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Washington Nationals’ lineup for second of three with New York Mets: Stephen Strasburg vs Noah Syndergaard in Citi Field...

Stephen Strasburg and Noah Syndergaard go head-to-head (for a few innings at least) in the second of three for the Nationals in New York...

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Noah Syndergaard returns to the mound in the majors tonight for the first time since he walked off the field in Nationals Park back in late April with what was diagnosed as a partially torn lat muscle.

New York Mets’ skipper Terry Collins talked at the time about the fact that the hard-throwing right-hander had attempted to pitch through pain for the sake of his team when he ended up getting hurt.

"Heroes die real fast in baseball," Collins said, as quoted by NJ.com’s Abbey Mastracco.

"You've got to understand that this is not a race, this is a long, long journey. I can afford to lose you for a start or two, but I can't afford to lose you for five starts. It's tough to replace these guys. It's all been explained, and it was explained to Noah when we skipped him."

Five months later, following two starts and a total of just three innings of work in the minors, Syndergaard returns the mound in the majors tonight to face the Nationals in the second game of three in Citi Field.

Syndergaard told reporters this week, as quoted by MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, that he’s put in a lot of work to get back for a couple starts late this season.

“I spent those three or four months rehabbing. At this point right now, if they're just going to shut me down, really what was the point of all that? I feel like I've worked hard in the rehab process. I just want to be able to get out there and prove that I can come back from that kind of injury healthy."

The Washington Nationals send Stephen Strasburg out to the mound tonight in the second game of three in New York.

Strasburg heads into tonight’s outing with a five-start unbeaten streak, over which he’s given up just one earned run in 35 innings (0.26 ERA), with six walks, 41 Ks, and a stingy .167/.213/.208 line against over that stretch.

HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE 2ND OF 3 WITH THE METS IN NY: