The Mets (51-31) return to Citi Field for the final home series before the All Star Break as they face the Marlins (39-41) in a four-game set. The Mets have earned victories in five of seven games against the Marlins this year, including three of four at Citi Field.
The Mets are coming off a trip to Cincinnati in which they took two out of three against the Reds. The bats provided fireworks on the Fourth of July in a 7-4 victory. Brandon Nimmo hit a three-run dinger, and ex-Met Brandon Drury hit one of his own to tie things up. Francisco Lindor then hit a solo shot that put New York up ahead for good. Dominic Smith drove two in with a double, and Eduardo Escobar drove in the seventh run with a single. Seth Lugo worked the ninth to pick up the save and preserve the victory for the very effective Taijuan Walker.
Tuesday was a different story, as the offense sleepwalked through a 1-0 loss. Max Scherzer returned in scintillating fashion, striking out 11 over six shutout innings after missing seven weeks with an oblique injury. He only allowed two hits, but unfortunately his offense couldn’t do much for him. The lineup went 0-for-8 with RISP and left nine on base throughout the evening. In the ninth, Lugo, working in back-to-back games, loaded the bases with no outs before surrendering a walk off sacrifice fly to Mike Moustakas.
On Wednesday, the Mets were heading to another dispiriting loss to last-place Cincinnati, but they prevailed with an 8-3 victory in extra innings. We’ll fastforward to the top of the ninth, where the Mets found themselves down 3-2. After Nimmo reached first on a single, Starling Marte ripped a double down the third base line that just stayed fair and tied the game up. The game remained tied into the tenth, when Smith brought the runner on second home with a double. After the Reds walked Luis Guillorme intentionally to get to James McCann, the light-hitting catcher made them pay with a run-scoring single, and Nimmo broke the game open with a three-run homer.
The Marlins took two out of three against the Angels this week, though they saw their six-game winning streak snapped last night as Shohei Ohtani did it all for Los Angeles. It was Miami’s first loss in the month of July.
Thursday, July 7: Daniel Castano vs. Trevor Williams, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Castano (2022): 26.0 IP, 15 K, 9 BB, 3 HR, 2.42 ERA, 4.62 FIP, 1.35 WHIP, 0.6 bWAR
Castano will make his fifth start in a row after becoming a staple of Miami’s rotation in mid-June. In his last outing, he went 5.0 innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts against the Nationals to earn his second career victory. He already has a solid start against the Mets under his belt, going a season high 7.0 innings back on June 26 and holding New York to two earned runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Williams (2022): 45.2 IP, 42 K, 14 BB, 9 HR, 4.34 ERA, 4.82 FIP, 1.34 WHIP, 0.2 bWAR
With Scherzer and Bassitt back, this is hopefully the last time the Mets will need Williams for the foreseeable future. Williams hasn’t been all bad, but he was pretty bad in his last outing. Staked to a two-run lead in the first, he gave it back and then some with back-to-back homers in the second. He ended up allowing five earned runs in 3.2 innings against the Rangers en route to a loss. He allowed five hits, struck out five, and walked one while allowing three homers. Williams will be much better served as the long man out of the bullpen going forward—at least until the next rotation injury.
Friday, July 8: Pablo López vs. Chris Bassitt, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
López (2022): 94.0 IP, 93 K, 27 BB, 10 HR, 2.97 ERA, 3.54 FIP, 1.07 WHIP, 2.5 bWAR
López got off to a roaring start to his season and finished May with a 1.83 ERA. He stumbled a bit in June, however, and saw that number jump by over a full run. That included a start against the Mets on June 17 where he allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in 5.1 innings. In five June starts, he posted a 5.34 ERA, a 4.65 FIP, and a 1.29 WHIP in 28.2 innings. He did get off to a good start for July, limiting the Nationals to two earned runs on three hits over 6.1 innings. In that start, which ended in a no decision for the right-hander, he walked three and struck out five.
