The Mets (73-79) will finish off this road trip with a three-game weekend set against the Brewers (91-62). The Mets took two out of three from Milwaukee back in July, but they were in a much different place back then (first place, to be exact).
The Mets limp into this series after getting swept out of Fenway Park by the Red Sox. On Tuesday night, they fell 6-3 behind Marcus Stroman, who allowed four runs in a start for only the fourth time in 32 outings in 2021. If one could believe it, New York actually had a two-run lead in this one, after a J.D. Davis bases loaded walk and a Michael Conforto single in the fourth gave them the short-lived advantage. They had a chance to do more damage, but Pete Alonso was thrown out at home on the aforementioned Conforto single, and the team’s momentum died with that play. Christian Vazquez doubled home a run in the fourth, and homers from Enrique Hernandez and Xander Bogaerts off Stroman in the fifth made it 4-2. Boston added two insurance runs off Brad Hand, who came in to relieve Miguel Castro, in the sixth, which put the game out of reach. Alonso hit a solo homer in the eighth for his 34th of the year.
The Mets were routed 12-5 on Wednesday night, and the less we say about this one, the better. Taijuan Walker surrendered six earned runs in two innings, and the Red Sox put up runs in each of the first six innings of this laugher. Alonso hit another home run for his 35th of the season, which represented the lone bright spot. This game, like the nine that preceded it, clocked in at over three-and-a-half hours, as the Mets are determined to make these end-of-season losses as miserable as humanely possible.
While the Mets are completely out of the postseason race at this point (the official elimination should come sometime early next week), the Mets are involved in another exciting race: The race for a top-10 pick in the MLB Draft, which would carry important implications if the club were to sign a player who has rejected a Qualifying Offer. As of now, the Mets would pick 12th in the draft, but they currently find themselves a half-game ahead of the Angels, and two-and-a-half games ahead of the Rockies. With that, the scoreboard watching has veered away from the Braves and the Wild Card leaders and towards teams closer to the bottom of their respective divisions.
The Brewers enter this series on a five-game skid, having just been swept by the Cardinals, squandering a golden opportunity to wrap up the NL Central Division at home against the club that currently resides in second. They enter this series with a Magic Number of 3, but with St. Louis refusing to lose, it is looking like they will need to do this themselves.
Milwaukee is carried by their starting pitching, which is currently second in the NL behind only the Dodgers with a 3.09 staff ERA. They are anchored by two pitchers who should garner plenty of Cy Young consideration in Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes, the latter of whom the Mets will see on Saturday. Among qualified NL starters, Burnes and Woodruff rank second and third, respectively, in ERA, while ranking first and fourth, respectively, in FIP. Meanwhile, Burnes leads the pack with a 12.59 K/9 and is second with a 1.86 BB/9.
While their bullpen isn’t quite as imposing, their 3.90 ERA ranks fifth in the NL. Much of that is due to closer Josh Hader, who is having a tremendous All Star campaign. The hard-throwing left-hander is second among qualified NL relievers with a 1.34 ERA, behind only the Mets’ Aaron Loup. Meanwhile, his 1.86 FIP is first and his 0.88 WHIP is second.
Offensively, they find themselves int he middle of the pack. Their 92 wRC+ and .715 OPS as a club both rank tenth in the NL, though they find themselves seventh in the NL at 4.59 runs-per-game.
Friday, September 24: Tylor Megill vs. Eric Lauer, 8:10 p.m. on SNY
Megill (2021): 80.2 IP, 91 K, 22 BB, 16 HR, 4.57 ERA, 4.37 FIP, 1.29 WHIP, 0.6 bWAR
After his longest big league start, Megill endured his shortest start at the major league level his last time out. The right-hander went just three-plus innings, allowing six earned runs on nine hits. He struck out three and walked two as he suffered his fifth loss. He has tattooed in the first inning, surrendering five runs to the Cardinals and never giving his team much of a chance despite multiple fruitless comeback attempts. Since August 1, he owns a 6.55 ERA, a 5.10 FIP, and a 1.43 WHIP in 45.1 innings. After not throwing a pitch in 2020, he has tossed 121.0 innings in 2021, which is almost 50 innings more than his previous high of 71.2 innings in the minors in 2019. Fatigue remains a factor, as he likely has either two of three outings left to go in his rookie campaign.
