Nationals Vs. Mets: Matchup Of Lefties Opens Weekend Series

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 4: Starting pitcher Ross Detwiler #48 of the Washington Nationals works the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 4, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Ross Detwiler meets Johan Santana in the opener of a three-game series at Nationals Park Friday evening.

The Washington Nationals are sitting in relative comfort at the moment with the best record in baseball at 73-45 and a four-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. On Friday, they begin a three-game series against a team that has headed in a completely opposite direction since the All-Star Break. The New York Mets are 10-21 since the midway point of the season compared to 23-11 for the Nats.

The Mets are well out of the playoff hunt at the moment, but they are coming off a potentially uplifting 8-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night that saw rookie Matt Harvey strike out eight and give up just one run in 7 2/3 innings. The Nats took two out of three against the San Francisco Giants, including a 6-4 win Wednesday, setting up what could be a hotly-contested series.

You can check out the full series schedule, with starting pitchers, below:

Game 1: Fri., Aug. 17, 7:05 p.m. ET Starting pitchers: Ross Detwiler (6-5, 3.18 ERA) vs. Johan Santana (6-8, 4.58)

Game 2: Sat., Aug. 18, 7:05 p.m. ET Starting pitchers: Edwin Jackson (7-7, 3.74 ERA) vs. Jon Niese (9-6, 3.67)

Game 3: Sun., Aug. 18, 1:35 p.m. ET Starting pitchers: Gio Gonzalez (15-6, 3.29 ERA) vs. Jeremy Hefner (2-4, 4.76)

For more on the Nationals, check out Federal Baseball and stay tuned to SB Nation D.C. Head over to Amazin' Avenue and SB Nation New York for more on the Mets.

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