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Morning Briefing: And now the rookies face the Nats

NEW YORK -- After failing to win the series opener Friday with their stud on the mound, the New York Mets now turn to a pair of rookies.

Robert Gsellman will face Washington Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field. Seth Lugo then starts Sunday’s series finale.

With 27 games remaining in their season, the Mets (69-66) remain two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League’s second wild-card spot.

SATURDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • Jacob deGrom's next start will be skipped in Cincinnati on Tuesday. DeGrom had an MRI on Friday that the Mets said showed forearm inflammation but no structural damage. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Noah Syndergaard limited the Nationals to two runs in seven innings, but was dissatisfied with his early mechanics in what became a 4-1 loss to the Nationals on Friday. Washington was 4-for-4 in steal attempts against Syndergaard. Asdrubal Cabrera's solo homer accounted for the Mets’ lone run. Cabrera is hitting .435 (20-for-46) with four doubles, six homers and 14 RBIs in 14 games since returning from the disabled list. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Steven Matz is due to resume throwing Monday in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Matz remains on the DL with an impingement in his pitching shoulder.

  • P.J. Conlon tossed five scoreless innings and David Thompson homered twice as St. Lucie clinched its first playoff berth since 2012 with a 9-2 victory against Jupiter. Matt Reynolds' tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth lifted Las Vegas to a 5-4 win at Salt Lake. Nabil Crismatt pitched well in his Double-A debut, but Binghamton was shut out for the second straight game with a 2-0 loss to Erie. Blake Tiberi and Michael Paez had four hits apiece in Brooklyn’s 11-1 win against Aberdeen. Read the full minor league recap here.

  • David Wright is thrilled to have Jose Reyes back with the Mets, Roger Rubin writes in Newsday. Said Wright: “It’s like having a -- I would say twin, but I’m much better-looking -- brother. There’s times we’ve gotten after each other. There’s times we’ve celebrated with each other. There’s times where we made mistakes. But it always comes back to being one of the closest relationships I have in baseball. I’m glad we get a chance to have a Part 2.”

  • Columnist Anthony Rieber in Newsday opines about the Mets’ MASH unit.

  • James Wagner in the Times looks at the Mets’ musical tastes.

  • Tyler Kepner in the Times looks at what Daniel Murphy has meant to the Nationals. “Did I think he was going to hit .350? Probably not,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo tells Kepner. “That’s too much to hope for. But we thought that he would be a really dynamic player whose skill set would fit well for us.”

  • Wright and Edgardo Alfonzo visited a Manhattan firehouse Friday. Read more at MLB.com.

  • From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear contemplates how seasons change. ... Mets Report looks at the domino effect of the Mets not re-signing Murphy.

BIRTHDAYS: Ced Landrum turns 53. ... Corey Oswalt is 23.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: Who should start Tuesday in place of deGrom -- Gabriel Ynoa, Rafael Montero, Logan Verrett or someone else?