MLB: Los Angeles Angels at New York Mets

Padres Series Preview May 23-25

The Mets and their major league-worst 5.14 ERA welcome the last-place Padres to town for a three-game set that pits baseball’s lowest-ranked offense in terms of batting average and on-base percentage against a patchwork pitching staff that’s spent more time on the trainer’s table than on the mound. New York will look to win consecutive series after taking two of three from the Angels.

With NL East-leading Washington dealing with some recent struggles of their own, the Mets must take advantage of these softer spots in the schedule to inch back towards .500 and try to gain some ground in a division that has allowed them to avoid falling behind by double-digit games despite their poor play.

San Diego has lost seven of nine and had scored just seven total runs over a five-game winless stretch before beating Arizona 5-1 on Sunday.

When and Where

Game 1: Tuesday @ 7:10 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Game 2: Wednesday @ 7:10 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Game 3: Thursday @ 7:10 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Baseball Weather

Tuesday: Cloudy with occasional showers late and a low of 59F; Winds between 5-10 mph; Chance of rain 40%

Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a low of 58F and winds between 10-15 mph

Thursday: Periods of rain with a low near 60F; Winds between 5-10 mph; Chance of rain 90%

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tuesday: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (4-3, 4.61 ERA, 5.09 DRA, .252 TAv, 0.2 WARP) vs. RHP Matt Harvey (2-3, 5.56 ERA, 4.95 DRA, .291 TAv, 0.3 WARP)

Chacin allowed one run over seven strong innings en route to a no-decision on Wednesday, striking out eight Brewers in a 3-1 loss. The Venezuelan native is 1-0 with a 2.41 ERA in three May starts.

Harvey showed some positive signs in Arizona last week, striking out perennial All-Star Paul Goldschmidt twice and consistently sitting in the high 90s with his fastball, but was still charged with three runs on six hits and four walks in 5.1 mediocre frames. The Dark Knight will have to do better than that in his first home start since serving a three-day suspension for missing work. If not, the Gotham crowd may turn on him fast.

Wednesday: RHP Jarred Cosart (0-1, 2.70 ERA, 5.81 DRA, .253 TAv, -0.1 WARP) vs. RHP Robert Gsellman (2-3, 6.75 ERA, 7.86 DRA, .330 TAv, -1.1 WARP)

Cosart has pitched reasonably well in six career starts against the Mets but has yet to record a decision, despite compiling a 3.12 ERA in 34.2 innings.

Gsellman may return to the rotation after two relief appearances, which included a blown save in Arizona and a scoreless seventh and eighth inning during Saturday’s win over the Angels. The struggling rookie has not recorded an out in the sixth inning since Apr. 19.

Thursday: TBD vs. RHP Jacob deGrom (3-1, 3.56 ERA, 2.10 DRA, .246 TAv, 2.1 WARP)

One of the only bright spots in the Mets’ rotation as of late, deGrom hopes to build upon his best start of the season in which he pitched shutout ball for seven innings on Friday night, striking out nine Angels and earning his third victory.

Who’s Hot?

Mets IF Wilmer Flores (.429 BA over his last four games)

Mets 3B/SS Jose Reyes (6-for-13 since Wednesday)

Mets OF Michael Conforto (4-for-9 with 6 runs scored in Angels series)

Who’s Not?

Padres 1B Wil Myers (0-for-12 in his last four games)

Padres CF Manuel Margot (.148 BA with no runs scored and no RBIs over his last seven games)

Mets 1B Lucas Duda (4-for-26 (.154) with no home runs or RBIs since returning from the DL)

Mets IF/OF T.J. Rivera (1-for-15 with no extra-base hits or walks in his past six games)

When We Last Met

New York won two out of three when the Padres visited Citi Field last August, including an extra-innings walk-off in the series’ middle game courtesy of a Wilmer Flores fielder’s choice.

It’s Literally a 10-Day DL

Padres: RHP Carter Capps (Tommy John surgery) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list over the weekend. The move opened a spot on the 40-man roster for IF Chase d’Arnaud, brother of Mets’ injured backstop Travis, who was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox. The elder d’Arnaud appeared in just two games with Boston after being selected off waivers from Atlanta on Apr. 27.

Mets: LF Yoenis Cespedes (left hamstring strain) may return at some point this series, although the chances of him being activated for Tuesday’s opener seem slim. LHP Steven Matz (left elbow inflammation) and RHP Seth Lugo (partial tear in UCL of right elbow) are each scheduled to make rehab starts on Tuesday night for Triple-A Las Vegas and High-A St. Lucie, respectively. Reyes (rib cage) was a late scratch on Sunday but is expected to be ready for Tuesday night’s game.

Notable Quotables

“With what’s happened here, we weren’t taking any chance at it. It’s nothing I don’t think is very serious… Every time we play somebody that’s got a tweak, we end up losing them for three weeks so we didn’t play him today.” – Mets manager Terry Collins on the decision to rest Reyes on Sunday

“You pull for a guy who’s as quality of an individual as he is… To have those types of moments, you kind of know they are coming because of the type of guy he is, but it’s fun to see.” – Padres manager Andy Green on starter Clayton Richard, whose complete game performance Sunday snapped the club’s five-game losing streak

Photo credit: Brad Penner – USA Today Sports

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