New York Mets Michael Conforto is helped into the clubhouse by team trainer Ray Ramirez after injuring himself swinging his bat during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Mets and Nationals Face in Early NL East Duel

The NL East-leading Mets face the Washington Nationals for their first road trip of 2018 and it marks the season debut of Met’s outfielder Michael Conforto.

The Mets (4-1)  are coming off a two-game sweep of Philadelphia and the Nationals (4-2) just dropped two out of three to Atlanta. Each team is led by first-year managers in Mickey Callaway for NY and Dave Martinez. The Nationals face the highest expectations in the division, after firing their manager who lead them to a 97-win season.

New York gets a huge boost with Conforto, who was thought to be out until May 1. He hit 27 home runs in just 109 games last year.

https://twitter.com/Mets/status/981917403654344704

The Nationals are led by Bryce Harper who already has 4 home runs through the first 6 games. Nat’s left fielder Adam Eaton, who missed most of 2017 with a torn ACL, won NL player of the week honors last week by going 8-13 with two home runs.

Noah Syndergaard knows it’s an important series even it’s early in the NL East race.

Probable Starters

Game 1:  Jacob deGrom vs. Stephen Strasburg 

deGrom will look for his second win of the year Thursday at 1 P.M. He went 5.2 innings and allowed 1 run and 7 Ks in a 6-2 win over St. Louis. He dealt with some command issues he’ll look to clean up in this start.

Strasburg struck out seven in 6.1 innings of one-hit ball in a win over the Reds.

Game 2: Steven Matz vs. Gio Gonzalez

The teams have a day off on Friday before facing off at 1 PM on Saturday. Matz didn’t make it far during his first start, going four innings and giving up three runs and walking three in a loss.

Gonzalez, went six innings giving up one run in a win for Washington.

Game 3: Matt Harvey vs. Tanner Roark

Harvey faces Roark on Sunday Night Baseball at 8 PM, coming off one of his best performances in recent memory. He threw five innings of shutout ball in a no-decision (that the Mets went on to win).

Roark, the National’s fourth starter, threw seven innings of one-hit ball in a win against the Braves his first start.

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