The Mets (10-4) look to keep rolling as they make their first trip out of the Eastern Time Zone to face the Diamondbacks (5-8) at Chase Field. These two teams played last week at Citi Field, with New York taking two out of three games.
The Mets are coming off their most impressive showing of the young season as they took three out of four from a dangerous Giants squad. After Monday night’s series opener was postponed due to inclement weather, the two teams convened for a single-admission doubleheader on Tuesday, and New York prevailed in both games.
In the opener, Tylor Megill struggled for the first time this season, allowing four earned runs over the first three innings before settling down to pitch six. New York knotted up the score in the fifth thanks to a Jeff McNeil two-run double and a Francisco Lindor game-tying single. Things remained 4-4 as both bullpens traded zeroes, and the game went into extras. In the top of the tenth, Lindor made an errant throw but Pete Alonso’s toe stayed on the bag to end the inning and prevent the go-ahead run from crossing the plate. That gave Lindor the chance to play hero in the bottom half of the frame, and he prevailed with a walk-off single to help the Mets win 5-4.
In the nightcap, Max Scherzer made his first Citi Field start as a Met and was sensational, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning as the Mets won 3-1. The Mets plated three in the third thanks to an Eduardo Escobar two-run double and a Dominic Smith run-scoring single, and that was more than enough for Scherzer, who lasted seven and allowed one run on one hit before an appreciative crowd. The Future Hall of Famer struck out 10+ batters for the 105th time in his illustrious career as he picked up his third victory in as many tries with his new team.
The Mets fell on Wednesday by a 5-2 score to snap their three-game winning streak. Chris Bassitt struggled early, giving up three runs in the first and five total for the start. He was able to compose himself enough to go six innings, but the deficit was too much for the Mets to overcome. New York threatened in the later innings, but an ill-advised steal attempt by Starling Marte and a beautiful leaping grab by Wilmer Flores to rob a two-rub hit ended up dooming the Mets.
New York completed the series victory with a 6-2 matinee win on Thursday. Carlos Carrasco turned in his best start as a Met, going 7.2 innings and allowing two earned runs. At one point, Cookie retired 18 consecutive Giants hitters. On offense, Lindor homered as one of his three hits, and Eduardo Escobar hit his first dinger as a Met. It was an all-around stress-free afternoon before the long flight to Arizona.
Two weeks into the season, the Mets’ starting pitching has not only survived in Jacob deGrom’s absence, but it has thrived. To date, the rotation has tossed 77.0 innings across 14 starts, logging a league-leading 2.10 ERA, while their 2.62 FIP and 1.9 fWAR both sit second behind San Francisco. While the bullpen hasn’t been quite as good—Mets’ relievers own a 3.19 ERA in 48.0 innings, which is ninth in the league—it has held its own since a rocky start in the first week. It was especially impressive in the Giants’ series, where they logged 10.1 scoreless innings over the four games.
On offense, new Met Eduardo Escobar is leading the charge in terms of OPS (1.055) and wRC+ (207) while hitting .318/.464/.591 in 13 games. Francisco Lindor, who heard MVP chants on Tuesday, leads the club in homers (four) and runs scored (12) while slashing .308/.419/.615 with a 202 wRC+ in 14 games. Mark Canha, who returned after a stint on the COVID-19 IL, leads the way in batting average (.379) and OBP (.471). Pete Alonso, meanwhile, is tops on the team in runs batted in (14) while posting a .278/.328/.500 slash line and a 141 wRC+ in 14 games. Each of his homers has come while he was DHing.
It hasn’t been too long since the Mets played the Diamondbacks, so there’s not too much to update you on. Arizona traveled to Washington D.C. to take on the Nationals, and they split four games at Nationals Park. After getting swept in Tuesday doubleheader, the Diamondbacks won their games on Wednesday and Thursday to salvage the series split.
The Diamondbacks have been a poor hitting team all year, slashing .176/.287/.303 with a collective 74 wRC+. That average ranks dead last in the NL, while their wRC+ and their .590 OPS both rank second from the bottom in the NL, ahead of just the lowly Reds. Their strength so far has been their rotation, which has posted a 2.51 ERA through 13 games. That’s good for third in baseball, behind the Mets and the Dodgers.
Friday, April 22: David Peterson vs. Zac Gallen, 9:40 p.m. on SNY
Peterson (2022): 8.1 IP, 7 K, 4 BB, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA, 2.83 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, 0.5 bWAR
Peterson will likely make his final turn in the rotation—for now, anyway—on Friday. With Taijuan Walker likely set to return in the not-too-distant future, Peterson’s time is almost up, but he has done an admirable job in limited action. That’s not to say it’s all been pretty—the lefty has walked four in just over eight innings—but he has kept opponents off the board in his two starts. His last time out against Arizona, he scattered three hits over 4.1 shutout innings. He walked two and struck out four in a start that was almost identical to his first outing against the Phillies.
Gallen (2022): 4.0 IP, 2 K, 1 BB, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 0.75 WHIP, 0.2 bWAR
Gallen made his season debut last Saturday against the Mets. On that afternoon, he went four innings and limited New York to two hits. He struck out two and walked one as the Diamondbacks picked up their lone win of the weekend. He reached 65 pitches, with 43 of them (65%) going for strikes. He will get another chance ion Friday to build upon his solid first start against New York.
Saturday, April 23: TBD vs. TBD, 8:10 p.m. on WPIX
The Mets have not officially named a starting pitcher for Saturday night’s game. The safe bet is that it will be Trevor Williams getting the nod.
Like the Mets, Arizona was rained out on Monday, and a Tuesday doubleheader will force them to use a sixth starter. Also like the Mets, they have not yet named that starter.
Sunday, April 24: Tylor Megill vs. Madison Bumgarner, 4:10 p.m. on WPIX
Megill (2022): 16.1 IP, 15 K, 2 BB, 1 HR, 2.20 ERA, 2.40 FIP, 0.92 WHIP, 0.6 bWAR
Megill ran into trouble early in his last outing against San Francisco, but he rebounded nicely in the back half of that start. He surrendered four runs through the first three innings but was able to settle down and get through six innings in the first game of a doubleheader. His effort did two things: It spared the bullpen from having to get too much work in on an afternoon when they had a game later in the evening, and it kept the Mets in the game long enough for them to tie things up (and eventually win it). In the end, Megill gave up four earned runs on seven hits, with four strikeouts and two walks in six innings.
Bumgarner (2022): 13.0 IP, 9 K, 10 BB, 1 HR, 1.38 ERA, 5.00 FIP, 1.39 WHIP, 0.4 bWAR
Bumgarner has had an odd start to the season. On the surface, his 1.38 ERA looks good, as he has only allowed two earned runs over his three starts. However, he has walked a league-worst ten batters and owns a 5.00 FIP and a 1.39 WHIP across those three starts. He has walked four batters in two of his three starts, and the Diamondbacks have ended up losing two of his three starts. In his last outing, he allowed two unearned runs on two hits while walking four and striking out five Nationals batters over five innings pitched. Prior to that, he allowed one earned run on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts against the Astros.
Prediction: The Mets take two out of three in Arizona to continue their streak of winning series.
How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Diamondbacks?
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The Mets pull off a sweep in Arizona!
The Mets replicate their previous result against Arizona by taking two of three.
The Mets win a game but drop their first series of the year.
The Mets suffer a sweep in the desert.