The Mets (36-45) host the resurgent Giants (45-36) for three games before heading out on the road again. The Mets split four games with the Giants at
Pacific Bell Park SBC Park AT&T Park Oracle Park back in April. Incidentally, when they won the first two games (9-4 and 7-0, as it were) of that April series, they were proud owners of a 14-7 record and were within a half-game of first place in the NL East. Since then, they have gone an unimaginable 22-38 and have fallen a whopping 17.5 games out of first (and nine games out of the final playoff spot in the National League).
The Mets are coming off losing three of four games to the Brewers. They fell 2-1 on Monday night, as the offense could only muster three hits in total against Colin Rea and Milwaukee’s elite bullpen. The Mets, after being held without a hit in the first three innings, they went ahead on a Francisco Lindor sac fly in the fourth. Justin Verlander hurled five shutout innings, but Drew Smith, fresh off a ten-game suspension, spoiled it by surrendering a go-ahead two-run home run to Joey Wiemer.
The Mets’ bats broke out in a big way in a 7-2 victory on Tuesday. David Peterson returned to the big leagues and was much better than any of us expected, hurling six shutout innings to earn the win and another start on Sunday. The Mets were again held without a hit in the first three innings, but they got to Julio Teherán starting in the fourth with solo homers from Brandon Nimmo and Lindor. Nimmo added a two-run blast later in the game, and Daniel Vogelbach contributed a two-run blast of his own (after a Tommy Pham run-scoring double) to put the game away.
The offense returned to its dormant state in a 5-2 loss on Wednesday night. Pitching on ‘regular rest’ for only the second time in his big league career, Kodai Senga was much better than his first go-around. He was shaky in the first, allowing two runs on a double by old nemesis Jesse Winker, but he buckled down and ended up striking out eight over five innings. The Mets chipped away with a Tommy Pham homer in the second and a Francisco Alvarez bases loaded walk in the fourth to tie it, but a Blake Perkins single off Grant Hartwig in the sixth put Milwaukee ahead for good. Christian Yelich drove in two off Adam Ottavino in the eighth inning to end any hopes of a comeback attempt.
The Mets lost the game, and the series, with a 3-2 defeat on Thursday. The Mets jumped out to a two-run lead in the third thanks to back-to-back home runs by Brett Baty and Nimmo. For Baty, it was his first long ball since May 19, while it was Nimmo’s third of the series. However, Victor Caratini smacked a two-run shot to center off Max Scherzer in the sixth, which tied up the game. Milwaukee jumped ahead for good on a bases loaded sacrifice fly in the seventh and, while the Mets loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, they were unable to break through.
Yesterday marked the official half-way point of the season, and the Mets sit an unbelievable nine games under .500. They are on pace for 72 wins and 90 losses after winning 101 games (the second-most in a regular season in franchise history). While winning 100+ again felt like a stretch, it’s hard to imagine what has transpired in 2023. This season has felt like one long continuation from last September, when the team faltered against a relatively easy schedule and threw away a chance at a division title before falling to the Padres in three games in the Wild Card round.
The Mets have now dropped two straight since Steve Cohen’s press conference, when he made clear that Buck Showalter and Billy Eppler were safe for the year, but the team would seriously consider selling if things don’t change. The Mets have done little to make anyone think they won’t be sellers at this year’s deadline.
The Giants come into this series on a two-game losing streak after dropping two of three to the Blue Jays. Prior to that, they won two of three against the first-place Diamondbacks. The Mets currently find themselves holding down the last playoff spot in the NL, which means, if the Mets want to start making their move towards the postseason, it needs to begin with a strong showing this weekend.
There is no shortage of former Mets on San Francisco’s roster and, for this series, one will return while another will miss the Citi Field trip. Wilmer Flores was just activated off the IL in time to return to his old haunts. Flores is having another solid season, hitting .256/.322/.449 with seven homers, 20 runs scored, a 110 wRC+, and a 0.6 fWAR in 56 games. Conforto, in his return to action after missing all of 2022 with an injury, is slashing .236/.333/.422 with a team-leading 12 home runs, 42 runs batted in (second on the club), a 108 wRC+, and a 0.8 fWAR in 71 games. But it’s J.D. Davis who is the real star of the show. The ex-Met and favorite of Amazin Avenue/A Pod of Our Own’s Linda Surovich, has an outside shot at becoming an NL All Star thanks to a season that has seen him produce a .286/.365/.464 slash line, hit 10 homers, and lead his club with 44 runs batted in. His 128 wRC+ and his 2.0 fWAR are second among qualified Giants’ hitters.
