Mets Game(s) Preview (7/26/21) vs. Atlanta Braves (48-50)

The New York Mets and Atlanta Braves begin a critical five-game series with a doubleheader starting today. As the trade deadline approaches, this series could clarify the type of moves each team needs to make this week. The first pitch of the seven-inning twi-night doubleheader is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. ET.

The Mets took two out of three from the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend and kept a four-game lead in the NL East. Pete Alonso led the way in the series with three home runs and is in the middle of a nine-game hitting streak. During the hot streak, Alonso is slashing .368/.442/.789 with five home runs and ten runs batted in. Jeff McNeil should see his way back into the lineup for the doubleheader after pinch-hitting in Sunday’s win. McNeil delivered a two-run double, which gave the Mets the lead in the sixth inning.

The Braves come off a series split with the Philadelphia Phillies and sit four games behind the Mets. After Ronald Acuna Jr.’s season-ending injury, the Braves have not rebounded to charge up the standings. With the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers destined to play in the wild card game, the Braves’ only hope is to win the division. Should they lose the series to the Mets, they may become sellers.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1

Marcus Stroman takes the mound for the Mets and was stellar in his last outing. He threw eight shutout innings, allowing just one hit, and struck out seven against the Cincinnati Reds. The Mets will need Stroman to go deep in the game once again with the uncertainty of their starting rotation for the rest of the week. Stroman’s 2.59 ERA is the 10th best in all of baseball.

Kyle Muller starts for the Braves and has managed to survive in the Braves rotation. He has only gone deeper than five innings in one of his outings but has only allowed more than two runs once. In his start against the Mets earlier this season, Muller pitched four no-hit innings, allowing one run on two walks.

Game 2 

The Mets will likely use a bullpen game in game two as they have no options for a regular starter.

Bryse Wilson gets the start for the Braves in game two and is making his first start in the big leagues since June 20. In two doubleheader starts this season, Wilson has pitched four innings in each start and combined to allow eight runs. Wilson typically throws plenty of strikes, but this has resulted in seven home runs allowed in just 28.2 innings pitched.

Matchup To Lookout For

Marcus Stroman vs. Ozzie Albies: 4-for-10 (.400), Strikeout

Mets Finally Get An Easy Win in 7-0, One-Hit Victory Over Reds

In two of the last three games, the New York Mets failed to get multiple innings out of their starting pitcher, and Marcus Stroman gave them the length they desperately needed. Stroman pitched eight dominant innings, holding the Cincinnati Reds to just one hit on the day. It gave Luis Rojas a nice welcome as he returned from his two-game suspension and led the Mets to a 7-0 win.

Stroman had struggled over his last handful of starts but was masterful and efficient from the start. He struck out seven over his eight shutout innings and needed just 90 pitches. Stroman’s sinker/slider combination kept Reds hitters flailing and making weak contact, resulting in nine groundouts. Jeurys Familia finished the one-hit shutout by striking out the side in the ninth inning.

Since the second half started, the Mets offense has found the life it did not have for the first half. All of the seven runs the Mets scored came on home runs. Jonathan Villar opened up the scoring with a second-inning solo homer, and Dominic Smith‘s grand slam in the following inning gave the Mets a 5-0 lead. Luis Guillorme‘s first home run of the season made it a 7-0 game, which was more than enough for Stroman. Only one starting position player failed to record a hit in the series finale.

The win was their 50th of the season pushes the Mets back to over .500 in July. It also guarantees the Mets keep at least a 2.5 game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East. Despite getting a whole week to rest for the All-Star Break, they get a much-needed day off on Thursday. When they return to Citi Field, they welcome the Toronto Blue Jays into Queens. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

 

Six-Run Seventh Inning Propels Mets to 10-5 Win Over Yankees

The New York Mets offense was dead in the water heading into Yankee Stadium, but New York Yankees pitching has revived them. Their overpriced combination of Gerrit Cole and Aroldis Chapman struggled mightily once again as the Mets pulled off a gutsy 10-5 win.

The Mets should also thank Yankees manager Aaron Boone for pulling Chad Green after just two pitches for Chapman. He ended up allowing a leadoff home run on a questionable slider after three straight fastballs. Jose Peraza gave the Mets a lead with his fan interference double, Brandon Nimmo added two more, and Francisco Lindor finished it with another single.

Stroman looked like he would have another terrific start after an 11-pitch first inning. Lindor’s botched double play led to a three-run second inning which gave momentum to a dead offense. The Mets tried to nurse Stroman through one more inning, but a shrinking strike zone and a wild pitch gave the Yankees the final run they needed. Stroman finished with five innings pitched, five runs (three earned), and failed to record a strikeout.

