Mets Game Preview: (6/30/21) @ Atlanta Braves (37-41)

The New York Mets and Atlanta Braves play the second game of their series after a terrific first game of their series. It looked like the Mets offense would disappoint once again, but a 4-run seventh gave them enough to win 4-3. The second game is scheduled for a usual 7:20 p.m. ET start from Truist Park.

Kevin Pillar gets the opportunity to bat leadoff with Jeff McNeil getting a night off. It is Pillar’s first time batting leadoff since the beginning of the month and is 1-for-18 as the number one-hitter this season. He is in the middle of a small hot streak with two home runs in his last four games. Surprisingly, Pillar is hitting just .190 against left-handed pitching after crushing them over the two prior seasons.

To beat the Atlanta Braves, pitching has to contain Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman. They have done a great job against both, holding Acuna to a .167 average and Freeman to a .393 slugging percentage. Freeman did record five hits against the Mets earlier this season but only has one extra-base hit against them.

Pitching Matchup

David Peterson looks to continue his mini hot streak as he takes the mound for the Mets. In his last three starts, he has thrown 16.2 innings, holding opponents to two runs and a .115 batting average. With a very packed schedule coming up as the All-Star break approaches, they will need Peterson to continue pitching successfully.

Max Fried makes his first start off the IL after dealing with a blister on his index finger. Fried was in a terrific groove after lackluster April in which he had an ERA over ten. In the last two months, Fried has a 2.51 ERA and has allowed just three home runs. He pitched six innings in his start against the Mets in May, allowing one run and striking out eight.

Matchups To Lookout For

David Peterson vs. Austin Riley: 3-for-6 (.500), 3 Doubles, 3 Strikeouts

Max Fried vs. Pete Alonso: 2-for-15 (.133), Home Run, 3 Walks, 6 Strikeouts

Max Fried vs. Michael Conforto: 2-for-17 (.118), Double, 3 Walks, 8 Strikeouts

Peterson Delivers Six Shutout Innings in Mets 5-2 Win Over Cubs

New York Mets, David Peterson

The series opener for the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs had plenty of reasons why the Cubs should have won. They had won five straight, Jake Arrieta normally pitches well against the Mets, and David Peterson had been dreadful over his last two starts. Nevertheless, Peterson managed to bounce back to put together a terrific start to lead the Mets to a 5-2 victory.

Peterson pitched with confidence and like he had something to prove throughout the night. It was evident when he reached back for a 96 mph fastball to strike out Kris Bryant in the first inning. Peterson went back to attacking hitters instead of hoping the hitters make weak contact. In six strong innings, he allowed one hit and struck out three on 73 pitches. The strong start dropped his ERA to 5.60 after it was up over six heading into the night.

Arrieta had a career 3.03 ERA against the Mets and lived up to it through the first three innings. After holding the Mets hitless, they broke out against him in the fourth inning. James McCann opened up the scoring with an RBI single, and Kevin Pillar made it a crooked number with his two-run double. Dominic Smith finished off Arrieta in the fifth with his solo home run into the black painted area behind the center field fence.

Confidence in the Matchup

Manager Luis Rojas Smith batted Smith third despite being in an 0-for-20 slump which was a questionable move. Rojas trusted Smith’s 7-for-16 against Arrieta, and the Mets benefitted greatly. Brandon Drury drove in the fifth run with his pinch-hit single in the sixth inning. Drury is now 4-for-8 as a pinch hitter this season.

Trevor May was handed a 5-0 lead to protect in the fifth inning in hopes of working out of his pitching slump. Unfortunately, May struggled once again by allowing back-to-back home runs to Anthony Rizzo and Patrick WisdomMay has seen his ERA jumped from 1.83 to 4.57 over the last month. Luckily, it was all the offense the Cubs had on the night. Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his 13th save of the year.

Taijuan Walker faces Alec Mills in game two of the four-game series from Citi Field. The first pitch is scheduled for another 7:10 p.m. ET start.

