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Mets hope to keep rocking and rolling as they entertain the Rockies at Citi Field

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The Mets will try to cool down the red-hot Rockies, who have been on an offensive tear over the past month.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets (30-32) close out their six-game homestand with a three-game series against the resurgent Colorado Rockies (32-29). The Mets managed just one win against the Rockies last season and were swept in three games against them at Citi Field. Dating back to the start of the 2016 season, New York has dropped 15 out of 20 games against Colorado.

The Mets took care of business against the last-place San Francisco Giants even after they fell in the series opener. The Mets were in line for a Tuesday win, but a questionable managerial decision and the bullpen’s ineptitude cost them a chance at victory. With a 3-2 lead in the seventh, Mickey Callaway pulled Noah Syndergaard with two outs and a runner on third, which elicited an angry response from his starter. Seth Lugo entered and promptly gave up hits to the next two batters, which forced home the tying run. Things remained knotted up until the tenth, when Robert Gsellman and Hector Santiago combined to allow six runs en route to a 9-3 loss.

The Mets bounced back to win the next two games to improve to two games under .500 and to 2-6 in rubber games on the season. On Wednesday night, team ace Jason Vargas pitched his first complete game shutout since 2017, which allowed the bullpen to rest for one night. The offense did its share as well, as Michael Conforto, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Amed Rosario each contributed a home run in the victory. The final result was a stress-free 7-0 victory.

Thursday’s game was a bit dicey, but the end result was the same. The Mets led off with back-to-back home runs for just the third time in franchise history, as Rosario and Dominic Smith completed the feat this time around. The Mets led by two into the fourth, when Zack Wheeler served up a game-tying blast to Brandon Belt. The Giants eventually took the lead in the sixth, but the Mets scratched across a run in the seventh on a Jeff McNeil pinch-hit bloop single. After Lugo redeemed himself with a scoreless eighth, the offense exploded for four in the eighth, with Todd Frazier connecting on the game-winning two-run home run. McNeil added his second run-scoring hit after coming off the bench, and Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the series.

With his two-run homer on Thursday, Frazier built upon his stellar stretch as he continues to get playing time with the team suffering a myriad of injuries to their regulars. Over his last 20 games dating back to May 16, Frazier is slashing .324/.418/.544 with three home runs and a 160 wRC+ as he continues to make the most of his opportunities. Wilson Ramos has been on fire as well, as he’s posted a .386/.485/.667 slash line with five home runs and a 203 wRC+ since May 16. The club has slowly gotten some reinforcements back with Jeff McNeil returning to action during the last series. In another positive development, Brandon Nimmo recently began a rehab assignment for St. Lucie and went 2-for-4 while playing a full nine innings in his first game back on Thursday.

The Rockies entered their most recent series against the first-place Chicago Cubs on an eight-game winning streak after taking their series finale against the Baltimore Orioles and sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Toronto Blue Jays at Coors Field. The Cubs halted that winning streak by edging the Rockies 6-3 and 9-8 on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Rockies salvaged the final game of the series before making the trip to Queens.

Colorado comes to Citi Field on the heels of an historic offense run that began at the onset of the month of May. Their offense led the National League with 183 runs in May, which ranks fourth in franchise history for runs scored in a single calendar month. The team as a whole posted a .529 slugging percentage in May, which is their most in a single month since 2001. Since the start of May, the Rockies as a group are hitting .291/.353/.505 with a 108 wRC+, 45 home runs, and 206 runs scored.

Their powerhouse offense is led by David Dahl, Trevor Story, and Nolan Arenado, each of whom has been on a tear since May 1. Arenado saw his 15-game hitting streak snapped yesterday afternoon at Wrigley field, but has otherwise hit safely in 24 of his last 27 games. The All Star third baseman, who received an eight-year contract extension prior to the start of the season, is hitting .337/.387/.617 with a 140 wRC+ and a 3.0 fWAR in 60 games. He owns the best batting average (.400) and on-base percentage (.450) among National League hitters since May 1, and ranks second to Josh Bell in OPS (1.178) and wRC+ (184) in that span.

Not to be outdone, shortstop Story is having his own spectacular season while flying mostly under the radar. Story is second on the team in fWAR (2.5) and home runs (15) and fourth in wRC+ (122) and OPS (.917). Since May 1, Story is hitting .304/.379/.584 with eight home runs and a 135 wRC+. Right fielder Dahl has put it all together this season after missing all of 2017 due to injuries and completing an underwhelming and injury-shortened 2018 campaign. In 52 games, Dahl is hitting .335/.383/.534 with a 125 wRC and a 1.1 fWAR. The club will also be getting one of their biggest bats back, as Charlie Blackmon is set to return from the Injured List in time for Friday’s game. In 46 games, Blackmon is slashing .300/.356/.565 with 10 home runs, a 123 wrC+, and a 0.6 fWAR. Needless to say, Mets’ pitchers will have their hands full while trying to contain Colorado’s lineup this weekend.

