New York Mets Series Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks (5/18-5/20)

The New York Mets welcome in the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three game weekend series. The Mets split their second straight series on Wednesday, losing 12-1 on a rainy day against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Diamondbacks are in a similar position as the Mets, struggling after a red hot start. Unlike the Mets, they sit in first place in the NL West. The Diamondbacks owned the Mets last season, taking six out of the seven games against the Mets.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(5/18, 7:10 PM) Zack Godley (4-2, 4.08) vs. Jacob deGrom (3-0, 1.83)

(5/19, 7:10 PM) Patrick Corbin (4-1, 2.53) vs. Steven Matz (1-3, 3.86)

(5/20, 1:10 PM) Zack Greinke (3-2, 3.46) vs. Noah Syndergaard (3-1, 3.14)

Can the Mets Get it Together?

Just when many feel that the Mets were starting to breakout again, they fall back down to Earth. Whether it was Michael Conforto’s big home run against the Phillies or the 12-run outburst against the Blue Jays, the team was not able to back it up in the next game. The unfortunate weather circumstances the next day derailed their momentum in both situations. The reality is this team has been extremely inconsistent and there is no way to hide the fact that they have not been able to win back to back games in over a month.

This is a very big series for the Mets because they have their three best pitchers facing the D’Backs three best pitchers. If the Mets can take this series, they will welcome in the Marlins before facing a tough schedule for the rest of May. The Mets also sit 4.5 games out of first place and cannot afford to dig themselves a larger hole. There is no telling if the Braves, Phillies and Nationals slow down their pace but the Mets could easily find themselves out of the four team race in the NL East.

Not So Hot in Arizona

The D’Backs started the season going 20-8 in April, but have played 5-10 baseball in May. They also have a struggling all-star in first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Goldy has only hit .208 with four home runs, 12 RBIs and is tied for the NL lead with 55 strikeouts. A.J. Pollock was picking up the slack in his place but just landed on the DL with a thumb fracture. Pollock leads the team with 11 homers and 33 RBIs, but will be out for at least a month.

The backbone of their success has been their pitching which leads the NL with a 3.31 ERA. Zack Greinke and Patrick Corbin are putting together stellar seasons for the D’Backs. Corbin is seventh in the NL with a 2.53 ERA and second to Max Scherzer with 75 strikeouts. Closer Brad Boxberger has also found new life with them and is second in the NL with 12 saves. Their whole bullpen has been terrific though; six different relievers have ERAs under 2.50.

Matchups to Lookout For (Small Sample Sizes Incoming)

Daniel Descalso vs. Noah Syndergaard: 3-6 (.500)

Asdrubal Cabrera vs. Zack Greinke: 14-32 (.438) 2 Doubles, Triple, 4 Walks, 2 Strikeouts

Chris Owings vs. Noah Syndergaard: 1-9 (.111) Double, 5 Strikeouts

Jay Bruce vs. Zack Greinke: 7-40 (.175) Home Run, 2 Walks, 12 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Zack Greinke at Citi Field: 2-0, 2.16 ERA, 25 IP, 1 Home Run allowed

Adrian Gonzalez has 35 home runs in his career against the D’Backs (Most against any team)