Mets Game Preview: (6/14/21) vs. Chicago Cubs (38-27)

The New York Mets and Chicago Cubs begin a very important four-game series for both teams at Citi Field. Both teams took two out of three from the San Diego Padres over the past week, and the Cubs have won five consecutive games. The first pitch for game one is set for 7:05 p.m. ET from Flushing, Queens.

The Mets are almost halfway through the month and have a respectable 6-5 record and have kept their lead in first place. Francisco Lindor is back to playing like a superstar with a .310 batting average and .571 slugging percentage during June. Pete Alonso is also hot at the plate with a .325 average and .575 slugging to lead the offense with Lindor. Sean Reid-Foley is expected to join a suddenly weakened Mets bullpen. He has allowed just three runs in 13.2 innings pitched this season.

The Cubs have gone 8-4 during June, and Craig Kimbrel has been a significant reason for their success this season. Kimbrel is back to being the game’s best closer by striking out 45 in 27.1 innings and has allowed just two earned runs all season. He has also severely limited his walks to just three per nine innings pitched. Patrick Wisdom has been a pleasant surprise for the Cubs. Over 19 games, he has a .327 batting average and eight home runs. Before 2021, Wisdom had four career home runs in 43 games.

Pitching Matchup

David Peterson looks to wipe the slate from an ugly season. He has struggled severely over his last two starts by allowing nine runs in just three innings pitched. Overall, Peterson has a 6.32 ERA, and 1.51 WHIP over 11 starts this season. The Cubs gave him trouble earlier this season when they put up six runs (three earned) in 3.1 innings.

Jake Arrieta faces a familiar foe as he takes on the Mets for the 18th time in his career. He was great in his last outing against the Padres where he held them to one run over five innings. Arrieta did the same thing against the Mets earlier this season and has a 3.03 career ERA against them.

Matchups To Lookout For

Jake Arrieta vs. Dominic Smith: 7-for-16 (.438), 2 Doubles, Home Run, 2 Walks, 2 Strikeouts

Jake Arrieta vs. Kevin Pillar: 6-for-15 (.400), 2 Doubles, Walk, 2 Strikeouts

Mets: Can David Peterson Figure Out How to Return to His Rookie Form?

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets starting pitching has carried them to first place to begin the season but has skipped a beat when David Peterson. After a stellar rookie season in 2020, Peterson has struggled mightily in his sophomore season in the big leagues. With an ERA over six, how do the Mets move forward with Peterson?

Peterson’s season is marked by inconsistency, but lately, he has been consistently bad. Over his last four starts, he has a 9.88 ERA, allowing 21 hits, 15 runs, and eight walks in just 13.2 innings pitched. When Peterson struggles, he cannot stop the bleeding, which has resulted in him pitching less than five innings in five of his 11 starts.

In 2020, Peterson found success by exclusively throwing his four-seam fastball and rarely throwing a sinker which hitters had success against. He threw the four-seamer 37.4% of the time, with hitters batting .164 and slugging just .262. Peterson used his sinker 15.8% of the time, and batters hit .368 with a .474 slugging percentage.

Pick One

This year the game plan has flipped back and forth between throwing a majority of sinkers or a majority of four-seamers. In his 7.1 innings, nine strikeout game against the Phillies, Peterson threw 47 four-seamers and 17 sinkers. During his ten strikeouts game against the Phillies, he threw 43 sinkers and just six four-seam fastballs. In Peterson’s bad starts, similar splits show he has not decided on the type of pitcher he wants to be at the big league level.

For example, Marcus Stroman is well-known for his tremendous sinker, but he can also feature a four-seam fastball in the low to mid-90s. Stroman throws his sinker 40.2% of the time while using his four-seamer 5% of the time. He picked his main pitch then saves the other fastball for a “change of pace” pitch. Peterson has compiled solid starts with both pitches as his number one, but he needs to pick one and work his other pitches off his primary fastball.

The Higher The Better

When Peterson works up in the strike zone, he finds more success. Batters are in the low .200’s up in the strike zone compared to way over .300 low in the zone. Pitching up with the four-seam fastball allows the 6’6″ Peterson to work his slider off the same plane and his changeup even lower. Even if Peterson commits to a primary fastball, the execution of his offspeed needs to improve. Peterson’s slider has a .648 slugging percentage against his put-away pitch. Too often, it is in the strike zone during counts where it should be thrown for a ball.

