No team in the league has done a more thorough job than the Nationals when it comes to exposing the Mets' flaws.
In 18 meetings last season, the Mets finished just 4-14 against their division rivals, easily their poorest showing against any other club in the National League. But with Sunday's 2-0 victory at Citi Field, the Mets took two of three from the Nationals, scoring their first series victory against Washington since September 2011.
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"You've got to take care of business at home, you've got to take care of business within the division," Mets captain David Wright said. "And we accomplished both those in this series."
"It's kind of a win for a mini-battle," Wright said following the confidence-building victory. "There's going to be a lot more to come. But it was a good test for us."
Marcum to start?
Shaun Marcum's long-awaited Mets debut might be in less than a week. Assuming no setbacks, the Mets have the veteran righthander slated to return Saturday, which is the next time the Mets need a fifth starter in the rotation. Marcum, 31, has been sidelined since the middle of March with a variety of maladies.
Lefthander Aaron Laffey would have been the most likely alternative to make the start Saturday. However, Laffey was designated for assignment to make room for lefty Robert Carson, who was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to bolster the bullpen.