New York Mets Series Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks (6/14-6/17)

Mar 1, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (40) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets offense went quiet once again as they lost both games against the Atlanta Braves. They will start west coast trip in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. The last series the Mets won came against the D’Backs way back on May 18-20 at Citi Field. Both teams have gone in different directions since that series. The Mets are eight games under .500 and the D’Backs are in first place in the NL West.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(6/14, 9:40 PM) Jason Vargas (2-4, 7.71 ERA) vs. Matt Koch (4-3, 4.20 ERA)

(6/15, 9:40 PM) Seth Lugo (2-1, 1.77 ERA) vs. Zach Godley (6-5, 4.97 ERA)

(6/16, 10:10 PM) Steven Matz (2-4, 3.53 ERA vs. Patrick Corbin (6-2, 3.21 ERA)

(6/17, 4:10 PM) Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.98 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz (1-1, 3.21 ERA)

Horrible Mets Offense

There are so many ways to describe how awful the Mets offense has been lately. There is no exaggeration when talking about how historically bad they have been over the last couple of weeks. Elias Sports Bureau compiled a stat saying “The Mets are the first team in the Modern Era (since 1900) to score 15 or fewer runs and compile fewer than 50 hits over an 11-game span.” It it amazing to think the Mets managed to squeeze one win out of those 11 games. Arizona is a hitter friendly environment, but the Mets are not capable of hitting mediocre pitching right now.

Seth Lugo and Jason Vargas will both make starts in the series even though both have been trending in different directions. Lugo has been the second best pitcher on the team, behind Jacob deGrom. He has taken the swingman role and ran with it, his 1.77 ERA is fourth among pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched. On the other hand, Vargas has looked like an absolute disaster this season. He has struggled to the point where the Mets look to skip his starts whenever they can. His last two starts have been better but they need him to pitch like someone who belongs in the big leagues.

D’backs Have Flipped The Script

The D’backs started March/April on fire but had a dreadful 8-19 May. It seems like all they needed was the calendar to flip because they have a 9-3 record in June. They have relied on decent starting pitching and a killer bullpen that has a 2.55 ERA. Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger have created a lethal eighth and ninth inning combination in the back of their bullpen. The 34-year old rookie, Yoshihisa Hirano, has surprised many with his 1.55 ERA in 32 games.

Paul Goldschmidt disappointed many when he batted .144 throughout the month of May. Just like the rest of the team, it needed the calendar to turn from May to June. Since June started he is 22-48 (.457) with a 1.481 OPS and has already surpassed the amount of hits he had in May. It is not surprising to see a correlation between Goldy’s hot hitting and the D’backs winning ways.

Matchups to Lookout For

Jose Reyes vs. Patrick Corbin: 7-13 (.539) 3 Doubles, Walk, Strikeout

Alex Avila vs. Jason Vargas: 5-17 (.294) Double, 2 Home Runs, 3 Walks, 6 Strikeouts

Jose Bautista vs. Clay Buchholz: 14-61 (.230) 3 Doubles, Home Run, 9 Walks, 13 Strikeouts

Paul Goldschmidt vs. Zack Wheeler: 3-12 (.250) Double, Walk, Strikeout

Interesting Stats

Brandon Nimmo in innings 7-9: 18-50 (.360) 4 Doubles, Triple, 2 Home Runs, 11 Walks, 13 Strikeouts

Paul Goldschmidt w/RISP: 9-51 (.176) 3 Doubles, 2 Triples, 2 Home Runs, 13 Walks, 17 Strikeouts