The New York Mets (15-8) have hit a bit of a rough patch lately, losing three consecutive series and seven of their last 11 games. There have been some disappointing late losses in that stretch, including yesterday’s 13 inning defeat at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets are now 2-4 on their nine game road trip and will look to get back on track as they hit the final stop of their cross country journey this weekend, sunny San Diego. The opposition will be the San Diego Padres (9-17), with first pitch for the opener of the three game set scheduled for 10:10 pm at Petco Park.
Expectations weren’t very high for the Padres this season coming off a 71-91 season, good for fourth place in the loaded National League West. San Diego is in the midst of a rebuild after a failed attempt to make a run for the playoffs in 2015, but they did make some big strides over the winter. First baseman Eric Hosmer, widely regarded as the top position player on the market, signed an eight year contract to provide a cornerstone piece to the Padres’ lineup. San Diego also added veteran infielders Chase Headley and Freddy Galvis in trades, giving the team a respectable lineup as it waits for a crop of talented prospects led by Fernando Tatis Jr to develop. The Padres’ pitching is also in a state of flux as the rotation is filled with castoffs and projects, but they should still be a competitive team in a loaded division.
The Mets will send righty Jacob deGrom (2-0, 2.53 ERA) to the mound tonight. deGrom delivered another excellent performance in his last start, tossing seven shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves last Saturday, but was again robbed of a victory after the bullpen blew the lead for his second straight start. The Mets ended up losing the game 4-3. The Padres will counter with 34 year old lefty Clayton Richard (1-2, 5.67 ERA). Richard pitched decently in his last start, holding the Arizona Diamondbacks to three runs in five innings last Saturday, but got stuck with a loss.
New York Mets Lineup:
- 2B Asdrubal Cabrera
- LF Yoenis Cespedes
- 3B Todd Frazier
- 1B Wilmer Flores
- RF Michael Conforto
- CF Juan Lagares
- C Jose Lobaton
- SP Jacob deGrom
- SS Amed Rosario
- The Mets went 3-4 against the Padres in 2017, including a split of a four game series at Petco Park last July.
- The Mets have never fared well at Petco Park, winning only one series there since the park opened in 2004.
- deGrom is 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA in four career starts against the Padres.
- Richard is 2-4 with a 4.41 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets.
- The Mets have recalled righty Jacob Rhame from Triple-A Las Vegas to add a fresh arm to the bullpen. Corey Oswalt, who worked 4.2 innings in relief of Steven Matz on Wednesday, was sent down to make room for Rhame on the active roster.
- After sitting out of yesterday’s game, Michael Conforto is back in the Mets’ lineup. Conforto will play right field, spelling Jay Bruce, and bat fifth.
- Juan Lagares will start in center field with a lefty on the mound. Lagares will bat sixth.
- Wilmer Flores will start at first with the left handed Richard on the mound and bat cleanup.