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Mets look to continue feasting on National League bottom-feeders as they host last-place Marlins

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The Mets have won 15 of 21 since the break, while Miami has lost 12 of 21.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets (55-56) will attempt to climb above the .500 mark for the first time since May 2 as they kick off a seven-game homestand with four against the Miami Marlins (42-67). The Mets visited the Marlins right to begin the second half and took two of three at Marlins Park. On the season, New York has won seven of 11 against their divisional foes.

The Mets earned their fourth straight series win after taking two of three against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park over the weekend. Things got off to an inauspicious start on Friday as the team took a three-run lead before Steven Matz folded in the fourth. The Mets tried feebly to rally in the seventh and drew to within a run, but Tyler Bashlor served up a three-run home run in the seventh that put the game out of reach. The loss put an end to the team’s seven-game winning streak.

The Mets bounced back on Saturday in Marcus Stroman’s first start with his new club. The right-hander was shaky in his first start but kept his team in the game long enough for the offense to rally late. Trailing by two runs heading into the seventh, Jeff McNeil got the rally started with a solo home run over the right field bleachers. Wilson Ramos put his team ahead with a two-run home run in the eighth and put the game away with a bases-clearing double. The Mets’ catcher set a career high by driving in six runs while picking up four hits. Things got dicey after Edwin Diaz gave up a two-run home run, but that was as close as the Pirates would get.

Things were decidedly easier on Sunday as the Mets’ offense erupted for 16 hits in a 13-2 pummeling. The club got home runs from Michael Conforto, J.D. Davis, and McNeil each hit home runs while the club accumulated six doubles. Noah Syndergaard, meanwhile, tossed seven strong innings while allowing one run on three hits to pick up the win. On the downside, Robinson Cano, who picked up two doubles and a single on the afternoon, left the game with a left hamstring strain.

The win drew the Mets to within one win of the .500 mark. The last time the club was at .500 was on May 28, when the team owned a 27-27 record. The last time the Mets were over .500 was on May 2, when the team owned a 16-15 record. At the start of play on Monday, the club finds itself just three games behind the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies for the second Wild Card spot. The team also trails the Milwaukee Brewers by one game and the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants by a half-game.

The Marlins were swept by the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend in a brief two-game set. Since the All Star break, the Marlins have won nine and lost 12. Despite playing better as of late, Miami continues to hold the worst record in the National League. Starlin Castro has been the team’s better hitter in that span, hitting .269/.301/.462 with a 99 wRC+ in 20 games. Brian Anderson leads the club with five home runs since the break. Meanwhile, former Met Neil Walker is struggling with a .245/.339/.321 slash line with an 84 wRC+.

Monday, August 5: Sandy Alcantara vs. Jacob deGrom, 4:10 p.m. on SNY (Game 1)

Alcantara (2019): 123.0 IP, 89 K, 60 BB, 16 HR, 4.54 ERA, 5.05 FIP, 1.48 WHIP

Alcantara was knocked around in his last start against the Minnesota Twins. The right-hander was charged with seven earned runs on six hits over 4.2 innings. He struck out five while walking five. He also gave up a season-high three home runs in the loss. Alcantara has struggled with his command all season and has walked a league-leading 60 batters through the 2019 season. He owns the worst walk rate (11.2%) and the second-worst BB/9 (4.4) among qualified major league starting pitchers, so staying patient remains the best way to beat him on the mound.

deGrom (2019): 136.0 IP, 174 K, 34 BB, 14 HR, 2.78 ERA, 2.84 FIP, 1.08 WHIP

deGrom lost his command in the third inning during his last start, but was able to limit the damage to just one run. Aside from that, it was another typical deGrom start as he went seven innings for the fourth time in five July starts while allowing one earned run or less for the fourth straight start. He picked up 11 strikeouts, which was enough to surpass David Cone for fifth on the club’s all-time strikeout list. He also matched a season high by throwing 116 pitches. As deGrom has become accustomed to, he received no run support and came away without the win.

