Series Preview: From Panic City to Cleveland

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After a disgraceful home stand against Philly and Miami where the Mets dropped 4 of 6, we are off to Cleveland for a little interleague action. The Indians are off to a 4-3 start unlike the floundering Mets. But both teams rank in the bottom five for runs scored. The entire weekend might wind up being a scoreless snoozefest. It’ll just blur into one long excruciating game. On offense Cleveland has a bit of an excuse because Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall, two of their starting outfielders, have started the season on the DL. And as far as I can tell, they aren’t due back on the big club for this series against the Mets. The problem with Cleveland is they haven’t pitched well so far either. They have a team ERA well over 4 and rank in the bottom 10. Yuck. But pitching is their strength so it’s really just a few bad games and not indicative of their overall talent.

Pitching Matchups:

We’ve lucked out on this trip to Cleveland since we miss Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, two of their top 3 young studs.

Game 1: Bartolo Colon vs. Cody Anderson

Cody Anderson is one of Cleveland’s young starters, but a slightly less heralded one. He debuted in 2015 and made 15 starts. He went 7-3 with a 3.05 ERA. He throws a low 90s fastball with a slider and a change-up. He’s not a strikeout pitcher. He’s been a very effective middle of the rotation starter for the Indians in his young career. He’s never faced the Mets.

Bartolo is so sexy. But as a warning, Marlon Byrd is 6 for 14 with 2 bombs against him and Mike Napoli and Rajai Davis are 3 for 11. So not only does Cleveland have guys who have faced Sexy, but they have had some success against him. But again, he’s so sexy.

Game 2: Matt Harvey vs. Josh Tomlin

Tomlin was 7-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 10 starts for the Indians in 2015. Very few Mets have faced him. Curtis Granderson is 2 for 7 against him and Alejandro De Aza is 3 for 11 with a home run.

The Mets desperately need a big start from Matt Harvey. He’s kept the team in his two starts thus far, but he’s been nowhere near dominant. It would be nice if he had a big day against an Indians lineup that has struggled.

Game 3: Steven Matz vs. Corey Kluber

Steven Matz draws 2014 Cy Young winner Corey Kluber. He’s the big dog. He’s a popular preseason Cy Young pick in the AL. Over 450 innings pitched in the last two years. He’s 0-2 on the season. On Opening Day he got hit a little bit by the Red Sox, tired in the 6th, and got chased from the game. He gave up 4 earned runs over 5.1 innings pitched and took the loss to David Price. He went much deeper against Tampa Bay in his second start, but in the 8th inning with 2 outs he gave up a two run home run to Logan Forsythe and that was the difference in the game. A number of Mets have faced him. Yoenis Cespedes is 4 for 12 with a home run against him. Asdrubal Cabrera is 1 for 5 and Curtis Granderson is 1 for 3. Alejandro De Aza has seen him a lot but he’s 3 for 23. Yikes.

Steven Matz can’t pitch much worse than he did in his first start of the season. Matz has the composure of a veteran. I’m optimistic he’ll get back out there and give us a quality outing.

Things To Look For:

Baseball’s Sexiest Matchup: Bartolo Colon vs. Juan Uribe may be the sexiest matchup in the game today. Juan Uribe is 4 for 14 in his career against Bartolo. When Tolo delivers his first pitch to the Hog Show it is going to be electric.

Panic City’s Newest Resident: Terry Collins managed the final game of the Marlins series like it was the World Series. He threw Jeurys Familia out there for a 5 out save. That’s bananas in the second week of the season. He said it was a “huge win” and a game “we had to have”. He said he wanted to change the perception that “there’s no energy here”. Well for starters, it’s obvious Terry reads the New York Post and all the other media outlets that pump up the hysteria. He’s such an old man. Just watching Fox News and bugging out on his couch. Screaming to his wife about anything and everything, “I told you!! Didn’t I tell ya?” I can’t believe Terry officially moved to Panic City and the season is eight games old. It’ll be interesting to see if Terry operates in a similar fashion going forward. Clearly he’s already feeling the pressure of great expectations.

Road Dogs (Hopefully): Well we really sucked at home. We sucked big time. Now we embark on a 9 game road trip to Cleveland, Philadelphia and then to play the awful Braves in Atlanta. Cespedes crushed it on the road in 2015 to the tune of a .320 average. Curtis Granderson and Travis d’Arnaud also hit much better on the road. Let’s hope a little vacation sparks the bats and maybe some of these batted balls with men on base will start finding holes. Hopefully.

Fingers Crossed for deGrom: Jacob deGrom is supposedly throwing a bullpen session tomorrow. If he feels okay he will probably make his next start. If not he’s going on the DL. Light your candles for the big man. We need him.

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