The Mets (95-56) make their final trip out of the Eastern Time Zone (for the regular season, at least) as they travel to the Bay Area for three against the Athletics (55-95). This will only be New York’s third trip to RingCentral Coliseum (formerly Oakland Coliseum). They lost two of three in Oakland in 2005, and split two games in 2014. Overall, they’ve won 10 of the 16 games they’ve played with the A’s. The Mets currently find themselves 1.5 games up in the NL East.
The Mets are coming off taking two of three against the Brewers. They clinched their first playoff berth since 2016 with a resounding 7-2 victory on Monday night. Tasked with facing the reigning NL Cy Young award winner, the Mets jumped out to a lead in the fourth on Pete Alonso’s mammoth three-run homer. Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor’s back-to-back triples, as well as Daniel Vogelbach’s triple, in the sixth upped the lead to five runs. Max Scherzer was perfect through six innings in his return from the IL, because he is truly a monster.
The Mets looked to be trending towards a post-clinching letdown on Tuesday, but Lindor’s grand slam helped get New York a 7-5 win. Carlos Carrasco struggled and put the Mets behind 4-0, but Alonso’s three-run shot—his second in two days— brought the Mets to winthin one. That’s where the score stayed until the seventh, when Taylor Rodgers walked the bases loaded and Lindor made him pay with a no-doubt-about-it grand slam. Edwin Díaz slammed the door shut with a four-out save to preserve the win.
The Mets were shut out 6-0 on Wednesday, which prevented them from sweeping the series. The game was scoreless into the sixth, when Willy Adames hit a solo home run off Taijuan Walker to break the ice. Things fell apart in the seventh, and Drew Smith surrendered a Grand Slam in his first appearance in three months to blow the game open. The Mets also lost Nimmo and Jeff McNeil to injury, which is suboptimal this this point in the season.
It may not feel like it, but the Mets are having a pretty good offensive month, at least individually. Nobody has been hotter than Eduardo Escobar, who is slashing .338/.400/.662 with six home runs, a 193 wRC+, and a 1.1 fWAR in 20 September games. Every one of those stats leads the club so far this month. Meanwhile, Lindor is hitting .293/.341/.524 with four home runs, a team-leading 14 runs batted in, 12 runs scored, a 147 wRC+, and a 1.2 fWAR in 20 games this month. Nimmo, whose quad injury is a reason for concern, was hitting well this month prior to going down. He is slashing .250/.386/.431 with two home runs, a team-high 14 runs scored, a 140 wRC+, and a 0.9 fWAR in 20 September games. McNeil, who also found himself hurt on Wednesday, is hitting .292/.386/.431 with a 116 wRC+ and 0.6 fWAR in 20 games this month.
The Athletics come into this series as winners of three of their last five. Most recently, they took two out of three from the Mariners. They won the first two games, but were denied a sweep with yesterday’s loss.
Friday, September 23: Chris Bassitt vs. Cole Irvin, 9:37 p.m. on SNY
Bassitt (2022): 171.0 IP, 163 K 45 BB, 17 HR, 3.32 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 1.14 WHIP, 3.3 bWAR
Bassitt bounced back from his short outing against the Cubs and was spectacular against the Pirates. He hurled 6.0 shutout innings against Pittsburgh on September 17, scattering three hits while striking out eight and walking two. It was good enough to help him pick up his 14th victory of the season. Bassitt spent the majority of his career in Oakland, aside from his six appearance as a member of the White Sox in 2014. Interestingly, he did face Oakland that year, pitching 6.0 innings of one-run ball. In his career, he owns a 2.44 ERA with 242 strikeouts in 258 1⁄3 innings in Oakland’s home ballpark.
Irvin (2022): 166.1 IP, 114 K, 33 BB, 22 HR, 3.79 ERA, 4.14 FIP, 1.10 WHIP, 2.3 bWAR
Irvin his having a solid sophomore season after leading the AL in losses (15) and hits allowed (195) in his rookie campaign. The left-hander is coming off back-to-back outings of 7.0 innings and picked up the wins both times. His last time out, he went seven and allowed four earned runs on seven hits against the Astros. He did walk four without striking out a batter, and surrendered a season-high three home runs, but it was still enough to earn the victory. Prior to that, he went seven and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits, with two walks and five strikeouts against the White Sox.
Saturday, September 24: Jacob deGrom vs. Ken Waldichuk, 4:07 p.m. on SNY
deGrom (2022): 54.1 IP, 86 K, 4 BB, 5 HR, 2.32 ERA, 1.36 FIP, 0.61 WHIP, 1.8 bWAR
deGrom was part of history in his last start, helping lead the Mets to a franchise-record 20 Ks in a nine-inning game. deGrom accounted for 13 of those 20 punch outs over his five-plus innings of work. He was cruising through five, but he surrendered a three-run home run to Oneil Cruz in the sixth that tied the game and ended his afternoon. It was his second straight outing allowing three earned runs, and it was his first non-quality start since August 7. Despite that, he set the modern record for 40 consecutive starts allowing three earned runs or fewer.
Waldichuk (2022): 17.2 IP, 17 K, 7 BB, 3 HR, 7.13 ERA, 4.75 FIP, 1.59 WHIP, -0.3 bWAR
Waldichuk was selected in the fifth round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Yankees, and he eventually found his way to Oakland in the Frankie Montas trade (Yankees fans would probably like to issue a return, if they could). The 24-year-old lefty hasn’t been great since making his debut, pitching to a 7.13 ERA in four starts. His last outing was his shortest, as he allowed five earned runs on five hits over 2 2⁄3 innings against Houston. Prior to that, he was charged with five earned runs on eight hits over 5.0 innings against the Rangers.
Sunday, September 25: Max Scherzer vs. JP Sears, 4:07 p.m. on WPIX
Scherzer (2022): 133.2 IP, 162 K, 23 BB, 10 HR, 2.15 ERA, 2.42 FIP, 0.88 WHIP, 5.2 bWAR
Scherzer was perfect in his return from the injured list—literally. If it were any other start, Scherzer would’ve gone for history, but the team (smartly) removed him. The long run is far more important than personal glory and MLB history, and both sides seemed to understand that as he was removed with a perfect game still in play. In the end, a healthy Scherzer and a healthy deGrom are the two most important elements for the team heading into the 2022 MLB postseason, and they will do everything in their power to make sure both are in a position to help in the (hopefully long) playoff run.
Sears (2022): 60.1 IP, 43 K, 19 BB, 8 HR, 3.58 ERA, 4.45 FIP, 1.26 WHIP, 0.8 bWAR
The Mets will face another rookie left-hander in Sears on Sunday, and one who, like Waldichuk, came over in the Montas trade. Unlike his teammate, Sears did pitch prior to arriving in Oakland, as he made seven appearances (two starts) for the Yankees earlier this season. In the Bronx, he posted a 2.05 ERA and 3.15 FIP in 22.0 innings. He hasn’t been quite as good in eight starts with Oakland, pitching to a 4.45 ERA and a 5.20 FIP in 38 1⁄3 innings. A lot of that is skewed by back-to-back bad starts against against the White Sox (six earned runs in 2.0 innings) and the Rangers (five earned runs in 4.0 innings), because he actually got off to a great start with the A’s. His last start was a nice rebound effort against the Mariners, as he allowed just one unearned run on one hits, with seven strikeouts and three walks over 5.0 innings.
Prediction: Behind their big three, the Mets sweep the A’s!
How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Athletics?
This poll is closed
The Mets sweep away the lowly A’s!
The Mets take two out of three in Oakland.
The Mets win one, but drop two to the Athletics.
The Mets are swept by the last-place A’s.