Monday, August 5: Robert Drugger vs. Walker Lockett, TBD on SNY (Game 2)

Drugger (Triple-A 2019): 35.2 IP, 28 K, 12 BB, 7 HR, 9.34 ERA, 6.05 FIP, 1.88 WHIP

While the team has not made it official, they are expected to call up the 24-year-old right-hander to make his major league debut during the nightcap of the doubleheader. Drugger began the year in Double-A, where he was spectacular with a 3.31 ERA and a 3.48 FIP with 73 strikeouts in 70.2 innings. Since being promoted and debuting for the Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes, he’s struggled to the tune of a 9.34 ERA and a 6.05 FIP in seven starts. Dugger entered the season as the 24th ranked prospect in the Marlins’ system according to MLB Pipeline.

Lockett (2019): 12.2 IP, 12 K, 3 BB, 2 HR, 7.82 ERA, 4.80 FIP, 1.42 WHIP

With the team needing a starter for the nightcap of their double header, they will turn to Lockett, who picked up his first career win in San Francisco on July 20. Lockett stymied the Giants over five decent innings as he was charged with one earned run on five hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out three. He only needed 58 pitches to work through his outing and did well enough to earn him another go-around.

Tuesday, August 6: Jordan Yamamoto vs. Zack Wheeler, 7:10 p.m. on SNY

Yamamoto (2019): 48.0 IP, 49 K, 22 BB, 4 HR, 3.94 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 1.04 WHIP

It’s hard to begin a major league career better than 23-year-old Yamamoto did back in June. He started off with back-to-back shutout performances against the St. Louis Cardinals, as he limited them to a combined five hits with 12 strikeouts while picking up wins in each start. Since then, Yamamoto has come back to earth a bit. In his last three starts, he’s been charged with 15 earned runs over 14 innings as his ERA has jumped from 1.59 to 3.94 in that span. In his last outing, he lasted six innings and gave up four earned runs on seven hits while striking out a career-high eight batters. He also reached 100 pitches for the first time since joining the major league club.

Wheeler (2019): 131.1 IP, 144 K, 34 BB, 17 HR, 4.45 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 1.23 WHIP

When the dust settled on the July 31 trade deadline, Wheeler was still a member of the Mets. He toed the rubber the next day and gave the team one of his best starts of 2019. The right-hander scattered four hits and struck out seven without walking anybody as he picked up his eighth win of the season. Wheeler’s second half in 2018 was the best stretch of his major league career, and any similar replication in 2019 would go a long way towards helping the Mets make a legitimate postseason run. While it remains to be seen whether Wheeler has embarked on his last two months in orange and blue, the club will continue to hope that he can build off his recent performance in order to guide them towards October baseball.

Wednesday, August 7: TBD vs. Steven Matz, 12:10 p.m. on SNY

TBD (2019): 96.2 IP, 112 K, 47 BB, 24 HR, 5.40 ERA, 5.66 FIP, 1.42 WHIP

The Marlins have not announced a starter for Wednesday’s game.

Matz (2019): 103.2 IP, 97 K, 32 BB, 19 HR, 4.60 ERA, 4.77 FIP, 1.40 WHIP

Things were looking good for Matz early on in his Friday start against the Pirates, but things quickly unraveled in the fourth. Matz gave up a leadoff walk before surrendering four straight hits. He got a couple of outs but was unable to escape the inning and was charged with five earned runs on six hits. After tossing a sterling complete game shutout in his previous start, Matz returned to his frustratingly inconsistent self in Pittsburgh. It continues to be tough trusting Matz, as the Mets are never quite sure which pitcher is going to show up.

Prediction: The Mets take three out of four against the Marlins.

Poll

How will the Mets fare in their four-game series against the Marlins?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    The Mets pull off another sweep to continue their climb in the standings!
    (42 votes)
  • 59%
    The Mets take three of four from the fish as they remain red-hot.
    (94 votes)
  • 6%
    The Mets split four with Miami as they stall a bit against their division foes.
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    The Mets steal a game but otherwise are left fried by the fish.
    (0 votes)
  • 2%
    The Mets are swept away at sea by the pesky fish.
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    Pizza!
    (7 votes)
158 votes total Vote Now