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Around NY Sports with Mike Lalor: Mets Edition

Around NY Sports with Mike Lalor: Mets Edition

After losing 4 of 6 on a short home stand against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox, the New York Mets (29-23, 2nd NL East) head out on the road for a 3-city, 10-game road trip. The Mets will start this weekend on Friday night in Miami against Don Mattingly’s improved Marlins, before swinging back north and west to face the Pittsburgh Pirates for three games to start next week, and for four games against the Milwaukee Brewers to close out both the week and the road trip.

Here are the matchups this weekend (all times Eastern):
Fri, 3 Jun: RHP Noah Syndergaard (5-2, 1.84 ERA) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (3-5, 4.50 ERA), 7:15 pm
Sat, 4 Jun: RHP Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.39 ERA) vs. LHP Justin Nicolino (2-3, 4.50 ERA), 4:10 pm
Sun, 5 Jun: RHP Matt Harvey (4-7, 5.37 ERA) vs. RHP Jose Fernandez (8-2, 2.53 ERA), 1:10 pm

Marlins Notes: The Marlins are an improved squad this year under new Manager Don Mattingly, with a healthy Jose Fernandez at the forefront of their attack. Fernandez, who will face the Mets’ Matt Harvey in a marquis Sunday afternoon matchup, was 6-0 in the month of May with a 1.38 ERA and 56Ks. The only other pitchers since 1900 to post a 6-0 May with over 50Ks were Roger Clemens in 1997 and Hall-of-Famer Pedro Martinez in 1999. On Tuesday (5/31), Fernandez threw seven shutout innings to beat Gerrit Cole and the Pirates.

OF Marcell Ozuna, who was sent down to Triple AAA last summer during a poor season, has rebounded nicely in ’16. Ozuna hit .411 in May, which was third best mark over the course of a month in Marlins history; only Preston Wilson in July 1999 (.431) and Hanley Ramirez in July 2007 (.424) have produced better. Ozuna had a streak of reaching base in 36 consecutive contests that was broken on Monday.

Closer RHP A.J. Ramos is 17-for-17 in converting save chances.
With their first trip to Miami in 2016, the Mets will get their first look at Marlins Park’s revised dimensions. The deepest part of the park, near the home run sculpture in center field, has been reduced from 418 ft. to 407 ft. The walls around the park are now a uniform 6 ft. high; the walls had reached a height of 13 ft. in certain parts of the park. Since Marlins Park opened in 2012, through the end of the 2015 season, only AT&T Park in San Francisco had yielded fewer homers.

Mets Notes: The Mets offense continues to sputter. The Mets have only scored 43 runs in their last 15 games, lowering their season mark to 3.75 runs per game. In 8 of those 15 games, the Mets have been held to two or fewer runs. That places them 25th out of 30 teams in MLB – only the rebuilding Braves, Phillies, Padres, and Twins have had worse offensive output through the first 1/3 of this season. The Mets’ struggles were on full display during Wednesday’s (6/1) 2-1 loss to the White Sox in 13 innings. The Mets drew 13 walks and only scored once – that had not happened in MLB since the Brooklyn Dodgers drew 13 walks and lost 2-1 to the Cincinnati Reds in May 1953. The Mets are “all or nothing” on offense, scoring an MLB-high 56% of their runs via the home run.

RHP Matt Harvey had an excellent outing against the White Sox on Memorial Day (5/30). Harvey threw 7 scoreless innings and showed resiliency by working out of situation with two runners on and nobody out to start the White Sox 7th.

1B James Loney was acquired from the San Diego Padres for cash last Saturday (5/28). Loney will play primarily against right handers, and split time against lefties with Eric Campbell and Wilmer Flores. Loney, a veteran 1B with 10 years of MLB experience, was released by the Tampa Bay Rays at the end of spring training. He was hitting well at El Paso, the Padres’ AAA affiliate in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

Injury Front. The Mets placed Captain and 3B David Wright on the 15-day DL on Friday with a herniated disk in his neck. Coupled with his ongoing battle with spinal stenosis, the Captain may be out for an extended period of time. INF Matt Reynolds was promoted from AAA Las Vegas to take Wright’s place on the roster. 1B Lucas Duda remains on the 15-day DL Monday with a stress fracture in his back; Duda is very likely to miss two months of action. C Travis d’Arnaud (shoulder) is also still on the 15-day DL, but apparently is now throwing without pain from 90ft. down in Port St. Lucie, FL, at the Mets’ minor league complex; he will soon move forward with a rehabilitative minor league assignment.

This weekend in Mets’ History:
• June 3, 1969. 1B Ed Kranepool hits two home runs to pace the Mets and Tom Seaver to a 5-2 victory over the Dodgers. The Mets’ sixth win in a row gives New York a 24-23 mark as the club is over .500 at the latest point in the season in club history.
• June 3, 1980. With the No. 1 pick in the annual June MLB draft, the Mets select 18-year-old OF Darryl Strawberry.
• June 4, 1976. 1B Dave Kingman becomes the second player in franchise history to hit three home runs in a game. Kingman also sets the club mark with eight RBIs as the Mets beat the Dodgers, 11-0, at Los Angeles.
• June 5, 1977. Joe Torre ups his record to 6-1 as the club’s manager as the Mets sweep a doubleheader from the Phillies, 6-5 in 10 innings and 3-2. Torre, originally hired as a Player/Manager, inserts himself into the first game as a pinch-hitter and receives a long standing ovation from the Shea Stadium crowd.

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