The Mets are headed out of town on a mini 3 game road trip to the Steel City to take on the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates who sit in fourth place in the NL Central at 18-22. They have been struggling with injuries to key players, especially McCutchen, their superstar leader.
Can the Mets take advantage of a struggling Pirates lineup? The Pirates have already played in 16 one-run games, which sounds very similar to the Mets, except that the Pirates have lost 10 of those games. They have lost 6 of 7 overall and now is the perfect time for the Mets to be charging into their town to pounce on a struggling group.
Can the Mets continue to battle through their offensive slump and win a much needed road series? The Mets offense has been inconsistent at best and after a strong showing against the Brewers last weekend, they forgot to show up until the fourth game versus the Cardinals. If they want to make any noise until Wright and d’Arnaud return, Duda will have to put on more power displays like his 2 home run show at Citi in yesterday’s game. In addition to that, Lagares will have to find the magic that made him successful the first month of the season. He has continued to flash his gold glove nightly, but the bat has been on ice since the calendar flipped to May. Granderson, on the other hand, seems to have found his way back, however, it takes more than just 1 or 2 guys in a lineup to keep some form of consistency.
While there are potentially two great pitching matchups in this series (clearly not the Niese start in game 3), can Syndergaard vs. Cole live up to the hype? While anytime Harvey takes the mound, the Mets feel they have the clear advantage, the real matchup to watch in this series is young Mets phenom Noah Syndergaard vs Pirates ace Gerrit Cole. Syndergaard (1-1, 3.18) has been as good as advertised in his first two outings. Despite his early success however, he is still fighting to keep his rotation spot as Gee recovers from injury. While everyone in their right mind knows that Syndergaard should never toe a minor league mound again, payroll and contract status always play a role with the Wilpons, and Noah’s situation is no different in regards to his Super-Two status. Cole, has been equally as impressive, with a 5-2 record and 2.40 ERA on the season. He has struck out 53 batters in just over 48 innings and continues to improve his control with each start.