The New York Mets (38-45) got an extra day off thanks to a rainout in Washington on Wednesday, and they sure could use it. After winning seven of eight games, the Mets lost three games in a row to guarantee they will finish the first half with a losing record. The Mets are running out of time to prevent a sell off at the trade deadline, and in order to begin righting the ship they need to start winning games. Their next opportunity will come tonight, when they face another underachieving team in the St. Louis Cardinals (41-44) in their final series of the half. First pitch for the opener of a weekend series is scheduled for 8:15 pm at Busch Stadium.
A perennial contender, the Cardinals were looking to bounce back in 2017 after missing the playoffs last year for only the fourth time since the turn of the century. This season hasn’t been smooth sailing for the Cardinals, who check into today’s action in third place in the National League Central, trailing the first place Milwaukee Brewers by 5.5 games. The Cardinals’ main problem has been an underachieving offense, which ranks in the bottom half of the league in most categories, which has failed to provide consistent support for a pitching staff with the eighth best ERA in the majors. Defense has also been an issue for St. Louis, whose fielders have committed 55 errors to further plague the pitching staff. Despite all the issues, the Cardinals are very much in the mix for a playoff spot, so they need these wins as badly as the Mets do.
The Mets will send right hander Jacob deGrom (8-3, 3.55 ERA) to the mound for his final start of the half tonight. deGrom won his fourth consecutive start his last time out, giving up one run in seven innings of work to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies last Friday. The Cardinals will counter with their best pitcher, right hander Carlos Martinez (6-7, 3.15 ERA). Martinez had a rare rough outing in his last start, allowing five runs in five innings against the Nationals last Sunday to suffer a loss.
New York Mets Lineup:
- CF Curtis Granderson
- 2B Asdrubal Cabrera
- LF Yoenis Cespedes
- RF Jay Bruce
- 3B T.J. Rivera
- 1B Lucas Duda
- SS Jose Reyes
- C Travis d’Arnaud
- SP Jacob deGrom
- The Mets went 3-3 against the Cardinals last season, but did win two out of three at Busch Stadium last August.
- deGrom is 1-2 with a 5.82 ERA in three career starts against the Cardinals.
- deGrom is 4-0 with a 0.84 ERA over his last four starts, recording 31 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched.
- Martinez has dominated the Mets, going 3-1 with a 1.26 ERA in seven career appearances (four starts) against them.
- Both Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes are back in the Mets’ lineup tonight. Each player was dealing with injuries in the Nationals’ series.