So far, rookie Jon Niese has been the Mets' most consistent pitcher this season, lasting at least five full innings in all six starts. He'll be going tonight against the Nationals, who are the only NL East team he never has faced.

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Niese (1-1, 3.60 ERA) struggled a little bit in his last outing, allowing 12 hits in six innings in Cincinnati, but he gave up only four runs, working out of jams several times in a no-decision. In seven career starts at Citi Field, Niese has yet to win a game (0-2, 3.79) even though he's yielded only one home run in 35.1 innings while striking out 31. Opposing teams have managed 44 hits and 15 earned runs off him in that span.

The Mets will be facing Washington lefthander Scott Olsen (2-1, 3.54), who took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning in his last start against Atlanta only to come away with a no-decision. Olsen ultimately allowed one run on two hits and struck out eight. When this season began, Olsen was playing for AAA Syracuse, but he was called up for a start on April 15 and has pitched well since then. He had a scoreless streak of 20.1 innings before finally allowing a run to the Braves. Olsen had problems with his velocity in spring training, but his fastball is back into the 90s now, and he has mixed in his slider effectively.