The Mets (20-17) conclude their grueling nine-game road trip at loanDepot Park with a three-game set against the Miami Marlins (20-23). The Mets and Marlins split a pair at Citi Field earlier in the season, with the Sunday series finale getting suspended after just two batters. The Mets have won the season series from the Marlins in each of the last three seasons, dating back to 2018.
Despite losing even more players to injury—how is that humanely possible?—the Mets managed to escape Truist Park with two wins. On Monday, Taijuan Walker exited after three scoreless innings with left side tightness, an injury which would led him to become the 14th Met to land on the injured list. Sean Reid-Foley saved the bullpen with three terrific hitless innings in relief, earning his first win with his new team. The Mets finally got on the board in the seventh with back-to-back doubles from Tomás Nido—one of his three hits on the evening—and James McCann. With the bases loaded later in the inning, Kevin Pillar was hit in the face by a 95 mph Jacob Webb pitch. The gruesome play resulted in multiple facial fractures for the outfielder and resulted in Pillar landing on the injured list. Johneshwy Fargas picked up his first career hit in the eighth, a double that drove home the team’s third run, and the Mets ended up with a 3-1 win.
On Tuesday, the Mets used a bullpen game to piece together a 4-3 win against their rivals. Jonathan Villar helped the Mets break through with a two-run home run to give New York a lead in the third. Austin Riley homered for the second straight night, and the two teams traded runs in the sixth. Atlanta tied it up in the eighth with a Marcell Ozuna bloop single, which set the stage for Nido’s go-ahead ninth inning home run against Will Smith. Edwin Díaz, pitching in his third straight game, set down the Atlanta Braves in order to pick up his seventh save in seven chances.
Running out a lineup that would make the Syracuse Mets blush, the Mets fell just short on Wednesday night, losing 5-4 and missing out on the chance to sweep the Braves. The Mets took a lead on Villar’s home run, but David Peterson faltered in the fifth, allowing three runs without being able to escape the inning. The Bench Mob put the Mets back on top in the seventh, as José Peraza drove in a run on a double and Nido brought home the tying and go-ahead runs on a pinch hit single. With the bullpen gassed after extensive use on the road trip, Luis Rojas tried his best to string together the final nine outs, but Aaron Loup gave up the tying run in the eighth. The Mets got a runner to third with one out in the ninth inning but couldn’t get him in, and Ronald Acuña Jr. led off the bottom half of the frame with a walk-off homer off Jacob Barnes.
The Mets, who badly need reinforcements, should be getting some help shortly. Noah Syndergaard made his first rehab start on Wednesday in his road back from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander and frequent Richard Staff tormentor tossed four shutout innings on 44 pitches for the St. Lucie Mets. This followed Seth Lugo’s first rehab outing on Tuesday, and Jacob deGrom’s eye-opening rehab start last night. While Syndergaard and Lugo likely won’t return until June, deGrom should be back for his next start against the Colorado Rockies. Meanwhile, J.D. Davis should (hopefully) be returning this weekend after his recent rehab stint. The team is still waiting on Brandon Nimmo and Luis Guillorme, though concrete updates on the two players are not readily available.
In the meantime, the Bench Mob has kept the Mets afloat and in first place amidst all the injuries. None have been more critical than Nido, who is third among position players on the team in wRC+ (152) and fWAR (0.5) while slashing .286/.359/.543 in 39 plate appearances. Villar has also been a big addition, hitting .226/.308/.409 with four home runs, which puts him second to Pete Alonso on the team, a 99 wRC+, and a 0.4 fWAR in 104 plate appearances. Peraza, who has gotten the bulk of the playing time at second with Jeff McNeil out of the lineup, is hitting .222/.243/.361 with a 70 wRC+ in 37 plate appearances.
