The season is all but over for the New York Mets (24-29), who have to run the table to even have a prayer of making the postseason. The Mets wasted a gem from Rick Porcello yesterday, who allowed one run in seven innings only to take a loss as the Mets fell 7-0 to the Atlanta Braves. Next up for the Mets is their final home series of the season, a three-game set with the American League East-leading Tampa Bay Rays (35-19). First pitch for today’s game is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.
2019 proved to be a strong season for the Rays, who went 96-66 to finish in second place in the AL East, trailing the first-place New York Yankees by seven games. Tampa Bay managed to win their Wild Card game with Oakland before pushing the Houston Astros to five games in the Division Series. That momentum has carried over to this season as the Rays have utilized a deep pitching staff and talented lineup to surge into first place in their division as they have already clinched a postseason berth. The Mets will need to find a way to sweep this series to keep their slim postseason hopes alive, which won’t be an easy task given the talent that the Rays have at their disposal.
Right-hander Jacob deGrom (4-1, 2.09 ERA) is set to toe the rubber for the Mets tonight. deGrom lasted just two innings in his last start, giving up three runs to the Philadelphia Phillies last Wednesday before departing with a hamstring spasm. The Mets rallied to win the game, sparing a loss from deGrom’s resume as he bids for a third straight Cy Young Award. The Rays will counter with an opener in righty Peter Fairbanks (5-3, 2.74 ERA). Fairbanks last pitched on Thursday, tossing a scoreless inning of relief against the Baltimore Orioles.
New York Mets Lineup:
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 21, 2020
- The Rays and Mets last met in 2018 when Tampa Bay took two out of three at Citi Field in early July.
- deGrom has a 1.88 ERA in two career starts against Tampa Bay.
- Fairbanks has never seen the Mets before.
- Michael Conforto and Andres Gimenez will get the day off today. Brandon Nimmo will move over to right field and bat leadoff while Amed Rosario will start at shortstop and hit seventh.
- The Mets have placed Jake Marisnick on the injured list with a hamstring issue, effectively ending his season. Guillermo Heredia, who the Mets claimed from the Pittsburgh Pirates off waivers in late August, was added to the active roster to take Marisnick’s place.
- Heredia will also make his Mets’ debut tonight by starting in center field and hitting eighth.
- Hunter Renfroe is 3 for 9 with a double and two home runs in his career against deGrom.