Bassitt (2022): 89.2 IP, 95 K, 26 BB, 13 HR, 4.01 ERA, 3.93 FIP, 1.15 WHIP, 1.2 bWAR
Bassitt was supposed to start last Friday, but he was placed on the COVID IL, from which he has just been cleared to return from. The right-hander was tremendous in his last outing, also against the Marlins, going 7.0 innings and allowing three earned runs on six hits. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter during the start, which earned him his sixth win against five losses. He was bit by the long ball—a two-run home run in the fourth and a solo shot in the fifth—but was, otherwise, in control from start to finish. He threw 62 of his 90 pitches (68.8%) for strikes. It’s his third consecutive quality start in a row since he was tattooed for seven earned runs in 3.1 innings against the Padres back on June 8.
Saturday, July 9: Braxton Garrett vs. Carlos Carrasco, 4:10 p.m. on SNY
Garrett (2022): 29.2 IP, 26 K, 7 BB, 2 HR, 4.25 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 1.45 WHIP, 0.1 bWAR
Garrett is coming off the best start of his young season his last time out. After only reaching the sixth inning in one previous start this season, the left-hander went 7.1 innings against Washington, allowing one earned run on four hits, with one walk and four strikeouts. He threw 57 of his 83 pitches (69%) for strikes and was in command against the Nationals. Unfortunately, his offense could not get him a win, but it was a nice sign for the 24-year-old after he didn’t finish 5.0 innings in any of his previous five starts.
Carrasco (2022): 87.1 IP, 89 K, 22 BB, 11 HR, 4.64 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 1.33 WHIP, 0.5 bWAR
After two disastrous starts against the Astros, Carrasco provided an encouraging start against the Rangers his last time out. The veteran right-hander was terrific over 5.2 innings, allowing one earned run on six hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. It was good enough for him to earn his ninth victory of the season. It was his best start since allowing two earned runs with 10 strikeouts over 7.0 innings against the Padres on June 6, and he will look to keep building momentum leading up to the All Star Break.
Sunday, July 9: Sandy Alcántara vs. Taijuan Walker, 1:40 p.m. on WPIX
Alcántara (2022): 123.1 IP, 107 K, 30 BB, 6 HR, 1.82 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 0.91 WHIP, 4.8 bWAR
Alcántara has established himself as not only the likely NL All Star Game starting pitcher, but an early favorite for the NL Cy Young Award during this remarkable season he has put together. The right-hander, who leads the NL in innings pitched, has gone at least 7.0 innings in 11 straight starts. In his last one against the Angels, he went 8.0 innings and scattered two hits while striking out 10. If you can believe it, it was just the second time he reached double digits in strikeouts this season. The Mets handed him his last loss back on June 24, scoring five runs (four earned) on six hits in 7.0 innings against him.
Walker (2022): 78.2 IP, 61 K, 22 BB, 4 HR, 2.86 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 1.14 WHIP, 2.2 bWAR
You could make a real argument that Taijuan Walker deserves to make his second consecutive All Star game based on the merits of what he has done so far. He mostly made it last year because Jacob deGrom was injured and didn’t go and he was best suited to be the club’s representative, and the Mets this year will likely have other All Stars who will go, but Walker has been All Star worthy yet again in the first half of the season. In his last start, he allowed three earned runs on four hits over 6.0 innings as he earned his seventh victory of 2022. All three runs came on Drury’s homer, but other than that he was really good. He struck out nine and walked just one. In two starts against Miami this season, he has allowed four earned runs on ten hits over 12.2 innings.
Prediction: The Mets and Marlins split the four-game weekend set.
How will the Mets fare in their four game series against the Marlins?
This poll is closed
The Mets filet the fish in a four game sweep!
The Mets take three out of four like they did in June.
The Mets and Marlins split their series.
The Marlins flip the script by taking three of four at Citi Field.
The Mets fall prey to the Marlins in a four game sweep.