Get The Sticky Tack

Cole struggled once again without the use of Spider Tack on the baseball. Dominic Smith stayed hot with a first-inning, short porch home run off Cole’s curveball. He worked through tough jams in the second and third inning but completely fell off the rails. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Tomas Nido, who made it a 4-2 game with his single. After a strikeout, Nimmo’s single made it a one-run game, and Lindor tied it with his own single. They went silent on offense until their huge seventh inning.

The win was the team-oriented win they have been searching for and allowed them to extend their division lead. Game two of the doubleheader is at 7:08 p.m. ET, where Corey Oswalt will face Nestor Cortes from Yankee Stadium.

Wheeler Makes It Looks Easy in Phillies 4-2 Win Over Mets

The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies faced offensive issues throughout the series, with four being the magic total. The Phillies bullpen cost them a potential sweep of the series, but they had enough of a cushion to leave with a split, winning 4-2.

Zack Wheeler was coming off his worse start of the season and rebounded at the place where his career began. He pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out six. The win was Wheeler’s 20th career win in 63 career starts at Citi Field.

Marcus Stroman usually enjoys pitching at home but was not at his best as he only lasted three innings. Stroman was pitching with a heavy heart after his grandmother passed away a few days ago. He allowed four runs (two earned), five hits, and three strikeouts. Despite the rough start, the bullpen picked him up once he left the game. Corey Oswalt pitched four shutout innings, and Drew Smith threw two shutout innings, which kept the Mets alive.

The Mets made numerous comebacks against the Phillies and had six outs to manufacture four runs. Unfortunately, the deficit was too much as all they managed was a Pete Alonso single, and Kevin Pillar‘s home run gave them a run in the eighth and ninth inning. While the Mets managed seven hits, Wheeler’s dominance was made it impossible for them to mount and legitimate rallies.

With the loss, the Mets NL East lead drops to four games as they head to Washington to face the second-place Nationals. It will be a one-game stop with Jerad Eickhoff making his second start against an unknown starter for the Nats.

Morton Shuts Down Mets Offense, Stroman Injured in Braves 3-0 Victory

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

Heading into tonight, the New York Mets offense is on life support, and Atlanta Braves starter Charlie Morton was coming off his best start of the season. It was a combination set for disaster, and an untimely injury to Marcus Stroman led to a 3-0 victory in favor of the Braves.

Stroman got through one inning and threw three pitches in the second inning before leaving with left hip soreness. Judging by the motions on the mound, Stroman could not extend enough to finish his pitches properly. The injury was another one to a team that desperately needs everyone to remain healthy. Yennsy Diaz came in to relieve and worked into and out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam but striking out three in a row.

Diaz’s luck ran out in the following inning when the shift prevented the Mets from turning an inning-ending double play. Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor are known for their miscommunication up the middle, and it showed again. McNeil sprawled to get the ball instead of letting Lindor take it, which left second base vacated. It left Diaz to face Dansby Swanson, and he made the Mets pay by drilling a three-run home run. The homer turned out to be all the Braves needed as the Mets bullpen pitched six shutout innings to finish the victory.

Morton The Magician

Morton held a no-hitter for seven innings in his last start and was just as good tonight. Over seven innings, he held the Mets to just one hit while striking out 11. Even the one hit the Mets recorded was a lucky infield single from pinch-hitting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff. James McCann was responsible for the second hit with a ninth-inning double against Braves closer Will Smith.

Overall, the Mets offense looks ugly no matter how you look at the numbers. They have been scoreless in 17 consecutive innings and shut out for the fourth time in the last seven days. Even with the reinforcements coming off the IL, it will take more than one hitter to jumpstart the offense. They will have their chance to get going against Kyle Wright while the Mets have no clue who their starter will be for the final game of the series. The first pitch from Citi Field is another 7:10 p.m. ET start.

Mets Game Preview: (6/22/21) vs. Atlanta Braves (34-37)

After splitting their doubleheader on Monday, the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves play the third game of their series. Offense was at a premium on Monday as both teams combined for seven runs over the 14 innings they played. If the rain avoids Citi Field, the third game will be a 7:10 p.m. ET start.

The Mets offense has struggled mightily as last night marked their third shutout in the past week. Their offense took even more of a hit when Jonathan Villar left yesterday’s game with a calf injury after legging out a double. Villar walked himself off the field, but the Mets cannot catch a break with their injury problems. Luckily, with Jeff McNeil back in the fold, they will not need Villar to rush himself back.

Austin Riley has -1 defensive runs saved but made plenty of terrific plays to help the Braves take the second game last night. Ronald Acuna Jr. also continued to show why he is such an electric player. After failing to get anything going during game one, he homered and threw a 97 mph strike to third base to gun down a runner.