Despite the struggles, Peterson will get every opportunity to right his season. The Mets’ options are minimal on their 40-man roster. Sean Reid Foley and Yennsy Diaz have prior starting experience but have not been stretched out to take a rotation spot. Thomas Szapucki would be the best option the Mets have if they wanted to make a switch. Szapucki has a respectable 3.51 ERA in Triple-A, but his 1.58 WHIP and 1.8 HR/9 are why the Mets feel he is not ready to join the Mets rotation. Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco are nowhere near coming back, which leaves Peterson on his own to right the ship.

Orioles Destroy Mets Pitching in 10-3 Blowout Loss

The New York Mets‘ top three in their starting rotation are as good as it gets, but there are glaring holes with the pitchers that follow them. David Peterson fell victim to an onslaught from the Baltimore Orioles, led by Mets killer Maikel Franco in the 10-3 loss.

Peterson avoided his usual first-inning trouble but failed to find success in the rest of his dreadful start. He lasted just 2.2 innings allowing eight hits and four runs, and his ERA ballooned to 6.32. Peterson did not have issues putting the ball in the strike zone, allowing the O’s to make hard contact consistently. Robert Gsellman tried to keep the Mets in the game but was just as unsuccessful in long relief. Gsellman allowed four runs in 2.1 innings pitched and allowed Baltimore to put the game away.

The Orioles offense put up 16 hits, nine of them going for extra bases, and all but two starters had a multiple-hit game. Freddy Galvis led them with three hits, but Maikel Franco and Pat Valaika combined for three doubles, a home run, and six runs batted in. Bruce Zimmerman allowed the O’s to put the game away thanks to his third consecutive strong outing. He threw five innings, allowing just two runs and tying his career-high with seven strikeouts.

Alonso Does It All

Pete Alonso carried the Mets offense with a two-home run game which provided all three Mets runs. Alonso struck O’s pitching in the first and ninth inning, but there was almost nothing from the offense in the innings between. The Mets had just one hit in the seven middle innings on a night where they needed a ton of offense to win.

On Wednesday, the Mets turn to Taijuan Walker and look for a split of the series against O’s. Matt Harvey gets to face his former team for the second time this season. The first pitch from Oriole Park is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Mets Game Preview: (6/8/21) @ Baltimore Orioles (21-38)

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

After getting Monday off, the New York Mets make a quick stop in Baltimore to face the Orioles for a short two-game series. The Mets are coming off a series split over the weekend in San Diego while the O’s took two out of three from the Cleveland Indians. The first pitch from Oriole Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

The Mets are still surviving in first place despite their abundance of injuries. Jonathan Villar was limited over the weekend but will return to the leadoff spot and play third base. Villar was red hot in the last nine games he played, batting .393 with a .500 on-base percentage which jumpstarted the Mets in the leadoff spot.

After losing 14 consecutive games, the Orioles have found a way to win four out of their last five games. Trey Mancini and Cedric Mullins continue to be the lone bright spots for the O’s. Mancini leads the team with 11 home runs, and Mullins leads them with a .322 batting average. John Means (2.28 ERA) is the anomaly for an Orioles pitching staff with a 4.84 team ERA, fourth-worst in MLB.

Pitching Matchup

David Peterson looks to rebound after a dreadful start against the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he only recorded one out. Peterson has a 5.89 ERA and has struggled to find consistency at any point this season. Against the D’Backs, he allowed three hits, three walks, and five runs on 35 pitches. With very little quality starting pitching depth, Peterson will get a long leash in the rotation.

Rookie Bruce Zimmermann makes his 10th start of the season and comes off a solid start against the Minnesota Twins. He allowed just one run over 5.2 innings and striking out seven. Zimmermann has faired much better at home, where his ERA at Oriole Park is 4.21 compared to 5.79 on the road.

