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Mets return to Citi Field for four-game set against Rockies

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The Mets are home after a 3-6 road trip that saw them endure so, so many injuries.

Baltimore Orioles v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New York Mets (21-19) are back at Citi Field to begin a seven-game homestand with four against the Colorado Rockies (18-29). The two clubs squared off at Coors Field in April, with New York taking two out of three after the opening game was snowed out.

Before even playing their series opener against the Miami Marlins, the Mets announced that they would be placing Pete Alonso (sprained hand) and Tommy Hunter (lower back pain) on the injured list, bringing their current count up to 16 (17 if you counted Stephen Tarpley). The Mets didn’t let the news get them down, as they went out on Friday and won a wild, marathon game. New York got on the board with two in the first, thanks to a Francisco Lindor run-scoring double and a Dominic Smith sacrifice fly. Marcus Stroman gave the Mets six strong innings, but was removed after walking the first batter of the seventh, a questionable move from Luis Rojas. Miguel Castro came in and allowed a couple of runs to knot the contest at three apiece. The score remained that way into the twelfth, when the Mets pushed three runs across thanks to big hits from Khalil Lee—the first of his major league career—and Johneshwy Fargas. Aaron Loup came in and gave up a couple of runs, but Jacob Barnes saved the day as the Mets held on by the skin of their teeth and won 6-5.

The Mets used up all of their magic on Friday, and the offense was essentially nonexistent the rest of the weekend. New York called upon Joey Lucchesi on Saturday, and he gave the Mets his best performance to date with four scoreless innings of one-hit ball. He struck out eight and was cruising at 43 pitches, but Rojas opted to remove him and go to the bullpen. The Marlins finally scored first with a run in the seventh, but the Mets countered with a run of their own in the eighth thanks to a Smith single. The game went to the bottom of the ninth, when Drew Smith—pitching for the second game in a row—surrendered a two-out, walk-off home run to Garrett Cooper to sink the Mets 3-1.

The Mets failed to win the series on Sunday, instead dropping the finale 5-1. Jordan Yamamoto got the nod and was tattooed for five runs (four earned) in the second inning. He bounced back to give the Mets two more innings, but was lifted after completing the fourth. The offense again failed to show up, as the Bench Mob’s bench mob managed just one run for the second straight day in the defeat. With that, the Mets now have a 17-4 record when scoring four-plus runs, but a 4-15 record when managing just three runs or fewer.

With yesterday’s loss, the Mets have now completed a quarter of their season. At 40 games, they lead a severely underperforming National League East division by one-and-a-half games over the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s hard to properly judge the team’s performance because of the comical number of injuries that they have suffered, and without a clear understanding of when their key players will return, it’s hard to gauge their outlook moving forward. Jacob deGrom will return on Tuesday, which is the one known at this point, and J.D. Davis should, in theory, be back later this week. Meanwhile, Seth Lugo is looking likely for early June and Noah Syndergaard is slated for a mid-June return. The rest remains a mystery, and the Mets will try to keep afloat while they wait for their big players to recover.

The Rockies ended their five-game losing streak in a big way, sweeping a series at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks to climb out of the cellar in the National League West. They capped off the sweep with a Trevor Story walk-off homer on Sunday. Colorado has been two completely different teams at home and on the road this year, sporting a palatable 16-12 record at Coors Field but an unsightly 2-17 mark away from home. Overall, the Nolan Arenado-less Rockies are tenth in MLB with 4.64 runs-per-game, but when examining it further, they average 5.89 runs-per-game at home (second in MLB), and 2.79 runs-per-game on the road (last in MLB). The team is fourth in OPS (.794) and SLG (.465) at home, and dead last in both categories on the road.

Ryan McMahon, who has been playing third and second for Colorado, leads his club with 11 home runs after his two-homer game on Friday night. His 1.1 fWAR is also tops on the team, while his 101 wRC+ is second. C.J. Cron, who won the first base job out of spring training, is slashing .297/.391/.486 with a team-leading 129 wRC+ and .877 OPS to go along with an 0.5 fWAR in 34 games. Story, following his walk-off, has five home runs and is hitting .262/.328/.442 with a 94 wRC+ and a 1.0 fWAR in 46 games.

Monday, May 24: Austin Gomber vs. David Peterson, 7:10 p.m. on SNY

Gomber (2021): 45.1 IP, 47 K, 22 BB, 5 HR, 4.96 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 1.30 WHIP, 0.1 bWAR

Gomber has put together two solid starts after a rough stretch from the end of April through the middle of May. Both outings came against the offensively-potent Padres, which is an encouraging sign. In his last outing, he limited San Diego to one earned run on five hits, with one walk and seven strikeouts over six innings. Prior to that, he went 5.1 innings and allowed one unearned run on four hits, with one walk and six strikeouts. The left-hander will look to build upon that momentum against the Mets, a team that currently has an 87 wRC+ and a .650 OPS against left-handed pitching in 2021.

