for a quick two-game series. They did the Mets a big favor by beating Philadelphia two out of three last week. The Mets have six games left with Washington this year, so if they’re going to win the NL East, they have to beat up on the last-place team and not lose five out of six to them like they did at the end of last season. Since the last week in August, Washington is 10-3, so they’re no pushover right now. The Mets are 8-4 against them so far this year. And watch out for Anderson Hernandez. He’s batting .368 with six RBIs in 11 games. After hearing about Mike Schmidt’s e-mail to the Phillies, former Washington Senator Mike Epstein sent the Nationals an inspirational postcard telling them they’re not better than anyone, they’re completely out of it and to just give up.

Here are the pitching matchups:

Tuesday: John Lannan (8-13, 3.88) vs. Oliver Perez (10-7, 3.86)

Wednesday: Shairon Martis (0-1, 3.60) vs. Mike Pelfrey (13-9, 3.62)

Nationals vs. Mets:

Ronnie Belliard: .217, 0 HR, 0 RBI

Jesus Flores: .313, 0 HR, 4 RBI

Christian Guzman: .239, 0 HR, 3 RBI

Lastings Milledge: .158, 0 HR, 2 RBI

Ryan Zimmerman: .204, 2 HR, 6 RBI

Mets vs. Nationals:

Carlos Beltran: .311, 2 HR, 11 RBI

Ryan Church: .306, 2 HR, 9 RBI

Carlos Delgado: .128, 1 HR, 7 RBI

Jose Reyes: .316, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB

David Wright: .245, 2 HR, 7 RBI

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