Pitching Matchup

Marcus Stroman makes his 15th start of the season and has become an innings eater for the Mets rotation. Stroman has completed at least six innings in each of his last nine starts. He has been able to go deep into games by throwing over two-third of his pitches for strikes and allowing just two walks per nine innings. Through 84.1 innings, Stroman has a 2.35 ERA and a 6-5 record.

The 37-year old veteran Charlie Morton takes the hill for the Braves and comes off a fantastic start against the St. Louis Cardinals. Morton pitched a season-high 7.2 innings and threw a season-high 112 pitches to shutout the Cards. Morton has not found his Cy Young caliber form yet but has been solid with a 4.03 ERA over 14 starts this season. In his last start against the Mets, he held them to one run over six innings with eight strikeouts.

Matchups To Lookout For

Charlie Morton vs. Francisco Lindor: 2-for-18 (.111), 2 Doubles, 5 Strikeouts

Marcus Stroman vs. Dansby Swanson: 4-for-8 (.500), Walk, 2 Strikeouts

Marcus Stroman vs. Ozzie Albies: 4-for-9 (.444), Strikeout

Hendricks Shuts Down Mets Offense in Cubs 2-0 Win

The final game between the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs featured a pitcher’s duel between two sinkerballers. Marcus Stroman took the mound for the Mets and Kyle Hendricks was on the mound for the Cubs. Hendricks was the better pitcher as he shut out the Mets and led the Cubs to a 2-0 victory.

Hendricks allowed a double in each of the first two innings but settled in for six shutout innings and seven strikeouts. He never hit 90 mph on the radar gun, and he did not need to. Hendricks worked hitters inside with his sinker and cutter combination, then had them flailing at his changeup all night. He combined with the bullpen to retired the last 17 Mets who came up to the plate.

Stroman also had a terrific start as he pitched seven innings, striking out eight, but the one blemish was Javier Baez‘s two-run homer. Baez’s home run gave the Cubs all the runs they needed, and it was the only offense of the game for either team. Since the Cubs rested their best relievers in their three losses, they were ready to go to help avoid the sweep. The Cubs also scored all of their runs of the series on home runs, which is why their offense struggled mightily.

The silver lining from the game is Trevor May providing back-to-back strong outings. There are three doubleheaders in the next ten days, and the Mets will need him for a lot of big innings. The Mets head to Washington to face the Nationals for a four-game series which starts on Friday. Joey Lucchesi will start for the Mets against Erick Fedde for a 7:05 p.m. ET start from Nationals Park.

Mets Game Preview: (6/17/21) vs. Chicago Cubs (38-30)

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

The New York Mets play their final game against the Chicago Cubs as they attempt to complete a sweep. If the Mets can pull it off, it will be their first four-game sweep of the Cubs since the 2016 season. Just like the first three games, Thursday’s matchup is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field on another beautiful night.

Pitching has carried the Mets to plenty of victories at home, and it has done the same for the first three games. They have allowed just seven runs in the series to drop their home ERA to 3.12, the best mark in baseball. Last night’s victory pushed the Mets to 10 games over .500 for the first time this season and the first time since the final day of the 2019 season. Edwin Diaz has been a big reason for their success and has been lights out since his blown save on June 1. In the following six outings, Diaz has pitched 5.2 innings, allowed two hits, no walks, and struck out nine.

The home team has won all six games of the season series, and the Cubs hope to end the streak. Their offense has become reliant on the home run, which has been responsible for every run they have driven in during the series. Kris Bryant is unlikely to return to the lineup after resting his bruised hand in Wednesday’s game. Even without Bryant, the Cubs have to take advantage of the Mets bullpen after they pitched six innings the previous night.

Pitching Matchup

The electric Marcus Stroman gets the task of trying to complete the sweep for the Mets. Stroman has been terrific this season with a 2.33 ERA in 13 starts, the 13th best in baseball. He also enjoys pitching at Citi Field, where his ERA is 1.88, and he has only allowed one home run. Stroman pitched 6.1 innings in his last start, with one run allowed, and tied a season-high with eight strikeouts against the San Diego Padres.

Kyle Hendricks starts for the Cubs and is beginning to find his way after an ugly first month of his season. He had a 7.54 ERA in April but bounced back to have a 3.12 ERA in his last seven starts. Throughout the season, his problem has been home runs with 19 allowed, which is the highest number in baseball.

