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Mets make brief pit stop in Baltimore before heading home

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The Mets swept the Orioles earlier this year at Citi Field

Minnesota Twins v. Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Mets (29-23) stop off at Camden Yards for two games with the Baltimore Orioles (21-38) before heading home for a tough seven-game homestand. The Mets swept the Orioles in a two-game set at Citi Field earlier this season.

After taking two of three against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, the Mets faced a tough San Diego Padres and ended up splitting their four games at Petco Park. The series got off to an inauspicious start, with New York dropping the opener 4-3. The Padres jumped out to a lead against Taijuan Walker thanks to a two-run homer from Fernando Tatis Jr. in the third, and they tacked on a run in the fourth and another in the fifth. The Mets tried to climb back, as the raging-hot James McCann launched a two-run homer in the sixth to cut San Diego’s lead in half. Bill McKinney tripled in eighth to plate Francisco Lindor, but he couldn’t make it an inside-the-park homer because of Manny Machado playing in deep right field thanks to the shift. The Mets threatened in the ninth against Mark Melancon, but they failed to score and fell a run short.

The offense couldn’t do anything against Blake Snell in the Friday night contest as the Mets lost 2-0. The Padres jumped out to a lead in the first on a Machado homer against Joey Lucchesi, who ended up performing well against his old club. However, he was no match for Snell, who allowed just one hit with ten strikeouts over seven shutout frames. San Diego tacked on a run late in the game, and the Mets again threatened but could not break through against Melancon in the ninth inning.

The Mets notched their first win of the series on Saturday. In the interest of keeping this piece at a reasonable word count, I will just say that Jacob deGrom was fantastic, as he always is, over seven shutout innings. He struck out 11 and scattered three hits to lower his ERA to 0.62, the lowest of any pitcher through their first nine starts of a season. The offense broke through against the tough Joe Musgrove thanks to homers from José Peraza and Lindor in the fifth. They tacked on a couple later in the game, and Seth Lugo and Edwin Díaz pitched scoreless innings to close out the win.

The Mets finished up a series split with a 6-2 victory on Sunday. Marcus Stroman struggled with his command but otherwise held the Padres to one unearned run over 6.2 innings. The Mets got a solo homer from Dominic Smith and a two-run shot from McCann. Stroman also contributed a run-scoring double in the win, as the Mets escaped San Diego with two victories after dropping the first two games.

Lindor saw his eight-game hitting streak end on Sunday, but he has otherwise been a lot better at the plate while providing Gold Glove-level defense. Over his last 17 games, he is slashing .275/.306/.464 with two homers, 12 runs scored, and a 114 wRC+. Over the same amount of time, McCann has also found his way back to being a good offensive player after scuffling for much of the early part of the season. In his last 17 games, the catcher and occasional first baseman is slashing .264/.316/.623 with five homers, 14 runs driven in, and a 156 wRC+. Smith has also been on a roll lately, posting a .295/.405/.426 slash line a 137 wRC+ in his last 19 games.

After finishing May with 14 straight losses, the Orioles have rebounded in June to win four of their first five games during the calendar month. That includes two victories against the Minnesota Twins, followed by two wins in three games against Cleveland. In their Sunday contest, they dropped a season-high 18 runs on their opponent. During the weekend, Cedric Mullins had an unprecedented run in which he got hits in nine consecutive at-bats to tie a club record.

The aforementioned Mullins has been Baltimore’s best player by far this season. The center fielder and leadoff hitter leads the club with a 2.8 fWAR, a 156 wRC+, a .322 batting average, a .390 on-base percentage, a .533 slugging, a .923 OPS, and 9 stolen bases in a team-high 59 games. Trey Mancini has been an inspiration since returning after missing all of 2020 as he battled stage three colon cancer. The outfielder is fifth in the American League with 44 runs batted in and leads the club with 11 home runs and 33 runs scored while slashing .273/.347/.486 with a 132 wRC+ and a 1.2 fWAR in 57 games.

