Oh what a difference a week can make. At this time last week, the Mets were coming off a sweep from the Brewers that had even the most optimistic Mets fan shaking their head, and things seemed bleak. But after taking two of three from the Marlins, the Padres, a very good team, came to Citi and the Mets held their own and then some against the club.
On Monday’s series opener, Max Scherzer bent but never broke, going five innings but never letting a run cross the plate. A pair of two-run doubles accounted for most of the Mets 5-0 win, and a pair of bunts (one intended, one swinging) led to a very funny moment in the Mets victory against old nemesis Yu Darvish.
Tuesday was a game of missed opportunities, with a small village left on the base paths. David Peterson threw a serviceable five and two-thirds innings of baseball, but the Mets did not take advantage of situations where men were on base and pitchers were on the ropes, losing 4-2.
The matinee finale was started by Tylor Megill and, aside from a meatball to Juan Soto that might still be airborne, Megill continued his solid April campaign. After stranding the bases loaded in the first inning for the second straight game, a pair of home runs from Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso put the Mets ahead and they never looked back from there.
This weekend, the Mets are traveling westward to head into the fifth series of the season. Having won three of their first four series, this West Coast swing will be a chance for the Mets to test their mettle against one of the perpetually best teams in baseball (the Dodgers), visit some old friends who all happen to play for the same club (the Giants), and, hopefully, pad their win column against a team that is really struggling. That team is the Oakland Athletics, who the Mets take on this weekend.
The A’s are having a rough start to their season, going 3-9 on the year with a team ERA of 7.65. Their starting pitching has been struggling mightily, with no starter having an ERA+ of over 79 or averaging more than five innings per start.
Offensively, there are some young players that have begun to establish themselves as the core of the team, such as center fielder Esteury Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Noda, but a good bit of the team hasn’t quite put it together just yet.
The Athletics are returning home after an East Coast swing that saw them get swept by the Tampa Bay Rays (who are still undefeated on the season) and lose three of four to the Orioles.
Friday, April 14: Kodai Senga vs. James Kaprielian, 9:40 PM EDT on SNY
Senga (2023): 11.1 IP, 14 K, 6 BB, 1 HR, 1.59 ERA, 3.67 FIP, 1.059 WHIP, 0.4 bWAR
Thus far. Kodai Senga has lived up to his hype. After his first inning debut where he did not retire the first four batters, Senga has only surrendered one earned run, a solo homer to Jazz Chisholm. In an incredibly small sample size, his walks have been a little higher than you’d want, but his strikeouts have been there and then some. The ghost fork is real, and it is fabulous.
Kaprielian (2023): 9.2 IP, 11 K, 5 BB, 4 HR, 11.17 ERA, 8.68 FIP, 1.966 WHIP, -0.4 bWAR
Entering his third full season with the A’s, the former Yankees prospect came to the A’s as part of the Sonny Gray trade. After a solid campaign in 2021, where he put up a 4.07 ERA with 123 strikeouts, there was some regression last year. Kaprielian has had a problem with the long ball, already giving up four in his first two starts of the young season.
Saturday, April 15: Carlos Carrasco vs. Shintaro Fujinami, 4:07 PM EDT on SNY
Carrasco (2023): 8.2 IP, 5 K, 7 BB, 3 HR, 11.42 ERA, 9.17 FIP, 1.962 WHIP, -0.5 bWAR
Cookie has looked utterly terrible in his first two starts of the season, walking more than he’s struck out and not looking comfortable at all on the mound. After a skipped spring start for some ‘elbow maintenance,’ the fanbase’s problem antennae went up, and there’s been no reason to lower it since. If the Mets didn’t already have two starters on the IL, a phantom stint for Carrasco would seem more than warranted, just to give him a chance to get himself right.
Fujinami (2023): 6.2 IP, 5 K, 7 BB, 0 HR, 17.55 ERA, 5.50 FIP, 2.250 WHIP, -0.6 bWAR
A small tweak of the schedule could have meant a Senga/Fujinami matchup, which would’ve been a very, very fun day of baseball. However, we will have to save that for the World Series or 2024, as Fujinami is starting on Saturday. While his countryman Senga has eased into American baseball quite nicely thus far, Fujinami is having a rougher go of it. In direct contrast to Senga’s first start jitters, Fujinami seemed absolutely fine out of the gate, but has lost the plate at some point in each of his starts thus far and can’t seem to recover.
Sunday, April 16: Max Scherzer vs. JP Sears, 4:07 PM EDT on PIX11
Scherzer (2023): 16.1 IP, 14 K, 7 BB, 4 HR, 4.41 ERA, 6.16 FIP, 1.224 WHIP, 0.1 bWAR
Since the sixth inning of his first start, Scherzer has struggled to regain the control he showed late in spring training and in the first five innings of Opening Day. After a truly disastrous start in Milwaukee, the results were there against the Padres, but Max just hasn’t looked like Max yet this season.
Sears (2023): 9.2 IP, 9 K, 2 BB, 3 HR, 5.59 ERA, 5.74 FIP, 1.345 WHIP, 0.1 bWAR
Another former Yankees farmhand, Sears has - stop me if you’ve heard this one before - susceptible to the long ball early this season. The A’s have a bevy of fly-ball pitchers, in an attempt to take advantage of the ample foul territory in the
Oakland RingCentral Coliseum, and the results have been mixed so far. Sears’s skillset seems like it may be a good ft for the Coliseum.
Prediction: Senga shoves, Cookie crumbles, and Scherzer survives for the Mets to take two of three.
How will the Mets fare in their three-game series against the Padres?
This poll is closed
The Mets conquer the Coliseum and sweep the A’s.
The Mets win two of three and win the series.
The A’s beat the Mets two out of three.
The Mets get swept.