Friday, June 7: Antonio Senzatela vs. Jacob deGrom, 7:10 p.m. on SNY

Senzatela (2019): 54.0 IP, 33 K, 23 BB, 9 HR, 5.33 ERA, 5.49 FIP, 1.59 WHIP

After a rocky stretch for Rockies right-hander Senzatela, the third-year pitcher has strung together two solid starts in a row. In his last outing against the Blue Jays, Senzatela held his opponent to one earned run on four hits to earn his fourth victory of the season. Prior to that, he worked around nine hits while limiting the damage to two earned runs against the Diamondbacks. The two outings come on the heels of his worst start of the year on May 23, when he gave up a season-high eight earned runs in 3.1 innings. Senzatela has struggled with his command, throwing just 59% of his pitches for strikes while sporting the third-worst K/BB (1.43) among all pitchers with at least 50 innings under their belt.

deGrom (2019): 69.2 IP, 84 K, 19 BB, 9 HR, 3.49 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 1.15 WHIP

deGrom was well on his way to earning his fourth victory of the season before a hip cramp and the Mets’ bullpen interfered. Through six shutout innings against the Diamondbacks, he had allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out five batters. With a four-run lead entering the seventh, he allowed a double, a single, and another double around two more strikeouts. At this point, a hip cramp forced Callaway to remove his ace, and while the seventh ended quietly enough, things unraveled in the eighth and his team lost in extra innings. All told, deGrom was charged with one earned run on five hits on the afternoon and looks to be ready to return to the mound as his hip issues have subsided since his start.

Saturday, June 8: Jon Gray vs. Steven Matz, 7:15 p.m. on FOX

Gray (2019): 72.1 IP, 75 K, 28 BB, 11 HR, 4.11 ERA, 4.31 FIP, 1.29 WHIP

Gray has found his groove after a rough May stretch. Over his last three starts, the 27-year-old right-hander pitched 19 innings and allowed five earned runs (2.37 ERA) while holding opponents to 14 hits and walking six. He’s earned wins in two of those starts while striking out 18. His last outing was his best of the season, as he held the Blue Jays to two hits and no runs over 6.2 innings. Prior to that, he had allowed 18 earned runs in 21 innings over his previous four starts. Overall, Gray has had somewhat of a bounce-back season after a dreadful 2018 in which he posted a 5.12 ERA and a 4.08 FIP in 172.1 innings.

Matz (2019): 56.2 IP, 56 K, 18 BB, 12 HR, 3.97 ERA, 4.94 FIP, 1.38 WHIP

Matz saw his recent string of success come crashing to a halt in his last start against the Diamondbacks, as he was tagged for five earned runs on eight hits over six innings. He was again plagued by his first inning troubles, as he started the game by serving up home runs to two of the three first batters as he found himself behind by three runs right away. He settled down for the next three innings until he ran into some trouble again in the fifth. Matz has allowed 12 earned runs in the first inning this season and has an awful 10.80 ERA in the first, while he’s allowed a total of 13 earned runs in innings two through seven. Matz figuring out his first inning struggles, as well as his issue with allowing the long ball, would go a long way towards helping him realize his full potential this season and moving forward.

Sunday, June 9: Jeff Hoffman vs. Noah Syndergaard, 1:10 p.m. on SNY

Hoffman (2019): 21.0 IP, 22 K, 5 BB, 5 HR, 7.29 ERA, 4.87 FIP, 1.48 WHIP

The former first-round pick (9th overall in 2014) has been unable to find any success in his young major league career. Since debuting with Colorado in 2016, the right-hander has pitched to a 6.06 ERA, a 5.08 FIP, and a 1.58 WHIP in 160.1 innings. After lasting exactly five innings in each of his first three starts, he went six in his most recent outing, although he was charged with five earned runs on six hits and absorbed his second loss of 2019. His lone victory came against Arizona, when he held the Diamondbacks to three earned runs on seven hits in five innings for the victory.

Syndergaard (2019): 82.0 IP, 81 K, 20 BB, 10 HR, 4.83 ERA, 3.61 FIP, 1.27 WHIP

Like deGrom, Syndergaard was in line for a victory when he was removed from his last start, but the Mets’ bullpen had other plans. Aside from a blip in the fourth, he had mostly subdued the lackluster Giants’ lineup through six innings, but let the leadoff man reach in the seventh. At 103 pitches and with two outs in the inning, Callaway removed the right-hander, and Thor could be seen agitated on the mound as he clearly did not feel he was done. Two batters later, the game was tied. Syndergaard’s final stat line showed him allowing three earned runs on five hits over 6.2 innings. The big issue again was his inability to put opposing batters away, as he finished with just four strikeouts while walking three batters. He also continued to steer clear of his slider, which was one of his bread-and-butter pitches but has not worked for him in 2019.

Prediction: The Mets finish their homestand strong by taking two of three from the Rockies.

Poll

How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Rockies?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    The Mets rock on in a three-game sweep!
    (20 votes)
  • 48%
    The Mets cool the Rockies down and take two out of three.
    (64 votes)
  • 20%
    The Mets steal one, but they drop the series.
    (27 votes)
  • 8%
    The Mets are no match for Colorado’s offense as they’re swept at home.
    (11 votes)
  • 7%
    Pizza!
    (10 votes)
132 votes total Vote Now