Mets Ninth Inning Rally Comes Up Short in 3-2 Loss to Rockies

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets‘ offensive struggles continue as they were outscored 3-2 by the Colorado Rockies in the first game of their series. Colorado is notorious for their lack of offense on the road, but they figured out a way to outscore the Triple-A lineup the Mets rolled out.

David Peterson looked like he was going to have another short start after allowing two solo home runs in the second inning. He rebounded and put together a quality start where he allowed three runs over six innings pitched with just three strikeouts. Peterson did not have his best stuff but certainly pitched well enough to deliver a victory.

Fellow lefty Austin Gomber was the pitcher who had his good stuff. Gomber pitched eight terrific innings, pitching into the ninth, allowing two runs, and striking out eight. James McCann and Brandon Drury each tagged him for solo home runs and summed up the Mets offense. Drury’s homer started a ninth-inning rally, but the Mets stranded the tying run at second against Carlos Estevez. Offense was such a premium that each team only had one at-bat with a runner in scoring position.

McCann At First Base

McCann played his first career game at first base with the Mets in dire need of depth on their roster. On his first play, McCann made a sprawling play on a groundball to his right and made a perfect toss to Peterson for the out. Unfortunately, Johneshwy Fargas left the game with what looks like a shoulder or collarbone injury. Fargas suffered the injury after slamming into the center field fence. With 16 players on the injured list, the Mets are running out of outfield options with Kevin Pillar, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Conforto out of commission.

Luckily, Jacob deGrom returns off the injured list on Tuesday when he makes his first start in two weeks. Kyle Freeland makes his first start of the season after being sidelined with a shoulder injury. The first pitch from Citi Field is another 7:10 p.m. ET start.

Braves Figure Out How To Beat The Mets Replacements in 5-4 Loss

The New York Mets were pulling off miracles with their roster depth but had nothing left for the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves. Manager Luis Rojas tried to ride Jacob Barnes for another inning, and Ronald Acuna had none of it. Acuna took his first pitch right over the center field fence to give the Braves a 5-4 walk-off win and avoid the sweep.

The Mets had an opportunity to take the lead in the ninth, but two consecutive popouts stranded Cameron Maybin on third base to end the inning. Rojas had to turn to his bullpen early again after David Peterson struggled in the fifth inning. Peterson began his start with four no-hit innings but allowed three runs and five hits before being lifted in the fifth.

Drew Smith and Miguel Castro delivered scoreless outings, but Aaron Loup ran into issues in the eighth. Loup allowed three consecutive hits and allowed the Braves to tie the game. Luckily, Barnes worked out of the eighth inning jam with help from the defense of James McCann.

Maybin’s Mets Debut

Maybin went from doing nothing with Cubs to making his 2021 debut as the three-hitter for the injured Mets. The lineup only had four hits, and three resulted in runs. Jonathan Villar opened up scoring with a solo home run, Jose Peraza drove in one with an RBI double, and Tomas Nido had another clutch hit with a two-run single to give them a 4-3 lead. Unfortunately, the cracks in their outfield showed as all three outfielders went hitless, and two (Maybin and Lee) recorded three strikeout games. While the offense was not there, Lee made another tremendous catch while patrolling right field.

Even if the Mets found a way to take the lead, Trevor May would have needed to pitch a third consecutive day. If they made it to extra innings, who knows what combination of pitchers would have made it to the mound. Despite the disappointing loss, the Mets left Atlanta with a rare series win and still sit in first place in the NL East. After Thursday’s day off, they will have another opportunity to take another series when they fly to Miami and face the Marlins.

Mets Game Preview: (5/19/21) @ Atlanta Braves (19-23)

The New York Mets and their bench mob attempt to pull off an improbable sweep in the third game of their series against the Atlanta Braves. Throughout all the injuries and a sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Mets have still managed to keep themselves in first place. The first pitch for the final game of the series is set for 7:20 p.m.

