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Mets fishing for a series win as they face the Marlins at Citi Field

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The Mets return home after a dreadful road trip to take on the team with the worst record in baseball.

MLB: New York Mets at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets (17-20) will make a quick pit stop at Citi Field for a three-game series against the last-place Miami Marlins (10-27) before heading back out on the road. During their 5-1 start to the 2019 season, the Mets swept Miami at Marlins Park. The Mets currently trail the first-place Philadelphia Phillies by 4.5 games.

Things did not go as planned for the lackluster Mets on their road trip, as they dropped two out of three to the San Diego Padres after getting unceremoniously swept by the Milwaukee Brewers last weekend. On Monday, the Mets were shut out for a second straight Jacob deGrom start, as Chris Paddack and Craig Stammen held them to four hits on the evening.

Noah Syndergaard had a rocky start on Tuesday, and the team fell behind 5-2 heading into the seventh inning. The offense finally woke up and roared back with three runs in the seventh before Pete Alonso hit a home run in the ninth inning that is still orbiting the Earth. The two-run blast gave the Mets a 7-5 lead, and the team held on for a 7-6 victory after Edwin Diaz gave a run back in the bottom of the ninth.

The Mets got their first look at Wilmer Font on Wednesday night, and the former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher gave the team four cromulent innings in a spot start. The game remained tied until the seventh, when Hunter Renfroe connected on a solo home run to put San Diego ahead for good. Once again, the club was unable to get the big hit, as the team put runners on second and third in the seventh before Tomas Nido and pinch hitter Todd Frazier struck out on six straight swinging strikes to end the threat. In the inning, Michael Conforto failed to score what would have been the go-ahead run from second base on a Brandon Nimmo double.

Despite the refreshing display of offense on Tuesday, the lineup continues to look putrid. Over the last two weeks, the Mets have a non-nice 69 wRC+, which ranks ahead of just the Washington Nationals and the Marlins among all National League clubs, while posting a collective -0.2 fWAR. The Mets should be getting Jed Lowrie back shortly, although he will not be ready for the Marlins series. According to Tim Healey, Lowrie will spend the weekend in Syracuse for additional rehab before the team can evaluate his progress. The Mets could use Lowrie’s reliable bat in the lineup, as he posted a 122 wRC+, an .801 OPS, and a 4.9 fWAR in 2018. Lowrie’s return will likely take playing time away from J.D. Davis and Frazier, both of whom are scuffling. Since May 1, Davis is 2-for-15 with no extra base hits. Meanwhile, Frazier is 1-for-20 with seven strikeouts since the start of May.

The Marlins took the opener of their four-game set against the National League Central-leading Cubs 6-5 before dropping the final three to fall to 17 games below .500. After trading one of their last real offensive threats in J.T. Realmuto over the offseason, the Marlins’ offense has been abysmal. They currently rank dead-last in baseball with a 66 wRC+, a .597 OPS, and a -1.6 fWAR. Former Met Neil Walker currently leads all Marlins batters with a 124 wRC+ and an .802 OPS.

Friday, May 10: Pablo Lopez vs. Zack Wheeler, 7:10 p.m. on SNY

Lopez (2019): 38.0 IP, 39 K, 9 BB, 2 HR, 4.03 ERA, 2.79 FIP, 1.08 WHIP

After an up-and-down April, Lopez broke out with one of his best starts of 2019 in a loss to the Atlanta Braves. Lopez tossed six shutout innings while striking out six and scattering three hits and one walk. His control was on point during the start, as he needed just 88 pitches and tossed 64% of them for strikes. He has also been able to keep the ball in the park much better than he did in his rookie campaign, and he currently owns the fourth-best HR/9 (0.47) among qualified National League starting pitchers after finishing 2018 with a 1.2 HR/9. So far, he’s only allowed a home run in one of his seven starts. He has also improved his K/9 to 9.2 after posting a 7.1 K/9 last season, while he’s lowered his BB/9 and his H/9 in 2019. Even with a 4.03 ERA, the 23-year-old has a terrific 2.79 FIP.

