|NEW YORK METS||ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS|
|Jose Reyes - SS||Reymond Fuentes - CF|
|Michael Conforto - LF||Chris Owings - RF|
|Wilmer Flores - 2B||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Jay Bruce - RF||Jake Lamb - 3B|
|T.J. Rivera - 1B||Yasmany Tomas - LF|
|Kevin Plawecki - C||Brandon Drury - 2B|
|Juan Lagares - CF||Chris Herrmann - C|
|Matt Reynolds - 3B||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Matt Harvey - RHP||Patrick Corbin - LHP|
The last, and only, time the D-backs have brought out the brooms in 2017, was the second series of the season, when they swept away the Cleveland Indians to go 6-1. Since then, the team has played exactly .500 baseball, with a 17-17 record, and sweeps have been notable by their absence. Indeed, Arizona has only had one such opportunity, going into the final game of a series. That was after they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 21 + 22, only to lose 6-2 to Brandon McCarthy in Sunday's finale.
On paper, this seems like a tough task, going up against Matt Harvey. Or, at least, it would be if this was 2013 - or even 2015, in his first season back after Tommy John. But this year has been little short of an unmitigated disaster for Harvey, as for the Mets in general. Returning from from surgery to fix thoracic outlet syndrome, his strike-out rate is down to below six, he's walking more than four batters per nine innings, and he has allowed ten home-run in only 40 innings of work. Add a fractious relationship with management, which saw Harvey suspended for a time, after he failed to show up at Citi Field for a (non-pitching) game, and the D-backs have got a good time to face Harvey.
Indeed, it's probably not too much a stretch to think that if the Mets lose today - their seventh consecutive loss - manager Terry Collins could find his seat growing increasingly warm. Fans and ownership in New York are not exactly known for their patience, although Collins did survive similar rumblings last August, after the team's record fell below .500. That faith was rewarded, as they rebounded, winning 27 of their last 40, to reach the post-season. But a loss today would drop them to 16-23, perilously close to the .400 line which as we saw yesterday, marks the point of virtually no return for playoff hopes through 40 games.
No sympathy for the Collins, D-backs. Today, put your foot on the Mets' neck, and squeeze. Hard.