Bench mob leader Tomas Nido saved the Mets from going deeper in the bullpen when he launched a game-winning home run in the ninth last night. With multiple key offensive players on the injured list, the offense has to do enough to survive while the pitching does the rest. If the Mets are in a save situation again, Edwin Diaz is unlikely to pitch. Diaz has pitched for three consecutive days, and Trevor May has also thrown on back-to-back days. Closing duty is likely to fall on the shoulders of Miguel Castro, who has only pitched three times since May 9.

The Braves are in danger of falling into a tie for last place if they drop the final game of the series. Ronald Acuna is still looking for his first hit in the series, and it is no surprise that the Braves have been unable to score without his production. Acuna is facing a lefty today and is hitting .357 with a .714 slugging percentage. It is an excellent opportunity to boost his .184 May average and get his first home run of the month. Austin Riley will attempt the home run hat-trick homering in the first two games of the series. The Mets are likely to throw him a lot of breaking balls to neutralize his power numbers.

Pitching Matchup

David Peterson tries to give the Mets length and consistency; both have eluded him at times this season. Peterson worked into the eighth inning during his last start but has multiple appearances where he did not make it past the fourth inning this season. If Peterson can put up a scoreless first inning, he usually settles in for the rest of his start. This year, achieving the task has been challenging as Peterson puts up a 6.43 ERA and .654 slugging percentage against in the first frame.

The 37-year old Charlie Morton still has not settled in during his second tour in Atlanta. In eight starts, Morton has a 5.08 and has a 1.2 HR/9, his highest since 2010, where he had a 7.57 ERA. The month of May has been even more of a struggle with Morton allowing 13 runs (7 earned) in 10.2 innings, and hitters are batting .340 against him.

Matchups To Lookout For

David Peterson vs. Freddie Freeman: 0-for-6 (.000), 4 Strikeouts

Charlie Morton vs. Francisco Lindor: 2-for-16 (.125), 2 Doubles, 5 Strikeouts

Mets Winning Streak Comes to an End in 3-2 Walk-off Loss to Rays

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets bullpen was the main reason for their success in the last seven wins, but the Tampa Bay Rays found a way to crack the code. Their rallies in the eighth and ninth inning culminated in a Brett Phillips walk-off single to give the Rays a 3-2 win and end the Mets winning streak.

David Peterson bounced back in a major way from his 1.2 inning outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Peterson made it through 7.1 innings, holding the Rays to two runs on four hits while striking out nine. His two-seam fastball has movement and velocity we have not seen this season, and it helped set up his secondary pitches. Peterson retired 17 in a row at one point but ran out of steam in the eighth inning.

Mike Zunino led off with a homer, Kevin Padlo followed with a double, and Peterson left the game after striking out Brett Phillips. Trevor May followed and did not look like his dominant self as he allowed a Manuel Margot double to tie the game at two. Margot lifted his career average against the Mets to .388 by finding another way to torture Mets pitching. May kept the game tied by striking out Austin Meadows to end the inning.

Miguel Castro hoped to get the Mets to extra innings, but the Rays rally continued in the ninth. Brandon Lowe’s walk and Willy Adames seeing-eye single set up a first and third, no-out situation. Castro pitching around Zunino to load the bases for Aaron Loup to enter the game. Loup recorded a big strikeout of Joey Wendle for the second out, but Phillips attacked the first pitch cutter to single and stole the game from the Mets.

On To The Next One

By no means did the Mets bullpen get hit around, but they were not at their elite level from a majority of the season. It was a night where they needed to be perfect, and they just happened to be average. Even the elite pitchers have off nights, and there was nothing concerning coming from any of the relievers who pitched.

Tyler Glasnow lived up to his numbers by putting together another dominant start. Glasnow’s start was a three-part story with a beginning, middle, and end. He began by returning the first 14 in order and looking like he was on his way to a perfect game. In the middle, he gave up four hits in a row, including Jonathan Villar‘s two-run home run. Glasnow ended by allowing just one hit in the final three innings he pitched. He finished the night with eight stellar innings, five hits, and two allowed with 10 strikeouts.

The Mets attempt to bounce back with a bullpen game tomorrow against Rays starter Shane McClanahan. It will be an earlier 1:10 p.m. ET start from Tropicana Field.