METS (28-29) AT DIAMONDBACKS (28-30)
10:10 p.m. ET; FS-A, SNY, MLB.TV
Jacob deGrom’s past two starts were against a pair of three-time Cy Young Award winners — the Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.
He won’t get much of a break Saturday night when the New York Mets play the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix.
Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke owns only one Cy Young Award, but the crafty veteran is a five-time All-Star who is pitching well.
Greinke (6-2, 2.78 ERA) hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his past 11 starts. He posted a 2.14 ERA in May, allowing 23 hits and three walks while striking out 27 in 33 2/3 innings.
DeGrom, the reigning National League Cy Young winner, is 3-5 with a 3.71 ERA this year.
The pitching matchup between the right-handers highlights the second game of a three-game series, with the Diamondbacks trying to snap a five-game losing streak. The Mets scored two runs in the eighth inning on Friday night to win 5-4.
Four of the losses in Arizona’s five-game skid have been by one run.
“Another grinding loss,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said Friday night. “I can’t put my finger on it exactly as to why it’s happening the way it is.
“It was one of those days where it would have been a nice win for us to have. We have to turn around and make things happen in a very positive way. That will be set up by our starting pitching. We look forward to relying on Zack and getting this thing pushed in the right direction.”
DeGrom is expected to be pitching to Wilson Ramos after Tomas Nido had been his catcher for the past two games. DeGrom has a 1.12 ERA in five starts working with Nido. He has a 5.33 ERA in five outings with Ramos.
“I didn’t catch (deGrom) the past two starts, but we have been talking, trying to stay on the same page, try to know each other more,” Ramos told the New York Post. “And I talked to (manager) Mickey (Callaway) about I want to be behind the plate a little bit more with him because that is the only chance I’ve got to know more about him.”
Ramos, who is batting .265 with five homers, is in the first year of a two-year, $19 million contract.
“Those past two starts I have been sitting, watching what he likes to throw in a particular situation, and I pay attention to what he wants,” Ramos said of deGrom. “Right now I feel good and I’m ready to be behind the plate with him and put all my experience to protect him.”
Greinke is 5-1 with a 3.08 ERA in eight career starts vs. the Mets, although he last faced them in 2017. DeGrom has won both of his starts against Arizona, producing a 1.93 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 14 innings.
The Mets got a boost for their overworked bullpen on Friday with the return of Seth Lugo, activated after being on the injured list since May 20 due to right shoulder tendinitis. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning before Callaway went to Robert Gsellman, who earned his first save of the season with a hitless ninth.
That gave an extra day of rest to closer Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia, who had each pitched seven times in 10 days heading into Friday.
–Field Level Media