MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres

Padres Series Preview July 24-27

The Mets (45-51) begin a ten-game road trip on Monday night at spacious Petco Park against Andy Green’s San Diego Padres (43-55). New York has won four of five, their streak snapped on Sunday with a 3-2 loss to Oakland. The Padres return home after taking three of four in San Francisco.

While these two sub-.500 clubs play out this four-game series, their front office employees should be very busy behind the scenes.

Despite their recent success, the Mets are still expected to be aggressive sellers leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, which is suddenly just a week away. The team is even showcasing veterans in unfamiliar roles in an effort to increase their market value, starting Asdrubal Cabrera at third base over the weekend – a position he appeared at just once before, as a rookie in 2007.

The Padres are also rumored to be shopping some key pieces, including highly-coveted lefty reliever Brad Hand.

When and Where

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

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

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

Game 4: Thursday @ 9:10 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Baseball Weather

Monday: Fair with a low near 70F; Winds between 5-10 mph

Tuesday: Partly cloudy with a low around 70F; Winds between 5-10 mph

Wednesday: Clear with a low around 70F; Winds between 5-10 mph

Thursday: Clear with a low around 70F; Winds between 5-10 mph

Probable Pitching Matchups

Monday: RHP Jacob deGrom (11-3, 3.37 ERA, 2.87 DRA, .234 TAv, 3.8 WARP) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (5-10, 5.35 ERA, 6.43 DRA, .306 TAv, -1.1 WARP)

The Mets ace looks to continue a stellar stretch that has seen him record seven straight victories with a 1.51 ERA. Opponents are batting a paltry .180 against deGrom over the winning streak, during which he has struck out 50 in 53.2 innings.

Richard is coming off one of the worst starts of his nine-year career on Wednesday in Colorado. The veteran southpaw lasted just 3.2 innings, allowing a franchise record-tying 11 runs on 14 hits.

Tuesday: RHP Seth Lugo (4-2, 4.05 ERA, 6.41 DRA, .270 TAv, -0.4 WARP) vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin (9-7, 4.26 ERA, 4.49 DRA, .259 TAv, 1.4 WARP)

Lugo has pitched well since the All-Star break, helping the Mets win both of his starts behind a 2.70 ERA (4 ER in 13.1 IP).

Chacin, meanwhile, has impressed for all of June and July, compiling a 5-3 record with a 2.72 ERA in nine starts. The 29-year-old is especially tough at home, allowing just 14 earned runs in 65 innings (1.94 ERA), and is attempting to win his fourth straight decision overall.

Wednesday: LHP Steven Matz (2-3, 4.67 ERA, 6.00 DRA, .273 TAv, -0.2 WARP) vs. RHP Trevor Cahill (4-3, 3.69 ERA, 2.78 DRA, .250 TAv, 1.9 WARP)

Matz wasn’t particularly effective on Friday against the A’s, charged with three runs on nine hits in five innings. He didn’t walk anyone and kept the ball in the yard, his frustration evident after being lifted for a pinch-hitter in a game the Mets went on to win 7-5.

Cahill, who played a major role out of the bullpen for the World Series champion Cubs, has adapted just fine this season in his return to a starting role. So much, in fact, that he has become a prime trade candidate for a contender looking to supplement their rotation. The California native struggled on Friday in San Francisco, allowing six runs (five earned) over 3.2 innings in a game the Padres eventually won 12-9.

Thursday: RHP Zack Wheeler (3-7, 5.21 ERA, 6.58 DRA, .291 TAv, -1.0 WARP) vs. RHP Luis Perdomo (4-5, 4.71 ERA, 5.25 DRA, .284 TAv, 0.3 WARP)

Wheeler has been roughed up in his last two outings, allowing nine runs in 10.1 innings with a 1.004 OPS against. He has not earned a win since May 20, and the Mets are 3-6 in nine starts during that stretch.

In his second year in the league, Perdomo has been inconsistent on a start-by-start basis. He did not record a decision in Saturday’s loss at AT&T Park, allowing four runs (just one earned) on eight hits in six innings.

Who’s Hot?

Mets OF Michael Conforto (.350 AVG, 1.235 OPS, 5 HR, 11 RBIs after the break)

Mets C Travis d’Arnaud (6-for-11 since Wednesday)

Mets IF Wilmer Flores (4-for-9 with a double and two home runs over his last three games)

Padres 1B Wil Myers (has homered in each of his last three games, and in four of six)

Padres 2B/3B/LF Cory Spangenberg (.406 AVG (13-for-32), 1.191 OPS, 3 HR, 10 RBIs in eight games)

Padres IF/OF Jose Pirela (6-for-15 in Giants series)

Padres 2B Carlos Asuaje (12-for-31 with 5 RBIs over the past week)

Who’s Not?

Mets OF Curtis Granderson (.074 AVG (2-for-27) in July)

Mets LF Yoenis Cespedes (No home runs and 3 RBIs since June 23, a span of 20 games and 82 plate appearances)

Padres OF Jabari Blash (2-for-13 in San Francisco)

When We Last Met

The Padres visited Citi Field in late May, winning two of three; each by one run. The Mets lone victory came in the series opener, thanks to a seven-run first inning in which Chacin was chased after recording only two outs.

It’s Literally a 10-Day DL

Mets: 2B Neil Walker (left hamstring tear) was 1-for-4 on Sunday for Triple-A Las Vegas in his second rehab game. He could be activated for Monday’s series opener. Highly-touted shortstop Amed Rosario missed his sixth straight game for the 51s on Sunday after being hospitalized in Memphis the night before for an apparent stomach ailment, which was later diagnosed as gastroenteritis. Earlier in the week the Mets stated that the 21-year-old was out due to a bruised right index finger, suffered after being hit by a pitch. Rosario is expected to be back in the lineup for Vegas on Monday. OF Brandon Nimmo (partially collapsed lung) is also close to returning.

Padres: 2B Yangervis Solarte (left oblique strain) will start swinging from the right side of the plate on Monday. RHP Craig Stammen (left hamstring tightness) is still day-to-day and is not expected to be ready for Monday’s game. OF Travis Jankowski (right foot fracture) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso on Saturday. The former Stony Brook standout has been on the disabled list since April 24, and is not expected back any time soon.

Notable Quotables

“I certainly think the guys think they’re playing better. When you have some well-pitched games that means a lot. We’ve just got to get the big guy (Cespedes) going. We get him going it’s a whole different lineup.” – Mets manager Terry Collins after Sunday’s loss

“Next week’s gonna be hard. I will do the best I can to try and keep their mind on the game and away from worrying about (who) the trading talks are about.” – Collins on his approach leading up to the deadline

“Even the fact being brought up that this could be the last home game for a lot of us here is something that’s a bit odd, but nothing happens until it happens so we don’t know for sure. We’ll just see how it goes.” – Mets RF Jay Bruce following the team’s final home game until August 4

Photo credit: Jake Roth – USA Today Sports

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