Series Preview: Mets vs. Padres

Amazin' Clubhouse takes a look ahead at the three-game series at Citi Field between the New York Mets and San Diego Padres.

This Tuesday will mark the midway point of a 10-game home-stand for the Mets as they take on the San Diego Padres in a three-game series. The Mets, currently only two games back in the NL East, will be coming off of winning the last two out of four games in their last series against the Dodgers. The Padres, on the other hand, will be aiming to continue their four-game winning streak at the start of this series.

Tuesday: Noah Syndergaard (4-5, 2.97 ERA) vs James Shields (8-3, 3.77 ERA)

Even though Syndergaard has remained one of the Mets’ top pitchers throughout the season, he had an uncharacteristically wild performance in his last start against the Nationals on Wednesday. In five innings he held the Nats to only one run, but allowed five hits and a career-high five walks. Syndergaard has been consistent in his last five starts, however, keeping his combined ERA for those starts at 1.59.

James Shields has not been having quite as successful a season as Syndergaard, as he will be going after his second win in ten starts on Tuesday night. After starting the season strong going 7-0, in his last three starts he has not lasted past the sixth inning. On his last start on Wednesday against the Giants he allowed three hits and seven strikeouts in five innings. Depending on how Shields plays against the Mets, he may be up for trade by the Padres soon.

Wednesday: Bartolo Colon (9-9, 4.60 ERA) vs Tyson Ross (6-8, 3.45 ERA)

One of the older members of the Mets, Colon has not brought home a win since June 12. He has also set a franchise record for allowing one home run in his last 16 consecutive starts. This is not to say that Colon has not had strong performances, however. In his last start he threw eight innings and only allowed one run, and he threw 13 strikeouts in his last three starts.

Tyson Ross has been breaking his own franchise records this season; he has not allowed one home run in his last 16 starts. Similar to Colon, this statistic is not to say that Ross has not had his own experiences with bad games this season. In his last start against the Marlins on July 23 he had been having a good game, but then in the sixth inning he allowed eight hits and four runs, causing a 2.84 ERA for his last three starts.

Thursday: Jon Niese (5-9, 3.75 ERA) vs Andrew Cashner (4-10, 3.93 ERA)

If there is one aspect of Niese as a player that is not to be questioned, it is his commitment to the team. He missed the birth of his second child in his last start with the Mets on Friday against the Dodgers. Niese obviously had much on his mind that night, which explains why he allowed six runs in the three innings he pitched. Following his last start Niese was on paternity leave, so if he is able to return for the Padres series it will mark his first game back.

Cashner is another Padres pitcher that has no-homerun streak, as he has not given up a homer since June 16. His performance this season has not been as strong as it has been in previous years, however, and there are talks of the Padres possibly trading him soon. Cashner played well in his last start on Friday against the Marlins though, allowing only one run and five hits in the seven innings that he pitched.

More about this series:

-Padres left fielder, Justin Upton, has been mentioned in several trade rumors, but he is not giving up without a fight. After going 6 for 56 in his last 16 games, he went 2 for 3 with a home run in his last game on Sunday

-Syndergaard had one of his worst games this season against the Padres on June 2 as he gave up seven runs in only four innings

-The Mets have not lost a home series against the Padres since 2009, going 11-6 in series wins since then.

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