The New York Mets (13-13) are back at Citi Field to kick off a five-game homestand with a weekend series against the Arizona Diamondbacks (15-16). New York dominated Arizona the last time they welcomed them to Citi Field, sweeping a four-game September series in 2019. That series included an exciting opening game in which Jacob deGrom was dominant despite giving up a solo home run to old friend Wilmer Flores, and Pete Alonso launched two solo dingers on his way to glory later that month.
The Mets split four games with the St. Louis Cardinals in a series that had a little bit of everything, including a momentary blackout, a rain-less rain out, a single-admission doubleheader, and a game with multiple rain delays. The Monday series opener was looking like it could become a high-scoring affair, with 11 runs put up between the two clubs in the first three innings. However, neither team scored again after that, as the Mets fell 6-5. Kevin Pillar hit a two-run home run, and Alonso contributed three hits, but Joey Lucchesi served up a game-tying three-run home run to Nolan Arenado in the third, and back-to-back doubles by Certified Met Killer Paul DeJong and by Tyler O’Neill sealed New York’s fate. The Mets had plenty of chances, including putting two men on in the ninth, but they went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base.
After a stressful Tuesday that included the revelation that deGrom would miss his start and a rainout, the Mets and Cardinals split a doubleheader on Wednesday. In the first game, the offense and defense let Marcus Stroman down as the club made two errors that led to two unearned runs and only managed two hits in a 4-1 loss. In the nightcap, the Replace-Mets made their presence known as the offense ‘erupted’ for seven runs on nine hits in a 7-2 victory. Utilizing an opener for the first time this season, Miguel Castro pitched the first, and Jordan Yamamoto made his Mets debut and picked up the win with 2.2 innings of one-run ball. Tomás Nido made his case for more playing time with a two-run home run, and Pillar and Jonathan Villar each contributed two hits and drove in two runs.
Despite setting a franchise record by leaving 17 men on base, the Mets emerged victorious 4-1 in their Thursday matinee. The Mets drew 11 walks and picked up nine hits, but they went 3-for-15 with RISP and scored three of their four runs on bases loaded walks. Luckily, it was more than enough for Taijuan Walker, who tossed his best game as a Met. He allowed one unearned run on one hits in seven innings and retired the final 18 batters he faced. Not even a mid-game rain delay could stop him, as he returned from the minor disruption and hardly missed a beat. Trevor May and Edwin Díaz shut the door to secure the series split.
Pillar had a terrific road trip following a terrible start to the season. After slashing .120/.185/.120 with a -2 wRC+ in 27 plate appearances over his first 12 games, Pillar hit .429/.455/.762 with two home runs and a 233 wRC+ over 22 plate appearances during the road trip. With Brandon Nimmo not expected to return at least until the team’s series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Pillar will get more opportunities to shine during the club’s homestand.
After enduring one of the worst hitless stretches of his professional career, Francisco Lindor finally broke through with a ninth inning single on Thursday afternoon. Prior to that, he was mired in an 0-for-26 slump. In general, he had a better Thursday, drawing two walks to go along with the hit, although he did strike out with the bases loaded early in the game. The Flushing Faithful were extremely unforgiving to Lindor the last time he was at Citi Field, but if he can build upon his last game, he can hopefully get the fans back on his side. To date, he has posted a .163/.297/.207 with a 57 wRC+ in 27 games.
The Diamondbacks surprised a lot of people with a 14-12 April, but they have cooled off a bit this month. After splitting their first two May games with the Colorado Rockies, they come to Citi Field after getting swept by the Miami Marlins down in Florida and only scoring four runs in the three losses.
Arizona has been making due without one of their best bats, as their lineup has been missing Ketel Marte since he went on the injured list in early April with a right hamstring strain. Marte was hitting .462/.500/.846 with two home runs, a 258 wRC+ and a 0.6 fWAR in six games before he went down.
Catcher Carson Kelly has been leading the way offensively for the D’backs. In 22 games, the backstop is slashing .323/477/.645 with six home runs, a 192 wRC+, and a club-best 1.4 fWAR. Meanwhile, second baseman Eduardo Escobar is leading the way with seven home runs to go along with a .243/.302/.496 with a 113 wRC+ and a 0.7 fWAR in a team-leading 30 games and 126 plate appearances.
Left fielder David Peralta is hitting .282/.347/.473 with three home runs, a 119 wRC+, and a 0.6 fWAR in 30 games. The Mets will also see old friend Asdrubal Cabrera, who has been starting at third base for Arizona and is slashing .247/.376/.393 with two homers and a 0.6 fWAR.
Friday, May 7: Zac Gallen vs. David Peterson, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Gallen (2021): 20.2 IP, 27 K, 10 BB, 1 HR, 3.48 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 1.16 WHIP, 0.4 bWAR
After breaking out in his 2020 sophomore year with a top-10 Cy Young finish, Gallen is off to an up-and-down start to 2021. His last start was rocky, as he allowed four earned runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in four innings in a loss to Colorado. That came after his best start of the young season, when he tossed a seven-inning, complete game one-hit shutout against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. In two starts against the Mets in his career, he has allowed five earned runs in 11 innings, which gives him a 4.09 ERA.
Peterson (2021): 24.1 IP, 29 K, 8 BB, 5 HR, 4.81 ERA, 4.50 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, -0.4 bWAR
In his last go-around Peterson returned to the scene of his worst start of 2021, and for a while things looked he was heading for another bad time. After serving up a leadoff home run to Andrew McCutchen, followed by a walk to Rhys Hoskins and a hit to Bryce Harper, things looked bleak for Peterson. After that, he buckled down and gave the a wonderful effort. In five innings, he limited the Philadelphia Phillies to just the one run on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts on Sunday Night Baseball. While he didn’t end up factoring in the decision, it was still a very encouraging start for the young left-hander.
Saturday, May 8: TBD vs. TBD, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
The Diamondbacks have not yet named a starter or Saturday’s game.
The Mets have not yet named a starter for Saturday’s game. It is likely that Joey Lucchesi will get the nod, or the club could go with an opener once again after the success of Wednesday’s bullpen game.
Sunday, May 9: TBD vs. TBD, 1:10 p.m. on SNY
The Diamondbacks have not yet named a starter or Sunday’s game.
The Mets have not yet named a starter for Sunday’s game. After being scratched from his last start with a lat injury, deGrom is expected to make the start if his Friday afternoon bullpen session goes well.
Prediction: The Mets will bookend the series with wins while dropping the middle game.
How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Diamondbacks?
This poll is closed
The Mets sweep the D’Backs at home!
The Mets kick off the homestand by taking two of three.
The Mets take one game but drop the series to Arizona.
The Mets are snakebitten in a sweep.