Reds series preview August 29-31

A three-game series between the Mets and the Reds is an exercise in futility, two teams with nothing to lose but their last thread of dignity. It’ll be a blast.

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 @ 12:35 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Baseball Weather

Tuesday: Scattered thunderstorms, high of 79F

Wednesday: Partly cloudy, high of 82F

Thursday: Partly cloudy, high of 81F

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tuesday: RHP Chris Flexen (3-2, 5.79 ERA, 7.14 DRA, .337 TAv, -0.5 WARP) vs. RHP Sal Romano (3-5, 4.96 ERA, 5.81 DRA, .300 TAv, -0.1 WARP)

Chris Flexen’s promotion to the majors came more out of desperation than anything else, and he’s clearly not ready. The young righty has been better lately, including allowing just two runs over six innings against the Diamondbacks last time out, and a lost season is the best time for him to perfect his craft…or for the team to realize he can’t handle the pressure.

The Reds rookie has also struggled since his promotion, although he’s managed to go seven innings in his last two outings. Walks have been a problem over his first 10 career starts and he’s given up a home run in his last four straight games.

Wednesday: RHP Rafael Montero (2-9, 5.44 ERA, 5.30 DRA, .303 TAv, 0.2 WARP) vs. RHP Homer Bailey (4-6, 7.99 ERA, 8.33 DRA, .327 TAv, -1.7 WARP)

Against all odds, Rafael Montero is still here. Honestly, Rafael Montero will outlast us all. And he’ll always lure you back in with one good start before returning to his perfectly below average self.

Bailey has been getting progressively worse over the last few years and the downgrade has bottomed out with an ERA of almost 8 this year. The Reds, like the Mets, have no reason not to let him keep pitching.

Thursday: RHP Jacob deGrom (14-7, 3.39 ERA, 2.74 DRA, .237 TAv, 5.5 WARP) vs. RHP Robert Stephenson (2-4, 5.81 ERA, 5.91 DRA, .313 TAv, -0.3 WARP)

deGrom remains the last bright spot of a truly devastating Mets season. Keep that light.

In his sophomore season, Stephenson has brought the home runs down and the strikeouts up, but he’s still getting hit hard.

Who’s Hot?

Juan Lagares: .368/.400/.474 in last four games

Kevin Plawecki: .389/.476/.611 in last six games since promotion

Tucker Barnhart: .368/.480/.474 in last six games

Who’s Not?

Amed Rosario: .133/.188/.333 in last four games

Dom Smith: .071/.067/.071 in last four games

Joey Votto: .190/.452/.381 in last seven games

When We Last Met

The Mets swept a three-game set in Cincinnati in September. New York has a 14-game winning streak against the Reds dating back to 2014.

It’s Literally a 10-Day DL

Reds: Devin Mesoraco might be out the rest of the season with a fractured left foot and Jesse Winkler is out indefinitely with a left hip flexor strain. Homer Bailey left his last outing with irritation in his right shoulder, but he’s still expected to make his start on Wednesday.

Mets: Everyone is broken.

Notable Quotables

“We certainly plan on getting him back sometime in September,” Terry Collins said about Noah Syndergaard, who is rushing back to a spot in the world’s most depressing rotation in the middle of the world’s most depressing season.

“Sometimes a young player will come up here and look in the major-league mirror, and it’ll shine back that there are some things they need to clean up to their game. Then they go back to the minor leagues and clean it up,” said Reds manager Clint Hurdle, who has the right idea about working with prospects.

Photo credit: Dale Zanine – USA Today Sports

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