The Mets (22-23) will look to build off their first series win since April as they conclude their homestand with three against the Guardians (20-23). This will be the first time the two teams have squared off since 2019, when the Mets swept Cleveland at Citi Field during their frantic late-season climb up the standings. In fact, the Mets have won five of six against Cleveland in New York, and are 13-5 against them all-time.
The Mets are coming off winning two of three against the Rays. Tuesday was Justin Verlander’s home debut, and it did not go as planned, as he was rocked for six earned runs over five innings, including surrendering three homers. The Mets broke their homerless streak with a solo homer from Brett Baty, and Pete Alonso and Eduardo Escobar each contributed two-run homers. However, it was not enough to overcome their early 7-1 deficit, and they ended up falling 8-5.
On Wednesday night, the Mets had a thrilling, scintillating, inspiring come-from-behind victory in the kind of game fans enjoyed from the team in 2022. Kodai Senga fanned a career-high 12 over six innings, though he left the game losing 1-0. It was eventually 2-0 before Mark Vientos hit his first Citi Field homer to tie the game at 2. The Mets trailed 5-2 going into the ninth, and with two outs, Francisco Álvarez tied it up with a clutch, three-run bomb to left field. The Mets trailed again 7-5 going into the bottom of the tenth, and Alonso hit his second homer in as many nights. This time, it was a three-run dinger to walk things off. The homer also put him in a tie for first on the franchise leader board in walk-off homers.
The Mets picked up consecutive wins for the first time since April 20-21 with a 3-2 victory on Thursday afternoon. Tylor Megill started and allowed a first inning run but was otherwise good, giving up two runs over his six innings. It also served as the first series win since the Mets took two of three from the Dodgers in mid-April. Alonso hit a home run for the third straight game, and David Robertson shut the door to preserve the one-run win.
After not hitting a home run for 52 consecutive innings, the Mets hit seven in their series win over Tampa Bay, including three from Alonso, who now leads all of baseball with his 16 home runs. Alonso now has 162 homers over his first five seasons, which is good for tenth most all-time among players in their first five major league seasons. It’s even more impressive when you consider one of his five seasons was an abridged one due to the pandemic. All but two of the team’s runs during their series victory came via the long ball.
The Guardians arrive after losing two of three to the White Sox. They dropped the first two games before salvaging the finale yesterday by a 3-1 score. Cleveland comes into action in second place in the AL Central.
This will be the first time these two teams have squared off since the Francisco Lindor trade, which has been much discussed ever since. As such, it’ll be the first time Mets fans will see Andrés Giménez and Amed Rosario in another uniform. After a subpar 2021, Giménez broke out last season, earning his first Gold Glove while getting selected to his first All Star team. He finished 2022 with a 140 wRC+ and 6.1 fWAR while placing sixth in AL MVP voting. He has not been as good this year, and enters play slashing .238/.313/.361 with an 88 wRC+ and a 0.7 fWAR. Rosario also enjoyed his best season in 2022, finishing with career-bests in wRC+ (103) and fWAR (2.4), but has come back to earth in 2023. So far, he’s hitting .247/.280/.351 with a 71 wRC+ and a -0.1 fWAR.
Friday, May 19: Cal Quantrill vs. Carlos Carrasco, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Quantrill (2023): 45.1 IP, 23 K, 15 BB, 5 HR, 3.97 ERA, 4.85 FIP, 1.35 WHIP, 0.5 bWAR
After a rough start against the Rockies in which he lasted just 3 1⁄3 innings and surrendered five earned runs on eight hits, Quantrill has been on a bit of a roll lately. Over his last three starts, the right-hander has gone 20 1⁄3 innings and given up five earned runs on 13 hits, with eight strikeouts and seven walks. His best start of the bunch, by far, was his May 7 outing against the Twins, when he allowed one hot over seven shutout frames. The free passes are the most concerning aspect for the five-year veteran, who has also hit two batters over his last two starts.
