Nationals after lucky seven vs. Mets

Nationals hope No. 7 is lucky number vs. Mets

The Nationals will be trying to win their seventh consecutive game when they return to Robert F. Kennedy Stadium to play a four-game series against the Mets starting on Monday afternoon.

The last time the two teams met was May 29-June 1, with the Nationals taking two out of three games at RFK.

In Game 1 on Monday, John Patterson will face the Mets for the second time this season. On May 1, Patterson pitched six innings, giving up three runs, striking out four and walking three. Patterson did not figure in the decision as the Nationals lost the game, 6-3.

In his last start, Patterson pitched five innings, giving up two runs on three hits against the Pirates as the Nationals prevailed, 3-2.

On Sunday, Brian Schneider's home run in the top of the 12th inning helped the Nationals defeat the Cubs, 5-4, and sweep the three-game series in front of 40,006 at Wrigley Field.

The last time the Nationals swept the Cubs at Wrigley Field was back in June 3-5, 1994, when they were known as the Expos.

Pitching matchup
NYM: LHP Kazuhisa Ishii
• 2-7, 5.68 ERA in 2005
• 2-0, 2.70 ERA vs. WAS in 2004

WAS: RHP John Patterson
• 3-2, 3.17 ERA in 2005
• 0-0, 4.50 ERA vs. NYM in 2005

Player to watch
Infielder Rick Short is looking to make his first start in the big leagues. He is 1-for-2 with an RBI this season. If he is to play the field, Short likely will get the time at first base.

"He has been coming on. He has been getting good pitches to hit, and he is putting good swings on the pitches. He has an idea what he wants to do up at home plate." -- Manager Frank Robinson, on Schneider's recent hitting success

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
Official game notes

On television

On radio
• NYM: WFAN 660-AM
• WAS: WFED 1050-AM

Quick hits
Washington is 20-21 on the road this season. ... The Nationals are 3-3 against the Mets in 2005. ... The Nationals are 44-1, when they have the lead after eight innings. ... The Nationals are 6-2 in series sweeps. ... Washington is 3-0 during the month of July. ... The Nationals are 9-4 on Sundays and 5-6 on Mondays.

On deck
• Tuesday: vs. Mets, 7:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: vs. Mets, 7:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: vs. Mets, 1:05 p.m. ET

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.