May 27

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #46; Santana and the broom.

SANTANA: Mets' fiery leader.

SANTANA: Mets' fiery leader.

The Mets go for the sweep tonight of the Washington Nationals. The Mets have been in this spot before, on the verge of a sweep against an inferior opponent, but somehow manage to stumble.

The odds of doing so tonight are greatly reduced with Johan Santana pitching. Santana is coming off an emotional victory last Friday over the Boston Red Sox.

Daniel Murphy is back at first base tonight, with Fernando Martinez batting seventh and playing right field.

For as long as Jose Reyes is out, it looks as if Angel Pagan will get the lion’s share of the time as the leadoff hitter whenever he’s in the line-up. Luis Castillo took a few turns there, but manager Jerry Manuel likes him batting second, which I have advocated all along.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Ramon Castro, C
Fernando Martinez, RF
Ramon Martinez, SS
Johan Santana P

Note: Carlos Beltran, who took a cortisone injection in his knee, is on target to return Friday. … Omir Santos was scratched with a bruised shin. … Oliver Perez’s knee is still bothering him. … Four of tonight’s starters weren’t on the Opening Day roster.