Carrasco (2023): 13.2 IP, 8 K, 8 BB, 3 HR, 8.56 ERA, 7.40 FIP, 1.61 WHIP, -0.5 bWAR
Carrasco returns after missing just over a month with right elbow inflammation. He looked good in two rehab starts, which is an encouraging sign. His last time out in Double-A, he threw 52 pitches, and tossed about a dozen more in a bullpen afterwards, so he should hopefully be good for about 65-80 pitches. Things were not going well for Carrasco before hitting the IL, as his numbers will tell you, though his final start before hitting the shelf was his most encouraging. In that outing against the Athletics, he went five innings and allowed two earned runs on four hits, with three strikeouts and a walk. This will be Carrasco’s first time facing his old club, with whom he pitched for 11 seasons and posted a 3.77 ERA, a 3.42 FIP, and a 1.20 WHIP in 1,242 1⁄3 innings.
Saturday, May 20: Tanner Bibee vs. Max Scherzer, 4:10 p.m. on WPIX
Bibee (2023): 22.1 IP, 22 K, 4 BB, 1 HR, 3.22 ERA, 2.2 FIP, 1.03 WHIP, 0.4 bWAR
Bibee has gotten off to a terrific start to his major league career. The right-hander, who was picked in the fifth round of the 2021 MLB Draft, became the first Cleveland pitcher since 1920 to strike out five consecutive batters in his major league debut, which came on April 26 against Colorado and ended with him picking up the win. His next two starts were more of a mixed bag, but his last start was his best to date. In that outing against the Angels, he went 7 2⁄3 innings and allowed one earned run on two hits while striking out seven. He has gone without issuing a walk in three out of his four starts so far.
Scherzer (2023): 27.2 IP, 26 K, 12 BB, 6 HR, 4.88 ERA, 5.65 FIP, 1.30 WHIP, 0.1 bWAR
Scherzer is coming off an encouraging start against his old club. He went five innings in his return from neck spasms and allowed one earned run on two hits. He struck out six and walked two, though he also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch so his command wasn’t all that it could be. Still, it was a positive sign after he missed 11 games, and it was his first time throwing five innings in a game since April 10 against the Padres. The Mets will have to hope this outing is a stepping stone towards Mad Max recapturing vintage Scherzer, because they will need him if they want to climb back up from their early-season struggles.
Sunday, May 21: Shane Bieber vs. Justin Verlander, 7:10 p.m. on ESPN
Bieber (2023): 56.1 IP, 43 K, 13 BB, 6 HR, 3.20 ERA, 3.91 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 1.3 bWAR
Unsurprisingly, Bieber is having another solid season for Cleveland. The 2020 AL Cy Young winner and two-time AL All Start has posted a 3.20 ERA and 3.90 FIP through nine starts so far. His last start, however, was his worst, as he surrendered six runs (five earned) on a season-high 12 hits over 4 2⁄3 innings against the White Sox. Prior to that, he shut out the Tigers over six innings to earn one of his three victories on the season. The Mets did beat Bieber the one time they faced him, scoring four runs (two earned) on four hits in six innings against him back on August 20, 2019.
Verlander (2023): 17.0 IP, 15 K, 5 BB, 4 HR, 4.76 ERA, 5.48 FIP, 1.18 WHIP, 0.1 bWAR
Verlander’s home debut as a Met could not have gone worse. Coming off a strong seven-inning showing against the Reds, Verlander imploded against Tampa Bay, allowing six earned runs on eight hits over five innings. He surrendered two homers, walked two, and only struck out three. For his troubles, he was booed off the Citi Field mound by the Flushing Faithful. Verlander took his punishment well and said he didn’t blame the fans, as he clearly expects more from himself. Sunday will offer him a second chance to make a good first impression, and on Sunday Night Baseball no less.
Prediction: The Mets take two of three from the Guardians to conclude their Citi Field stay.
How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Guardians?
This poll is closed
The Mets sweep away the Guardians to finish the homestand off strong!
The Mets take their second straight home series by winning two of three.
The Mets steal one, but drop the other two to conclude a .500 homestand.
The Mets endure a sad sweep at Citi Field.