Published September 11, 2013
| Sports Network
Rookie right-hander Zack Wheeler aims for a second defeat of the Washington Nationals in 12 days on Wednesday, when the New York Mets host them for the third game of a four-game series at Citi Field.
The 23-year-old, a former first-round pick of the San Francisco Giants, was an 11-3 winner over the Nationals on Aug. 31 after going 6 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Wheeler took an 8-1 loss at Cleveland in one subsequent start to fall to 7-4 as a rookie.
He's 2-3 in six starts at Citi Field this season, the last of which came Aug. 26 and ended in a 2-1 loss to Philadelphia. Wheeler's last home win was six days earlier against Atlanta.
Overall, in two previous meetings with the Nationals, he is 1-1 and has given up seven runs on 11 hits in 11 1/3 innings of work, holding Washington batters to a .250 average.
For the visitors, veteran righty Dan Haren tries to end a two-start skid in which he's failed to last past three full innings.
The California native was ripped for nine hits in seven runs in just 2 2/3 innings against the Mets on Aug. 31 in an 11-3 loss, which dropped him to 2-3 in 10 career meetings with New York.
In one subsequent outing, Haren, who'll turn 33 next week, allowed five runs on six hits in just three innings while dropping a 7-0 decision at Miami.
His last win came Aug. 20 at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs and he's just 3-8 in 15 road outings in 2013 with a 4.63 ERA in 81 2/3 innings.
On Tuesday, Jordan Zimmermann won his NL-leading 17th game and Jayson Werth smacked a solo homer in the Nationals' 6-3 triumph.
Zimmermann (17-8) surrendered three runs on eight hits and a walk over five- plus frames, while Werth tallied three hits, two RBI and two runs scored for the Nationals, who have won 17 of their last 21 games against the Mets at Citi Field.
Adam LaRoche cracked a solo shot and former Met Scott Hairston belted a two- run blast in the victory.
Dillon Gee (11-10) allowed four runs on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings for New York, which has dropped seven of its last nine.
The Nationals won eight of the first 15 games with the Mets in 2013, though New York took two of three in a series from Aug. 30-Sept. 1.