Amazin' Preview: Mets vs. Angels

New York heads to the West Coast looking to snap a seven game skid.

The Mets return home after completing one of the worst road trips in team history, dropping all six games in Milwaukee and Arizona.  The 7-game losing streak is the second streak of 6 games or more this season, and the third of 4 or more. Now a season-high 7 games below .500, they are also 6.5 games back in the Wild Card race.

The only positive news in the past week (for what it’s worth) is that every other team in the Division lost on Thursday, so a half game was picked up without even playing.

In addition to the injuries that have ravages the team this season, the ineffectiveness of the bullpen has been a major reason why the season has gone the way it has.  The ‘pen has allowed 68 Earned Runs in 130.2 Innings Pitched (4.70 ERA), and served up 19 Home Runs.

On the injury front (what would a series be without losing another one), Asdrubal Cabrera went out due to a sprained left thumb, retroactive to May 11, so hopefully this is a short term situation.  The positive injury report is that Steven Matz, Seth Lugo and Travis d’Arnaud all started Minor-League rehab assignments this week.

The Angels come in with Mike Trout on a tear.  He has hit 5 Home Runs in the last 6 games, and leads the team in Average (.341), Home Runs (13), OBP (.451) and Hits (45).  Albert Pujols leads the team with 32 RBI.  The Angels pitching staff is not that vaunted, as a possible reason they signed Doug Fister to a Minor League deal this week.

Here are the scheduled pitching matchups for the series:

Friday: Ricky Nolasco (202, 4.34) vs. Jacob deGrom (2-1, 4.07)

Nolasco comes in on a streak of 3 straight No Decisions.  He’s allowed 2 Home Runs in each of his last 3 starts, but has also been able to record 20 strikeouts in the same time period.  deGrom allowed only 4 Earned Runs in just over 6 Innings at Arizona in his last start, but was a victim of the bullpen’s troubles late in the game.  He also only recorded 7 strikeouts in that game.

Saturday: Alex Meyer (2-1, 5.59) vs. Zach Wheeler (2-2, 3.76)

Meyer has been able to lower his ERA from a season-high 9.59, and has 14 strikeouts in his last 11.2 innings. He allowed just an Earned Run in his last start, a win vs. Detroit.  Wheeler has also been able to lower his ERA from 7.45.  Like Meyer, he allowed only a run in Arizona, but like deGrom was the victim of the bullpen, who allowed 6 runs in the 8th.

Sunday: Jesse Chavez (3-5, 4.22) vs. Tommy Millone (1-1, 6.25)

Chavez has allowed a Home Run in each of his last 6 starts.  His last start was a win vs. the White Sox, where he allowed 3 runs in 7 Innings.  Millone makes his third start for the Mets, after allowing 5 runs in 5.2 innings in Arizona his last time out.


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