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Series Preview: Diamondbacks vs Mets

I resist the temptation to copy and paste last week’s series preview when the Mets come to Chase Field for 3 games.

Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Arizona Diamondbacks (48-69) vs New York Mets (59-58)

The Diamondbacks are not a very good baseball team. They just lost a game to the Red Sox by a score of 16-2, so sad face. I guess some baseball is better than no baseball, right? Let us look ahead to Mets, whom the D-Backs were able to sweep fairly easily less than a week ago.

State of the Mets

The Mets aren’t a whole lot different than they were last week, so I’ll keep this somewhat brief. They are very bad at hitting the ball, but excel at throwing the ball. In the wild card hunt, they are 2 games back of the Cardinals and Marlins (lol the Marlins are in a playoff spot). They have a whole bunch of key players who are banged up and/or on the DL. Neil Walker and Kelly Johnson are their only healthy players with an OPS+ above 100. Jay Bruce, whom they acquired at the deadline, is batting .159 as a Met, so that trade hasn’t worked out too well for the Mets. Overall, things are looking pretty bleak for New York as they head into the homestretch of the season. But hey, I’d much rather be a Met fan than D-Back fan right now.

Good News
  • Chris Owings has been a hit machine, with a .340 average in his last 12 games. Would be nice to see him take that next step for next season.
  • Don’t look now, but Yasmany Tomas has been the best hitter of the D-Backs’ second half. He has an OPS of 1.036 since the break, and 8 homers.
  • In the second half, 12 Mets batters have had at least 40 plate appearances. 10 of them are hitting .255 or worse, 7 of them .230 or worse.
Bad News
  • The D-Backs bullpen is still just completely unable to play baseball. Their second half ERA of 6.70 is dead last in the majors, by a lot. The second worst Royals have a bullpen ERA of 5.08.
Injury Report

For the D-Backs, it was recently announced that David Peralta would be out for the rest of the year. He really needs to come back strong next year. Rubby de la Rosa and Andrew Chafin both experienced setbacks in their rehab assignments, so they will not be back for a while. Chris Hermann and A.J. Pollock are in the minors rehabbing, and there’s not much news on the Nick Ahmed front.

We shall use the same format as last week for the plethora of Mets injuries:

Done for the year, or most of it: Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Juan Lagares, David Wright, Zack Wheeler

On the DL: Justin Ruggiano

Rehabbing: Asdrubal Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes

Recently Returned/Banged up: Jose Reyes, Jon Niese

Probable Pitchers

Game 1: Robbie Ray LHP (5-11, 4.57 ERA, 1.45 WHIP) vs Bartolo Colon RHP (10-6, 3.35 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Ray will be happy to see the Mets again after one of his best outings of the season last week. He went 7 innings, gave up 3 hits and no runs in a no decision. Interesting nugget from that start: he only struck out 4 batters, the first time he’s struck out less than 5 since his first start of the season.

On the other side of Ray’s game mentioned above was Bartolo Colon, going 7 innings and allowing 1 run. In that game, he threw 90% fastballs, and they had an average velocity of 88 MPH. I don’t know how he gets results, but hey, he does. After the pitching duel that occurred last week when these two faced off, I’m feeling a slugfest on Monday.

Game 2: Braden Shipley RHP (2-1, 2.96 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) vs Noah Syndergaard RHP (9-7, 2.75 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)

It’s too early to make any predictions about Shipley, but up to this point it seems he has a promising career ahead of him. He beat the Mets last Thursday with a start almost identical to Robbie Ray’s: 7 innings, no runs, 3 hits. I like his chances in this game, going against the horrible Mets offense again.

The D-Backs generated a fair amount of offense last week when they faced the mighty Thor, with him going only 5 innings and allowing 3 runs. This has been the norm for Syndergaard lately, with a mediocre 4.15 ERA in his last 8 outings. I have no clue what to expect in this game, but since Shipley picked up the win last week when they faced off, I’ll give him a slight edge again.

Game 3: Zack Godley (3-2, 5.24 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) vs Jonathon Niese LHP (8-6, 5.20 ERA, 1.58 WHIP)

After Corbin was relegated to the bullpen with his 1.2 inning 8 run performance on Saturday, the D-Backs are having Zack Godley take his spot in the rotation. Godley has been used as both a starter and reliever this year, ineffective in both roles. He has a 5.61 ERA as a starter, and in his last 5 starts has allowed at least 3+ runs per game. Looking at his splits, Godley progressively does worse and worse as men get on base. Opponents have a batting average of .228 on him with the bases empty, .321 with men on, and .349 with runners in scoring position.

Niese makes his first start for the Mets of the season on Wednesday, after being traded to New York from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline. He was supposed to be brought in as a familiar face who could provide some long relief, but is being thrust into the rotation due to ineffectiveness from Mets starter Logan Verrett. Niese throws primarily variations of the fastball (4-seamer, 2-seamer, cutter) while mixing in the occasional curve or change up as his offspeed stuff. He made 2 relief appearances against Arizona last week, one of them being a 1 inning, 6 run effort. Let’s hope for another one of those in his start Wednesday. Neither team gets the edge in this game.


D-Backs get smoked at home, lose all 3.