Lauer (2021): 107.0 IP, 105 K, 37 BB, 14 HR, 3.03 ERA, 3.99 FIP, 1.14 WHIP, 2.4 bWAR
After an injury-plagued 2020 that included a shoulder injury that kept him to just four appearances and resulted in a 13.09 ERA, Lauer is having his best season at the major league level. The left-hander has been especially terrific in September, allowing one earned run or fewer in each of his four outings this month. His last time out, he held the Cubs to one earned run on one hit, with three walks and six strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Prior to that, he picked up his sixth win of the year against Cleveland, limiting them to one earned run on three hits, with one walk and eight strikeouts over 5.1 innings. In his four September starts, he owns a 1.09 ERA, a 3.08 FIP, and a 0.69 WHIP, with a 25.8% K% and a 6.7% BB% in 24.2 innings.
Saturday, September 25: Rich Hill vs. Corbin Burnes, 7:10 p.m. on WPIX
Hill (2021): 148.2 IP, 138 K, 48 BB, 20 HR, 3.87 ERA, 4.33 FIP, 1.19 WHIP, 1.2 bWAR
Hill started the last game the Mets won, though he exited with his team behind in the contest. In 4.2 innings against the Phillies, the left-hander allowed two earned runs on six hits, as he walked one and struck out seven in the outing. He threw 65 of his 86 pitches for strikes, which is the most strikes he has thrown in an outing since arriving in New York. The 41-year-old has been a solid pick-up for New York, pitching to a 3.88 ERA, a 3.93 ERA, and a 1.24 WHIP in 53.1 innings since arriving in a trade prior tot he deadline.
Burnes (2021): 158.0 IP, 221 K, 32 BB, 6 HR, 2.34 ERA, 1.58 FIP, 0.94 WHIP, 5.6 bWAR
Burnes is putting the finishing touches on a Cy Young-worthy season, which began when he struck out 58 batters without issuing a walk, surpassing Kenley Jansen’s major league record. Two starts ago, he tossed the first eight innings of a combined no-hitter against Cleveland, striking out 14 while walking one. In his most recent outing, he went six innings and allowed three earned runs on three six hits, with three walks and 11 strikeouts. He has struck out double figures in eight of his 26 starts this season. His 1.58 FIP leads the National League, while he ranks second in ERA to Max Scherzer and third in strikeouts to Zack Wheeler and Scherzer. Burnes faced the Mets back on July 7 in what was Jacob deGrom’s final start of the season. In that outing, he allowed one earned run on six hits and struck out eight over 5.2 innings.
Sunday, September 26: Carlos Carrasco vs. Freddy Peralta, 2:10 p.m. on WPIX
Carrasco (2021): 44.2 IP, 42 K, 12 BB, 9 HR, 5.24 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 1.28 WHIP, -0.5 bWAR
Carrasco is coming off one of his better outings of his abbreviated 2021 campaign, though it was not enough to avoid the loss. Against the Phillies, Cookie went six innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits, with two walks and five strikeouts. He allowed two home runs to Jean Segura, including another first inning dinger, and has now surrendered nine in ten outings. He also once again allowed a first inning run and has done so in all but one of his starts in 2021. Carrasco has two more starts left and will look to finish off strong in what has been a disappointing season.
Peralta (2021): 139.0 IP, 190 K, 55 BB, 13 HR, 2.65 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 0.96 WHIP, 3.9 bWAR
Peralta is one of three Brewers pitches in the top five among NL starters with at least 130 innings pitched. The right-hander has had a tremendous season and has been the unspoken member of that terrific Milwaukee rotation. He did miss some time back in August with shoulder discomfort, which is something that will concern his club a bit. He struggled in his first two starts off the IL, but put forth two quality starts in his two most recent outings. In his best start of the second half, he scattered two hits while striking out nine against the Tigers in a game his club would go on to lose 1-0. His last time out, he allowed three earned runs on seven hits, with one walk and nine strikeouts over six innings against the Cardinals.
Prediction: The Mets complete a winless road trip as they’re swept by the Brewers.
How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Brewers?
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The Mets pull off an improbable sweep of first-place Milwaukee!
Like they did back in July, the Mets take two out of three.
The Mets pick up one win but drop another series.
The Mets complete a winless road trip after getting swept in Milwaukee.