The Marlins are coming off a series victory against the Philadelphia Phillies, winning the last two after dropping the opener. Miami is currently 9-9 during the month of May, and 8-9 at their home park this season. The Marlins, who reside in third place in the disappointing National League East, are the only team in the division with a positive run differential right now (+8). For what it’s worth, the Mets have the second-best mark among NL East teams (-8) in that category. Miami is 23rd overall in MLB with 3.95 runs-per-game.
Miami is led offensively by shortstop Miguel Rojas, who is hitting .291/.360/.466 with three homers, a 133 wRC+, and a 1.5 fWAR 41 games. First baseman Jesús Aguilar leads the club with nine home runs while slashing .264/.343/.507 with a 132 wRC+ and a 0.8 fWAR over 42 games. Second baseman Jazz Chisholm has established himself as one of the most fun players to watch on Miami, posting a .301/.372/.554 slash line with five homers, a team-high eight stolen bases, a 156 wRC+, and a 1.3 fWAR in 25 games. Miami is still without Starling Marte, who remains on the injured list as he recovers from a fractured rib.
Friday, May 21: Marcus Stroman vs. Jordan Holloway, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Stroman (2021): 46.1 IP, 35 K, 10 BB, 6 HR, 2.72 ERA, 4.08 FIP, 1.06 WHIP, 0.5 bWAR
Stroman, who is normally so adept at generating ground balls, was burned by the long ball in his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays. After allowing just three homers over his first seven starts, he surrendered three to the Rays, all of which came between the fourth and sixth innings. He was charged with five earned runs on six hits with one walk and a season-low one strikeout in six innings. With him and Peterson being the last two health starters left, it is imperative that Stroman gives the team length in his starts while they wait for the rest of the rotation to return.
Holloway (2021): 16.2 IP, 13 K, 10 BB, 0 HR, 2.70 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 1.26 WHIP, 0.3 bWAR
Holloway will get another turn as an opener for Miami and hope that the third time’s the charm. His first five outings this year came out of the bullpen, where he didn’t give up an earned run over ten innings while giving up a total of four hits and striking out ten. In his two “starts”, he’s been tagged for a combined six runs (five earned) on seven hits with seven walks and three strikeouts while taking the loss both times. His last time out against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the right-hander went three innings and allowed two earned runs on two hits with a season-high four walks.
Saturday, May 22: TBD vs. Pablo López, 4:10 p.m. on WPIX
The Mets have not yet named a starting pitcher for Saturday’s game against the Marlins.
López (2021): 49.0 IP, 46 K, 16 BB, 4 HR, 3.12 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 1.25 WHIP, 1.3 bWAR
López earned his first victory of the season in his last outing against the Dodgers. The right-hander limited Los Angeles to two earned runs on seven hits over five innings, striking out three while walking one. It was a bounce back effort after he was tattooed for six earned runs on seven hits over 4.1 innings in his prior start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. López has struggled against the Mets in his career, pitching to a 5.27 ERA in five starts against New York.
Sunday, May 23: TBD vs. Cody Poteet, 1:10 p.m. on WPIX
The Mets have not yet named a starting pitcher for the Sunday afternoon’s matinee against the Marlins.
Poteet (2021): 10.0 IP, 9 K, 2 BB, 1 HR, 1.80 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 0.90 WHIP, 0.4 bWAR
Poteet has given the Marlins everything they could have hoped he would give them since getting the call. With the injuries piling up, the 26-year-old stepped up in his major league debut on May 12 against the Diamondbacks, giving Miami five innings of two run ball while striking out six in the victory. In his next start against the Phillies, he was even better, hurling six shutout innings while being saddled with the no-decision. If the right-hander, who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2015 MLB Draft, keeps pitching like this, it will be hard for the Marlins to send him back down to Triple-A.
Prediction: The Mets will win two out of three to finish off their trip at 4-5.
How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Marlins?
This poll is closed
The Mets end the road trip in style with a sweep down in Miami!
The Mets take two of three before heading home.
The Mets win one but they lose another series in Florida.
The Mets are swimming with the fishes as they’re swept by the Marlins.