NEW YORK -- An early September series last season between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals laid the groundwork for the Mets trip to the World Series while spelling the end of the Nationals playoff hopes.Washington hopes to return the favor this weekend.The National League East-leading Nationals head to New York on Friday for the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field. Washington, which was off Thursday, enters on a three-game winning streak following a sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies this week. The Mets had their three-game winning streak snapped in a 6-4 loss to the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.Unlike a year ago, the NL East is not up for grabs as September begins. Last season, New York entered a three-game series that began on Labor Day with a four-game lead but swept Washington and never trailed by fewer than six games the rest of the way.Now, the Nationals (78-55) lead the second-place Mets (69-65) by 9 1/2 games and are already playing with October in mind. The Nationals/Montreal Expos franchise has not won a playoff series since 1981, the longest drought in the big four sports.I think were starting to jell a little bit, Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth said Wednesday following Washingtons 2-1 win over the Phillies. Once we get into about halfway through September, I hope were hitting on all cylinders and we can carry that through as long as we can.While a second consecutive division title appears out of reach, the Mets also enter the weekend with hopes of reaching the postseason. New York won nine of its past 12 games to move within two games of the St. Louis Cardinals in the race for the NLs second wild card.If the Mets are to return to the playoffs, they will have to do so with a piecemeal roster. Five of the 10 players who took the field against the Kansas City Royals on Opening Day are out for the season, including second baseman Neil Walker, who confirmed Thursday he soon will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back.In addition, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (left knee) and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (right quad) were each on the disabled list in August are likely going to need semi-regular days off down the stretch. Neither player started Thursday, though Cabrera hit a two-run, pinch-hit home run in the ninth, an inning after Cespedes struck out as a pinch hitter.Its a tough situation -- thats exactly what it is, Mets manager Terry Collins said. Thats part of the gig, and thats why weve got backup players here.Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard (12-7, 2.55 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound Friday against Nationals right-hander A.J. Cole (0-1, 4.97 ERA).Syndergaard, who ranks third in the NL in ERA, has allowed a total of three earned runs while winning each of his past three starts. In three starts against the Nationals this year, he is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA. He has a 2-2 record and a 3.12 ERA in six career starts vs. Washington.Cole, who will be making his third start of the season and his fourth as a major-leaguer, has never faced the Mets. In his most recent outing, he gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings during a no-decision against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday.Cheap Kobe Bryant Shoes . Rousey will put her perfect 8-0 record and hardware on the line against another undefeated fighter, 7-0 Sara McMann in the main event of UFC 170, which will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas Nevada on February 22nd. Kobe Bryant Shoes Deals . Darren Helm scored on Detroits sixth attempt in the shootout and then Jonas Gustavsson stopped Andrew Shaws shot, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night. https://www.cheapkobebryantshoes.com/ . 9. Price, heading to the 2014 Olympics for Canada, was named the First Star after posting wins in three starts with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .971 save percentage. Clearance Kobe Bryant Shoes .Y. -- Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone has drawn on his Syracuse connections once again by hiring Rob Moore to take over as receivers coach. Kobe Bryant Shoes From China .Y. -- Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone has drawn on his Syracuse connections once again by hiring Rob Moore to take over as receivers coach.OPELIKA, Ala. -- Jhonattan Vegas failed to qualify for the British Open, relegating the Venezuelan Olympic qualifier to the Barbasol Championship. So far, it has worked out quite well.In far gentler conditions Friday morning than his peers faced across the Atlantic, Vegas shot a course-record 11-under 60, making a hole-in-one, another eagle and two closing birdies. He pumped his fist when his final 12-foot birdie putt dropped in on the par-4 ninth.You have to celebrate a round like this, Vegas said. They dont come that often and every chance you do it, I just have to celebrate it.Tied for the first-round lead with Angel Cabrera after a 65 on Grand Nationals Lake Course, Vegas had a six-stroke lead and a 17-under 125 total -- a shot off the PGA Tour record for strokes in the first two rounds.In a great place, no question about it, Vegas said. Theres still a lot of golf to be played.He missed a chance to become the seventh PGA Tour player to shoot 59.When I got to 8 under, I actually let myself think a little bit about 59, Vegas said. Its a lot of pressure and, two, its real demanding because you always want to keep it going, you dont want to feel like you want to protect the score. At the same time you, just want to shoot as low as you can.Vegas played a six-hole stretch on his first nine in 7 under. He started with a birdie on the par-3 12th, made a 12-footer for his second straight eagle on the par-5 13th, birdied the par-4 14th and 15th and par-5 16th, and capped the run with the ace on the 17th.I had a perfect number, 190 yards is my 7-iron, Vegas said. I hit a great 7-iron. I mean, high, right at it, turning toward the pin and I knew it was going to be fairly close but never expected to go in. It was just a great feeling seeing that ball ggo in.ddddddddddddOn his second nine, Vegas birdied the par-4 second, bogeyed the par-4 fourth, and birdied the par-5 fifth. He made a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-3 eighth and the 12-footer on the ninth.Obviously, Im 10 under coming to nine. I know that Im striking the ball well and I just wanted to be aggressive. That was my whole mentality coming into nine. I had 170 yards and hit a full 9-iron as far as I could and was able to make a great putt for a phenomenal round.Vegas has played the three par-5 holes in 8 under, making an eagle and two birdies each day. He won the 2011 Bob Hope Classic for his lone tour title.Hudson Swafford was second at 11 under after a 63. He had an eagle, eight birdies and a double bogey.Saw Jhonny Vegas shot 60 today, thats unbelievable, Swafford said. But I feel like I played pretty well today just to kind of maybe put a little heat on him on the weekend with some birdies. I dont want just to sit around and try to make a bunch of pars so yeah, Im pretty happy with todays round.Former Auburn player Michael Johnson shot a 65 to reach 10 under in his pro debut.David Toms, along with Cabrera the only major champions in the field, had a 66 to join Tim Herron (63), Kyle Reifers (65), Andres Gonzales (65), Roberto Castro (66) and Chesson Hadle (66) at 9 under. Herron holed out for eagle from 166 yards on the par-4 first.Cabrera was 11 strokes back at 6 under after a 71.Hunter Mahan missed the cut with rounds of 74 and 70 in his first event since the birth of his third child.The winner will get a two-year exemption and a spot in the PGA Championship, but will not be exempt for the Masters. ' ' '