Mets brace for Scherzer, Nationals

NEW YORK — New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway said he thinks his ace pitcher, Jacob deGrom, should start for the National League in next week’s All-Star Game.

But Callaway and the Mets are almost surely going to see the NL’s starter Thursday night, when Max Scherzer takes the mound for the Washington Nationals in the opener of a four-game series at Citi Field.

Scherzer (11-5, 2.33 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Mets left-hander Steven Matz (4-6, 3.31).

The Nationals were blanked Wednesday afternoon, when they fell to the host Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0. A few hours later, deGrom made one more impressive pitch to start the All-Star Game when he tossed eight scoreless innings against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies.

However, in what has become a theme of deGrom’s season, he didn’t earn a win for his efforts, though the Mets did eke out a 3-0, 10-inning victory thanks to Brandon Nimmo’s three-run homer.

DeGrom, who was named to the All-Star team along with Scherzer on Sunday, finishes the first half 5-4 with a major league-leading 1.68 ERA. The 30-year-old right-hander has a 1.28 ERA in 15 starts dating back to April 21.

“He should be starting the All-Star Game,” Callaway said afterward. “That’s how I feel about him. There’s no doubt in my mind, if he’s not (starting), then that’s the

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