Friday, June 30: Alex Cobb vs. Carlos Carrasco, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Cobb (2023): 78.2 IP, 76 K, 21 BB, 6 HR, 3.09 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 1.37 WHIP, 2.2 bWAR
Cobb will make his return to the mound after missing roughly three weeks with a left oblique strain. The right-hander is putting together another strong year for San Francisco, as his 3.09 ERA would be his best in a season since 2014. He last pitched on June 13 against the Cardinals, when he allowed two earned runs on five hits, with five strikeouts and two walks. The Mets have hit Cobb well in limited opportunities, as he owns a 5.87 ERA in four starts against New York.
Carrasco (2023): 48.0 IP, 33 K, 23 BB, 11 HR, 6.19 ERA, 6.56 FIP, 1.56 WHIP, -0.4 bWAR
Mets’ starters have struggled with going deep into games, and Carrasco has been one of the main culprits. Over his last three starts, he has only gone 11 2⁄3 innings while allowing ten runs (nine earned). It remains a huge concern and a big reason why the club’s bullpen has been taxed and they are losing ballgames. His last time out against the Phillies, he lasted four innings and gave up two earned runs on five hits, with five strikeouts and two walks. It wasn’t necessarily a bad start, but they need a lot better from the right-hander.
Saturday, July 1: Anthony DeSclafani vs. Justin Verlander, 4:10 p.m. on SNY
DeSclafani (2023): 90.1 IP, 69 K, 18 BB, 9 HR, 4.28 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, 0.6 bWAR
DeSclafani started off strong but has struggled over the past couple of months. The New Jersey native kicked off the year with a 2.13 ERA, a 3.30 FIP, and a 0.82 WHIP in 38 innings across his first six starts. Since then, he has pitched to a 5.85 ERA, a 4.05 FIP, and a 1.47 WHIP in 52 1⁄3 innings across 10 starts. He is coming off a quality start, however, as he allowed two earned runs on five hits, with three strikeouts and no walks over six innings against the Diamondbacks. It wasn’t enough, however, as he was saddled with his sixth loss in his last ten starts.
Verlander (2023): 57.0 IP, 49 K, 15 BB, 8 HR, 4.11 ERA, 4.22 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 0.8 bWAR
Verlander pitched five shutout frames in his last start against the Brewers. On the negative side, he only lasted five innings and needed 100 pitches to get through it. It was a slot of a game for JV, who walked two, scattered five hits, and struck out five to increase his career total to 3,247. As a result of his inability to go deeper into the game, Drew Smith came in and immediately surrendered a game-deciding, two-run home run.
Sunday, July 2: TBD vs. David Peterson, 7:10 p.m. on ESPN
The Giants have not named a starting pitcher for Sunday night’s series finale.
Peterson (2023): 45.0 IP, 50 K, 17 BB, 8 HR, 7.00 ERA, 4.56 FIP, 1.69 WHIP, -0.6 bWAR
Peterson turned in about as good a performance as the Mets could have reasonably expected (and hoped for) in his return to the big leagues on Tuesday against Milwaukee. He wasn’t masterful by any means, and he ran into trouble early on. He navigated a bases loaded jam in the first and continued to see traffic on the basepaths in the early frames, but he did not give up any runs. In all, he scattered five hits, walked three, and struck out five. It’s a big improvement after he allowed a whopping 21 earned runs over his last four starts prior to his demotion.
Prediction: Not like it matters, but the Mets drop two of three.
How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Giants?
This poll is closed
The Mets close out the homestand with a big sweep!
The Mets finally win a series by taking two of three.
Another series, another series loss, as they drop two of three.
The Mets stumble even further in the standings as they’re swept by San Francisco.