The Mets took two out of three from the Marlins down at loanDepot Park over the weekend. weren’t able to contain the offensively-challenged Marlins on Friday, resulting in a 6-3 loss. David Peterson was ineffective and only lasted 4 2⁄3 innings, while New York’s offense floundered against Edward Cabrera, though Pete Alonso did bust out of his slump with a two-run homer. The Mets blew two bases loaded opportunities with double plays, but they were still within one run heading into the eighth. That was when Joely Rodriguez imploded, giving up a couple of runs and putting the game out of reach.
The Mets bounced back with a rout on Saturday, smoking the Marlins 11-3. They used an eight-run fourth inning to do most of the damage, with Mark Canha’s grand slam serving as the big blast. Francisco Lindor and Eduardo Escobar also went deep in this game, which was a much-needed laugher for New York. Carlos Carrasco was also strong, tossing six innings of one-run ball.
The Mets followed up their strong Saturday showing with another easy victory, taking the Sunday rubber match 9-3. Brandon Nimmo was the offensive star, contributing a three-run blast that put the Mets up early in this one. Later in the game, Nimmo even stole his first base of the season. Escobar, meanwhile, hit his second home run in as many days as he continues his torrid pace. Tomás Nido, in his 243rd at-bat of the year, hit his first homer. Mark Vientos made his major league debut, going 0 for 5 in this contest as he replaced the injured Starling Marte on the roster. Taijuan Walker rebounded nicely from a subpar outing, and showed no ill effects from the blister he battled in that outing.
With yesterday’s win, coupled with the Braves’ dramatic walk-off loss to the Mariners, the Mets extended their lead in the National League East to 1.5 games after falling briefly out of first for one night. The Mets, who are two up in the loss column on Atlanta, have 21 games remaining, while the Braves have 22. The Mets will play two of the weaker NL Central teams coming up, while the Braves visit San Francisco before returning home to face the Phillies, who have a lot to play for down the stretch as they look to secure one of the three Wild Card spots. In addition to the division, the Mets lowered their magic number to clinch their first playoff spot since 2016 down to eight games, meaning any combination of eight Mets wins or Brewers losses will secure New York a trip to the postseason. Lastly, the team’s next win will give them their 12th 90-win season in their 60-year history.
Escobar, who extended his hitting streak to nine games in yesterday’s win, has been raging hot as of late. Over those nine games, he’s slashing .500/.541/1.000 while leading the team with five homers, eight runs scored, nine runs batted in, a 316 wRC+, and a 1.1 fWAR. Nimmo has also come alive this month, hitting .282/.378/564 with two home runs, seven runs scored, nine runs batted in, a 165 wRC+, and a 0.6 fWAR in 10 September games. Jeff McNeil, who continues to threaten for the NL batting crown, has posted a .361/.395/.417 with a 130 wRC+ and a 0.4 fWAR in 10 games this month.
The Cubs dropped two of three to the Giants over the weekend. The Cubs have dropped six of their nine games in September.
The Mets will not see Willson Contreras, the catcher whom they were eyeing at the deadline. He suffered a left ankle sprain about a week ago and landed on the IL as a result. Prior to that, he was hitting .246/.351/.471 with 21 home runs while leading the club with a 131 wRC+ in his 107 games this season.
Monday, September 12: Chris Bassitt vs. Javier Assad, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Bassitt (2022): 161.1 IP, 153 K, 41 BB, 15 HR, 3.24 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, 3.4 bWAR
When the Mets needed him most, Bassitt came up huge. Coming off four losses in seven games to subpar teams, the right-hander tossed a gem, allowing one earned run over 7.0 innings. He also struck out 10, which was his second-highest total in a single game this year. Bassitt, quietly, has been a consistent force for this rotation this year and has helped stabilize it, as Sports Illustrated’s Rob Piersall discussed earlier this week. If he can keep pitching like that, the Mets will like their chances of winning the NL East and going deep in the playoffs.
Assad (2022): 15.1 IP, 12 K, 7 BB, 2 HR, 2.93 ERA, 4.62 FIP, 1.44 WHIP, 0.5 bWAR
After signing with Chicago as an international free agent in 2015, Assad made his debut this year for the Cubs. After tossing nine shutout innings over his first two starts against the Cardinals and the Blue Jays, the right-hander allowed one run in a one inning relief outing, and then had his worst start his last time out against the Reds. In that start, he went 5 1⁄3 innings and allowed four earned runs on five hits with six strikeouts.
Tuesday, September 13: Jacob deGrom vs. Adrian Sampson, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
deGrom (2022): 43.1 IP, 63 K, 4 BB, 3 HR, 1.66 ERA, 1.39 FIP, 0.55 WHIP, 1.9 bWAR
deGrom was far from at his best his last time out. So what was his final line in a less-than-elite deGrom appearance. Seven shutout innings, three hits, one walk, eight strikeouts. That’s how good he is. He can take the mound without his best stuff and he can still dominate. He has now throwing 90+ pitches in three out of four starts—he tossed 87 pitches in the other—and should, theoretically, be good to go for as many pitches as he’s needed for, though the team will likely continue to be cautious with their prized right-hander.
Sampson (2022): 76.2 IP, 55 K, 19 BB, 8 HR, 3.76 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 1.29 WHIP, 1.2 bWAR
Sampson is having one of the better years of his career as he has had a renaissance after arriving in Chicago last year. He is coming off perhaps his strongest showing of the year, as he allowed just one earned run on five hits against Cincinnati. He limited the Reds to five hits and did not walk anybody, though he only struck out one. It wasn’t good enough, however, as Chicago settled for a loss while the right-hander got a no decision. Sampson faced the Mets earlier this year at Wrigley, allowing two earned runs on six hits, with three walks and one strikeout over 5 1⁄3 innings.
Wednesday, September 14: TBD vs. Drew Smyly, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
The Mets have not announced a starter for Wednesday’s game against the Cubs. It will likely be David Peterson in place of the injured Max Scherzer, who threw a bullpen yesterday as he works his way back. In his last outing against Miami, Peterson went 3 2⁄3 innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits with seven strikeouts. The Mets could also go to Trevor Williams for this start. Scherzer will be eligible to come off the IL for his next start, which would be September 19.
Smyly (2022): 98.1 IP, 84 K, 25 BB, 15 HR, 3.57 ERA, 4.31 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, 1.9 bWAR
Smyly is pitching for the seventh team in his nine-year career, and the fifth team over the past four years. And yet, the left-hander continues to do well regardless of the surroundings. He is coming off a tremendous showing against San Francisco, holding the Giants to one unearned run on one hit, with two walks and eight strikeouts over 7.0 innings. He faced the Mets earlier this year, going 4 1⁄3 innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits, with one walk and four strikeouts. He has typically handled the Mets well in his career, pitching to a 1.89 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 19.0 innings.
Prediction: The Mets take two out of three from the Cubs.
How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Cubs?
This poll is closed
The Mets sweep the Cubs!
The Mets take two out of three against Chicago.
The Mets win one but drop two to the Cubbies.
The Cubs maul the Mets in a three-game sweep.