Matchup To Lookout For

Kyle Hendricks vs. Jose Peraza: 6-for-19 (.313), Double, Walk, 3 Strikeouts

Mets Blow The Game Twice in 6-5 Loss To The Arizona Diamondbacks

The New York Mets are known for their ugly June’s, and the trend is continuing in 2021. They wasted a 4-0 and 5-4 lead in extra innings to lose to the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak and was a rare off game from the Mets bullpen.

The 10th inning had as much action as any in the game. James McCann made a cameo as a pinch hitter and gave the Mets the lead with a leadoff RBI double. The Mets could not get the insurance run around to score, and it came back to haunt them. Trevor May was called into action for the save after struggling and throwing 26 pitches the previous night. May did not have his best stuff and ended up allowing a two-run double to Pavin Smith, which capped off a terrific night for him. Smith also had a monstrous 435-foot three-run home run earlier in the game.

Overuse?

Rojas had Trevor May, Drew Smith, and Seth Lugo to choose from for the 10th inning. Smith seemed like the option if the game remained tied or the Mets extended the lead. Lugo seemed like an afterthought due to Rojas hoping to open his season in a low leverage situation. May is in the middle of a pitching slump and has allowed runs in four of his last six outings. Despite getting five days off before Monday’s outing, it is clear that he has not been at his best as of late.

Either way, the loss should not have come down to extra innings. Marcus Stroman pitched five stellar innings before his confrontation with Josh Rojas after the fifth inning. Both benches and bullpens cleared, but no further conflict resulted from the gathering. Stroman struggled in the sixth inning by allowing Smith’s homer, moving the score to 4-3, and giving them new life.

Staying Alive

Rojas ended up getting his revenge against Edwin Diaz in the ninth. Nick Ahmed‘s single and error from Billy McKinney allowed him to get to second base to set the table for Rojas. With two-outs, Rojas found the hole between the first and second baseman to tie the game and give Diaz his first blown save of the season. Diaz gave up three hits in the inning, but none were hit particularly hard. The blown save was a case of Diaz getting unlucky with the defensive alignments behind him.

On Monday, Dominic Smith and Francisco Lindor showed signs of their power returning and did it once again tonight. Smith recorded a two-run homer and was robbed of a three-run homer, which resulted in a sacrifice fly. In the ninth, he walked and stole second base, the second of his career. Lindor had just one hit, but it turned out to be an RBI triple that ricocheted off the center-field fence. His average sits at .199 and has risen 16 points in the last five games.

The Mets cannot win every game, but this one is inexcusable to lose. They let the D’Backs hang around, gave them life after the bench-clearing issue, and failed to put the game away numerous times. Luckily the loss does not affect their division lead, which remains at 3.5 after the Atlanta Braves lost. At a 3:40 start on Wednesday, two lefties square off to finish the series. David Peterson takes the mound against veteran Madison Bumgarner.

Mets Game Preview: (6/1/21) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (19-36)

The New York Mets hope to continue their May momentum as they flip the calendar to June for the second game of their three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both teams come off two polar opposite months of May. Despite many injures, the Mets were 17-9 while the D’Backs went 9-21. Game two of the series is another 9:40 p.m. ET start from Chase Field.

The Mets come off a very convincing win in game one, which featured the return of Pete Alonso and Kevin Pillar. Alonso homered and recorded four RBIs, while Pillar recorded a hit in his only at-bat. Francisco Lindor is showing signs of his bat returning to full strength. Lindor is 5-for-13 (.385) over the last three games and is driving the ball to all fields. Dominic Smith had gone half a month without a double, but two to the opposite field also showed that his power stroke might be returning as well.

Seth Lugo did not pitch in Monday’s game, but we should expect to see him today. Trevor May, Jeuyrs Familia, and Miguel Castro all pitched in the win, leaving the door open for Edwin Diaz and Lugo tonight. Lugo cannot pitch in back-to-back days, and using him tonight allows the Mets to have him for multiple days against the San Diego Padres.

Pitching Matchup

Marcus Stroman makes his 11th start of the season after a terrific start against the Colorado Rockies. He pitched six shutout innings, allowing three hits and recording 11 groundball outs. Stroman has been great all year and comes into tonight’s start with a 2.47 ERA.

Caleb Smith comes out of the bullpen to make just his second start of the year. His first outing of the season was his only start, where he allowed four runs (three earned) in only three innings. Smith has faired very well in his long relief role with a 2.70 ERA and a .214 average against. He can lose the strike zone occasionally, which could run up his pitch count early in his start.

Matchups To Lookout For

Marcus Stroman vs. Eduardo Escobar: 2-for-12 (.167), 2 Doubles, Walk, Strikeout

Caleb Smith vs. Pete Alonso: 1-for-9 (.111), 2 Walks, 5 Strikeouts