The New York Mets (57-73) got off to a decent start on their road trip, splitting a four game series in Washington over the weekend. Their reward was a day off, their first since August 7th, after playing 21 games in 20 days. The Mets are back in action today as they continue their road trip tonight with the cellar dwelling Cincinnati Reds (55-76). First pitch for the opener of a three game series is scheduled for 7:10 pm at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds were widely expected to be a doormat in 2017, and that promise has been fulfilled. Cincinnati enters play today in dead last in the National League Central, trailing the Chicago Cubs by 15.5 games in the division. The big problem for the Reds has been their pitching staff, which is young and has experienced a ton of growing pains as evidenced by its league worst 5.37 staff ERA. The Reds do have some talented hitters, however, led by Joey Votto (.311/33/89) and All Star shortstop Zack Cozart (.308/17/48). Unless some of the young pitching begins to develop, the Reds are still in for a few more lean years before they can return to relevance.
The Mets will send rookie right hander Chris Flexen (3-2, 5.79 ERA) to the mound tonight. Flexen pitched very well in his last start, giving up two runs in six innings to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks last Wednesday. The Reds will counter with their own rookie righty, Sal Romano (3-5, 4.96 ERA). Romano also delivered a great performance in his last start, giving up two runs in seven innings against the Cubs last Thursday, but did not factor in the decision. The Reds ended up winning that game 4-2.
New York Mets Lineup:
- LF Jose Reyes
- RF Brandon Nimmo
- 2B Asdrubal Cabrera
- 3B Wilmer Flores
- C Travis d’Arnaud
- 1B Dominic Smith
- SS Amed Rosario
- CF Juan Lagares
- SP Chris Flexen
- Neither team has faced the opposing starter before.
- The Mets swept all six games with the Reds last season, including a three game set at Great American Ball Park last September.
- The Mets have won 14 straight games against the Reds dating back to the 2014 season.
- After resting in the second half of the double header on Sunday, Asdrubal Cabrera, Travis d’Arnaud, and Amed Rosario are back in the Mets’ lineup. Cabrera will bat third and play second base, d’Arnaud will catch and bat fifth, and Rosario will play shortstop and bat seventh.
- With the Mets carrying only three active outfielders, they will let Jose Reyes make his first career start in the outfield tonight. Reyes will bat leadoff and play left field.