NOTE: Tonight’s Mets’ lineup has been updated to reflect David Wright being scratched. He was originally scheduled to bat second.
Well, it’s here. What we’ve all been waiting for this spring is a few hours away at Citi Field when the Mets host the Nationals. It is the first of 19 games between the teams, which figure to battle for NL East supremacy this summer unless the Phillies prove to be no fluke.
Tonight we’ll see a classic pitching duel between the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard and Washington’s Max Scherzer, the latter who is coming off a 20-strikeout performance in his last start. Of course, Syndergaard has the stuff to reach that plateau some day.
The game will also feature the return of Mets’ 2015 postseason hero Daniel Murphy back to New York and the inevitable question of whether New York will pitch to Nationals’ MVP outfielder Bryce Harper.
Lucas Duda is not playing for the Mets because of a sore lower back.
With game time bearing down on us, Jacob deGrom is still on as the Mets’ starter in their Citi Field opener against the Phillies. Of course, the phone could ring anytime.
You have to wonder what’s going through deGrom’s mind right about now. He’s a professional, so you’d hope his mind would be able to focus on his job. Then again, he’s human so maybe his mind and heart are in Florida with Stacey.
I don’t know, the Mets have had three days off this week so everybody is rested. Plus, they have other options in Bartolo Colon and Steven Matz so maybe the best move might have been to send him home – after all, his wife was supposed to deliver three days ago – until his mind his clear.
Then again, maybe pitching would be the best thing. We’ll know in four or five hours.
Matt Harvey hopes to put the brakes on a skid that began in mid-May when the Pirates roughed him up for seven runs in four innings. Harvey, once the epitome of control and avoiding the long ball, walked two and gave up two homers that day.
Including that game, Harvey gave up eight homers in four starts. For the most part, he avoided the home run since, giving up just two in his next six starts. However, his control has been terrible as he’s walked 16 in his last five starts.
Here’s the lineup for Harvey’s start tonight against the Dodgers:
LINEUP COMMENTS: Interesting to see Tejada in the lineup when the expectations were he’s sit for Wilmer Flores. However, if based on recent production it was the right call. … Newcomer Johnson is hitting clean-up with Duda dropping to fifth. … Nieuwenhuis playing over Juan Lagares, which is another good call.
It is no secret I am not a fan of the New York Mets’ batting order, but as a baseball traditionalist I know this much, you don’t screw around with a hot streak and the Mets are going after their seventh straight win tonight against Miami.
The Mets have to feel good about number seven because they’ll be giving the ball to Jacob deGrom, who is a lifetime 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four starts against Miami. He’s struck out 34 in 27 innings in those four games.
In his last start, deGrom threw 6.1 scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia on Opening Day.
Said d’Arnaud: “He’s a special, special pitcher. He’s got great stuff, and most of all he’s got heart. He showed it (Monday), when he went out there and battled.’’
The Mets will be going after their fifth straight victory tonight against the Miami Marlins. Not once last season did the Mets win five in a row, and only three times did they win as many as four straight games. Their last five-game winning streak was May 26-30, 2013.
The Mets were 11-8 against the Marlins last season, including 6-3 at Citi Field.