Peterson (2021): 38.0 IP, 46 K, 14 BB, 6 HR, 4.97 ERA, 4.12 FIP, 1.26 WHIP, -0.4 bWAR

As has been the story so often in Peterson’s young career, he was derailed by one bad inning. He held the Braves to just one single over four innings and looked to be cruising and well on his way to giving his team another lengthy start. Then, things fell apart in the fifth, as he allowed three earned runs and couldn’t get out of the inning before being lifted by his manager. He’s become something of a frustrating enigma, as Michael Drago recently wrote about, but he may be due for a great start this time around. In general, he’s been a fine back-of-the-rotation starter, and he’s still young and could improve, but for now, the club needs more from him, fairly or unfairly, as they await reinforcements to return.

Tuesday, May 25: Chi Chi González vs. Jacob deGrom, 7:10 p.m. on SNY

González (2021): 41.2 IP, 23 K, 12 BB, 5 HR, 4.54 ERA, 4.54 FIP, 1.32 WHIP, 0.8 bWAR

González rebounded from his worst start of the season on May 8 against the St. Louis Cardinals (four innings, seven earned runs, eight hits, one strikeout) with back-to-back superb efforts. He was a hard-luck loser in his last start, giving up two earned runs on four hits with one walk and six strikeouts over six innings against the Padres. Prior to that, he shut out the Cincinnati Reds over seven innings while scattering four hits and a walk. He faced the Mets earlier this year in Game One of their doubleheader, holding the Mets to one earned run on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts over five innings, in a game Colorado would go on to lose.

deGrom (2021): 40.0 IP, 65 K, 7 BB, 2 HR, 0.68 ERA, 1.08 FIP, 0.60 WHIP, 2.2 bWAR

deGrom will finally make his highly anticipated return to the big league mound. The NL Pitcher of the Month for April has only made one start during the month of May, against the Diamondbacks on Mother’s Day. After missing one start with a lat injury but side-stepping an IL stint, he pitched four perfect innings before a bumpy fifth that saw him give up a run but working around danger. He was lifted and placed on the IL right after that outing. One highly-entertaining rehab start for the St. Lucie Mets later, he’s back and ready to continue his attempt for a third NL Cy Young award in four seasons.

Wednesday, May 26: Germán Márquez vs. Marcus Stroman, 7:10 p.m. on SNY

Márquez (2021): 52.1 IP, 56 K, 30 BB, 5 HR, 4.82 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 1.59 WHIP, 0.8 bWAR

Colorado’s ace turned in his best performance of the 2021 season in his last start against the Diamondbacks. Márquez went seven innings for only the second time this year, and did not give up an earned run. He gave up four hits, walked three, struck out eight, and threw a season-high 103 to pick up his third win of the season. The walks remain a huge concern for the right-hander, as he was currently issued an NL-worst 30 free passes on the season. Earlier this year, he pitched a Complete Game in a 7-inning doubleheader against the Mets, allowing two runs on two hits with two walks and six strikeouts as he earned his first victory of the year.

Stroman (2021): 52.1 IP, 43 K, 11 BB, 6 HR, 2.75 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 1.07 WHIP, 0.6 bWAR

The debate surrounding Stroman’s last start was whether he was taken out too early, but it shouldn’t overshadow that Stroman gave the team a solid bounce-back effort in Miami after a tough outing against the Tampa Bay Rays. With the team’s bullpen dangerously overworked, Stroman gave the Mets six innings of two-run ball, striking out a season-high eight while allowing six hits. He entered the seventh still pitching well, but after walking the leadoff batter—the only walk on the day—he was lifted at 89 pitches. In a close game, the move drew a lot of discussion, and Stroman has often struggled when hitting the high side of 90 pitches. Still, it would have been nice to have seen him get a little more rope in that game, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens this time around. Stroman had his best start of 2021 against the Rockies, limiting them to one run over eight innings pitched.

Thursday, May 27: Antonio Senzatela vs. TBD, 12:10 p.m. on SNY

Senzatela (2021): 46.2 IP, 28 K, 13 BB, 6 HR, 5.01 ERA, 4.78 FIP, 1.46 WHIP, 0.3 bWAR

Senzatela has continued his up-and-down 2021 season with his last few starts. He began the month of May by giving up four earned runs on seven hits over five innings of work as he picked up the loss against the Padres. In his next outing against the Reds, he pitched seven innings of one-run ball but settled for a no-decision. In his last outing against the Diamondbacks, he gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits over five innings, but again did not factor in the decision. In total, Colorado has only won two of the nine games Senzatela has started. The right-hander faced the Mets once earlier this year, giving up two runs (one earned) over six strong innings. Unfortunately, he wasn’t quite as good as Stroman that day, and was saddled with the loss.

TBD

The Mets have not yet named a starting pitcher for Thursday’s matinee finale against the Rockies. The team could go back to Joey Lucchesi, who gave them four shutout innings with eight strikeouts in Miami. If it is not Lucchesi, then it will likely be a bullpen game.

Prediction: Go big or go home: The Mets sweep the Rockies to get back on track!

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    The Mets roll in a four game sweep!
    (10 votes)
  • 39%
    The Mets take the series by winning three out of four.
    (53 votes)
  • 30%
    The Mets and Rockies split the four-game set.
    (40 votes)
  • 7%
    The Mets earn one win but drop the series.
    (10 votes)
  • 2%
    The Mets are rocked in a four game sweep to Colorado.
    (3 votes)
  • 12%
    Pizza!
    (17 votes)
133 votes total Vote Now