It feels like everytime I step forward to write a series preview, the Mets are on the verge of pulling you back in. This club is 10.5 games behind the NL East leading Washington Nationals and 9.5 games behind the second Wild Card spot currently occupied by the Colorado Rockies. But rather than submitting to the jaws of defeat, those faithful to the orange and blue have found hope in the team’s recent success.
After an embarrassing sweep against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Mets rebounded to sweep the atrocious San Francisco Giants, and grabbed two of three from the Marlins. If this team were to take two or three from the Phillies this weekend, that may get us all thinking on the heels of Monday’s series with the Nationals. Frankly, there is still tremendous ground to cover in terms of playoff aspirations, but this is how these things happen. They develop slowly. And for the Mets to be where they are given their unexplainable wave of freak injuries, that’s not too disappointing.
Bartolo Colon was designated for assignment by the Braves on Thursday, sparking an overwhelming call from Mets fans to bring Big Sexy home to Flushing. Colon has struggled at the tune of an ERA north of eight in 2017, so there is the possibility that he is ready to hang up the spikes, but maybe there’s a chance a return to his old confines may jumpstart that rubber arm of his. Either way, a move to strengthen the depth of this pitching staff is not just a thing that the fanbase can get behind, but a necessary move in the process of getting this team back into contention.
WHEN AND WHERE
Game 1: Friday @ 7:10 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes) – *Free Shirt Friday*
Game 2: Saturday @ 4:10 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes) – *Asdrubal Cabrera Bobblehead*
Game 3: Sunday @ 1:10 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes) – “Batting Helmet*
Friday: Partly cloudy skies. High of 87F. Winds SSW at 15 to 25 MPH. Scattered thunderstorms in the evening.
Saturday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High of 84F. Winds S at 10 to 20 MPH.
Sunday: Sunshine and clouds mixed. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High of 89F. Winds W at 10 to 15 MPH.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday: RHP Jacob deGrom (7-3, 3.71 ERA, 2.94 DRA, .244 TAv, 2.9 WARP) vs. RHP Ben Lively (1-2, 3.90 ERA, 7.14 DRA, .276 TAv, -0.6 WARP)
Saturday: Zack Wheeler (3-5, 5.29 ERA, 6.41 DRA, .279 TAv, -0.6 WARP) vs. RHP Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 4.40 ERA, 6.08 DRA, .278 TAv, -0.5 WARP)
Sunday: Rafael Montero (1-4, 5.62 ERA, 5.01 DRA, .300 TAv, 0.1 WARP) vs. RHP Nick Pivetta (1-4, 5.40 ERA, 6.11 DRA, .300 TAv, -0.3 WARP)
Mets OF Curtis Granderson – .360/.469/.960, 4 HRs, 6 RBIs, 1 3B over his last 25 ABs.
Mets INF Asdrubal Cabrera – .476/.560/.714, 1 HR, 2 RBIs over his last 21 ABs
Phillies INF Freddy Galvis – .367/.387/.567, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 3B over his last 30 ABs
Phillies SP Aaron Nola – 17 Strikeouts, 2 wins, 1.88 ERA over his last 14.1 IP
Phillies SP Nick Pivetta, 6 Earned Runs, 5 BBs, 4.50 WHIP, 20.25 ERA over his last 2.2 IP
Phillies INF Maikel Franco – .179/.233/.464, 3 Strikeouts over his last 28 ABs
Mets C Travis d’Arnaud – .236/.291/.458, 14 Strikeouts in the month of June
Mets INF Jose Reyes – .213/.289/.373, 14 Strikeouts in the month of June
WHEN WE LAST MET
The Mets last saw the Fight Phils’ during a three game set from April 18-20. The Amazins’ dropped two of three to Philadelphia thanks to a conventional Rafael Montero effort and an error-riddled game with Thor on the mound.
IT’S LITERALLY A 10-DAY DL
Mets: The injury plague just keeps on hitting. During his last start, Robert Gsellman strained his left hamstring running to first base. The team placed the young starter on the 10-day DL as he is expected to miss a few weeks. Jeurys Familia, who has been undergoing rehab in New York, may begin throwing in Florida next week. Good news for Zack Wheeler as well, who threw a bullpen Thursday and will come off the DL to start on Saturday. The right hander had been placed on the DL out of concern for fatigue rather than a concrete injury. Michael Conforto remains out of the lineup after being by a pitch in San Francisco this past weekend. Conforto stated that his hand is not broken, which were confirmed by X-rays, but could not re-enter the lineup after feeling discomfort before Thursday’s game. Lastly, conflicting reports about the return of “The Captain” came out this week, inferring that David Wright could be back to baseball activities very soon. Assistant GM John Ricco refuted this claim, stating that while he is exercising, his return to baseball activities is not imminent.
Phillies: Howie Kendrick is likely to be placed on the DL with a nagging hamstring injury. Kendrick hasn’t played a game in the field in a week due to the injury. Jerad Eickoff, who has missed the last two weeks of action, could return to the Phillies’ rotation on July 4. He threw an extended bullpen session on Wednesday and hopes to rejoin the team next week. Casey Fien was placed on the DL retroactive to June 21 after injuring his right rotator cuff. Fien hurt himself in the midst of allowing five runs in two-thirds of an inning last Wednesday.
“I think everything was there…I think everything was working pretty well tonight. … The only thing for me, that I’d like to improve on, is going a little deeper into the game — getting into the seventh, eighth inning.” -Seth Lugo on Thursday’s outing.
“I always want to be here, this is a great team. In that moment when I said that, I wasn’t saying I want to get traded. I was just saying it didn’t seem like they had a plan for me. … If they’ve got a plan, they should tell me.” -Asdrubal Cabrera on his trade demands.
“He has had an absolutely tremendous career. I’m sure he’ll land on his feet someplace. He’s a pretty valuable guy to have.” -Terry Collins on whether the Mets would be interested in Bartolo Colon after he was DFA’d on Thursday.
Photo credit: John Geliebter – USA Today Sports