Anthony Santander, who missed a month with a sprained ankle before returning on May 21, is hitting .269/.297/.420 with a 97 wRC+ and a 0.5 fWAR in 32 games. Ryan Mountcastle, who just received player of the week honors in the AL after slashing .458/.480/1.083 with four homers, is hitting .254/.282/.447 with eight home runs, and a 99 wRC+ in 54 games.

Tuesday, June 8: David Peterson vs. Bruce Zimmermann, 7:05 p.m. on SNY

Peterson (2021): 44.1 IP, 49 K, 20 BB, 9 HR, 5.89 ERA, 5.12 FIP, 1.40 WHIP, -0.9 bWAR

Peterson was a revelation for the Mets last season and gave them some much-needed solid innings, but he’s been frustrating and at times an enigma for the club this year. In his last start against the Diamondbacks, his club gave him a four-run first inning lead to work with, and he gave it all back immediately in the bottom half of the frame. He was tagged for five earned runs on three hits with three walks and only recorded one out before he was yanked from the contest. It was a brutal showing from the young left-hander in the shortest start of his major league career. With Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard still weeks, if not months, away, Peterson’s spot is secure in the rotation, and he will need to figure it out and give his club a little more than what he gave them last week.

Zimmermann (2021): 49.0 IP, 43 K, 15 BB, 11 HR, 4.96 ERA, 5.34 FIP, 1.53 WHIP, 0.3 bWAR

Baltimore acquired Zimmermann as one of the pieces in the Kevin Gausman deal with the Atlanta Braves in 2019. After a brief cup of coffee with the big club last year, the left-hander has gotten more consistent playing time with the big club this season in his first full go-around in the majors. So far, he’s been good as a back-end starter for last-place Baltimore, and with the injury to John Means, he’ll have more time to stick around and show what he can do in the rotation. In his last start, he earned his third win of the year while tossing 5.1 innings and allowing two earned runs on six hits with a season-high seven strikeouts against the Twins.

Wednesday, June 9: Taijuan Walker vs. Matt Harvey, 7:05 p.m. on SNY

Walker (2021): 54.0 IP, 51 K, 23 BB, 2 HR, 2.17 ERA, 3.06 FIP, 1.06 WHIP, 1.1 bWAR

Walker is coming off one of his rougher starts as a Met in his last outing against the Padres. He was in and out of trouble all evening in San Diego, putting two on in the first and in the second but dancing around those. Then in the third, he walked the leadoff batter Machado before giving up a homer to Tatis Jr. two batters later—a ball that, to be fair, bounced off Mason Williams’ glove to go over the wall. He allowed another run in the fourth and another in the fifth before his outing ended. In total, he was charged with four runs (three earned) on a season-high seven hits, with four walks and only two strikeouts. He threw a season-high 104 pitches in the five inning outing, with 63 (61%) going for strikes.

Harvey (2021): 51.2 IP, 45 K, 17 BB, 8 HR, 6.62 ERA, 4.51 FIP, 1.61 WHIP, -1.0 bWAR

Harvey faced the Mets in a heartwarming homecoming earlier this year, but his former team treated him quite rudely by tattooing him to tune of seven earned runs over 4.1 innings. He had actually entered that day with a 3.60 ERA in his first seven starts, but he has completed regressed and turned back into a pumpkin since that debacle at Citi Field. Counting that start, he owns a 12.96 ERA, a 5.90 FIP and a 2.28 WHIP over his last five starts as his earned run average has spiked a full three runs. He has not pitched beyond five innings in any of those five outings. He will have to hope that he can find himself against the team that started his troubles.

Prediction: The Mets beat the Orioles in both games to complete the season sweep.

Poll

How will the Mets fare in their two game series against the Orioles?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    The Mets sweep the Orioles once again!
    (137 votes)
  • 27%
    The Mets and O’s split the pair.
    (63 votes)
  • 2%
    The Mets are swept by last-place Baltimore.
    (6 votes)
  • 11%
    Pizza!
    (26 votes)
232 votes total Vote Now