Wheeler (2019): 42.2 IP, 47 K, 18 BB, 3 HR, 4.64 ERA, 3.11 FIP, 1.34 WHIP

Wheeler bounced back from a subpar outing against the Cincinnati Reds to stifle the Brewers by allowing two earned runs on six hits over seven innings. He reached double-digit strikeouts for the second time in three starts and threw nearly 70% of his 111 pitches for strikes while walking just one batter. Wheeler continues to lower his ERA after struggling in his first two starts and is starting to look like the pitcher who dazzled in the second half last season. He has a chance to continue that trend against a weak Marlins team that Wheeler has continued to handle well in his career. In 11 career starts against Miami, Wheeler owns a 1.89 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP in 71.1 innings.

Saturday, May 11: Sandy Alcantara vs. Jacob deGrom, 7:10 p.m. on WPIX

Alcantara (2019): 38.1 IP, 27 K, 21 BB, 4 HR, 4.93 ERA, 4.72 FIP, 1.62 WHIP

Alcanatara was all over the place in his last outing against the Cubs. While he was able to limit the damage to three earned runs, he issued a season-high six free passes while striking out five in five innings of work. In total, he threw only 54% of his pitches for strikes, but his team was still able to earn a victory. Since tossing eight brilliant scoreless innings in his season debut, the 23-year-old has failed to record a quality start in his last six outings. Alcantara missed the Mets earlier this year, but he stymied New York in three starts against them last season. In total, he tossed 19 innings against the Mets in 2018 and allowed four earned runs on nine hits while striking out 18 and walking five.

deGrom (2019): 40.0 IP, 56 K, 13 BB, 6 HR, 3.60 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 1.15 WHIP

deGrom has looked a lot more like himself in his last two starts, as he’s put together two quality outings after struggling against the Brewers in his return on April 26. His last time out in San Diego, deGrom was a hard-luck loser as he held the Padres to two earned runs on four hits over seven innings. For the second straight start, the Mets offense put zero runs on the board with their ace on the mound, a trend that has unfortunately carried over from the 2018 season. Much like last year, it seems deGrom will need to put zeroes up on the board and contribute offensively if he hopes to get himself and the team a win in his starts.

Sunday, May 12: Caleb Smith vs. Noah Syndergaard, 1:10 p.m. on SNY

Smith (2019): 42.2 IP, 56 K, 12 BB, 5 HR, 2.11 ERA, 2.88 FIP, 0.89 WHIP

Smith has been one of the lone bright spots for the reeling Marlins in 2019. Through seven starts, he owns the fourth-best K/9 (11.81), fifth-best ERA (2.11), sixth-best fWAR (1.2), and seventh-best FIP (2.88), among qualified National League starting pitchers. In his first start of the year, he allowed two earned runs on four hits in five innings against the Mets and, since then, has gone on to post six consecutive quality starts. In those outings, he’s allowed one earned run or less in four of them while striking out at least eight batters in each of his last four appearances. In his most recent start against the Cubs, he fanned a career-high 11 while limited Chicago to two earned runs on five hits in a game that Miami ended up losing.

Syndergaard (2019): 49.0 IP, 54 K, 12 BB, 7 HR, 5.14 ERA, 3.58 FIP, 1.33 WHIP

Syndergaard has become something of an enigma for the Mets. After putting together one of the most impressive outings in his career, Thor seemingly reverted back to the inconsistent pitcher he’s been through much of this season. He was charged with five runs (four earned) on nine hits over six innings in a game the Mets would come back to win. Out of his eight starts in 2019, Syndergaard has yielded five runs or more in half of them after going 30 straight starts without giving up five runs. He also gave up two more home runs and has now allowed seven long balls in eight outings after allowing nine all of last year. Syndergaard will look to get right against the Marlins, whom he’s never lost to. In eight career starts, he owns a 1.64 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP in 55 innings. He also owns a 2.77 ERA in 33 career daytime starts.

Prediction: The Mets take advantage of the last-place Marlins in a three-game sweep to climb back to .500.

Poll

How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Marlins

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    The Mets get back to .500 with a much-needed three-game sweep at home
    (42 votes)
  • 24%
    The Mets temporarily stop the bleeding with a series win against the Marlins
    (20 votes)
  • 12%
    The bad times continue as the team drops another series
    (10 votes)
  • 6%
    The Mets are swimming with the fishes as they’re swept by the last-place Marlins
    (5 votes)
  • 4%
    Pizza!
    (4 votes)
81 votes total Vote Now