Things sure look a lot different for the New York Mets (50-55) than they did a week ago. A successful July where they had the best record in the National League wasn’t enough to convince the front office to avoid a sell-off, which they completed today with deals shipping out Justin Verlander (and plenty of cash), Tommy Pham and Dominic Leone for prospects to join Max Scherzer, David Robertson and Mark Canha among the dearly departed veterans. The Mets still have to play out the final two months of the season, a run that begins today as they open a six-game road trip against the dreadful Kansas City Royals (32-75). First pitch for the opener of this three-game series is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. at Kauffman Stadium.
2022 was another tough year for the rebuilding Royals, who went 65-97 to finish in dead last in the American League Central, trailing the first-place Cleveland Guardians by 27 games. Kansas City didn’t make any major moves in the offseason, leaving plenty of real-estate for their core of young players to develop. Things have gone poorly to say the least for the Royals, who haven’t seen their youngsters take a leap forward and are now battling the Oakland A’s to avoid the distinction of the worst record in the league. This is a series that the Mets, even in their newly depleted state, should still find a way to win.
Left-hander Jose Quintana (0-2, 3.27 ERA) is set to take the mound for the Mets tonight. Quintana delivered a quality start his last time out, giving up three runs (two earned) against the New York Yankees last Wednesday, but was stuck with his second consecutive loss due to a lack of run support from his teammates. The Royals will counter with their ace, veteran righty Zack Greinke (1-11, 5.49 ERA), who has served as a leader for the pitching staff in his return to his original team. Greinke also suffered a loss in his last start, allowing four runs in five innings against the Guardians last Tuesday to suffer his 11th loss of the year.
New York Mets Lineup:
Tonight's lineup for the Mets.
⏰ 8:10 p.m.
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The Mets won two out of three against the Royals when the teams last met at Kauffman Stadium in August of 2019.
Quintana is 3-10 with a 4.17 ERA in 25 career starts against the Royals.
Greinke is 5-1 with a 3.49 ERA in nine career starts against the Mets but hasn’t faced them since he was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2019.
The Mets have recalled OF Rafael Ortega, RHP John Curtiss, LHP Josh Walker and C Michael Perez from AAA Syracuse to fill the active roster spots vacated by Verlander, Canha, Pham and Leone.
The Mets have acquired relievers Phil Bickford and Adam Kolarek from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations. Neither will be available for tonight’s game.
With both Pham and Canha traded, the Mets will start D.J. Stewart and Rafael Ortega in the corner outfield tonight. Stewart will play right field and bat seventh while Ortega makes his Mets’ debut in left field and hits ninth.
Mark Vientos will serve as the designated hitter and bat eighth as manager Buck Showalter indicated he will receive more playing time down the stretch to help his development.
Salvador Perez is 19 for 66 (.288) with four doubles, a triple, two home runs and eight RBIs in his career against Quintana.