The NL East second place New York Mets, at 28-23, head out west tomorrow to take on the 24-27 San Diego Padres for a 3 game set in beautiful Petco Park. The Padres enter the series in fourth place in the NL West, 6.5 games back of the leading Los Angeles Dodgers. This will be the first look the Mets get at the revamped Padres this season as they brought in Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Will Myers, Craig Kimbrel, James Shields and a whole bunch more new faces this past off-season. As the old saying goes, money doesn’t buy team chemistry (not really an old saying but true none the less).
Can Jacob deGrom carry his recent success with him on the road? We all know that deGrom is a different type of beast at home in Citi Field, where he pitches to a 1.34 ERA and is 5-1 this season. In 2014, Jacob was 5-3 with a 1.70 ERA in the spacious confines of Citi Field. On the road however, there is quite the difference. This season, he is deCrap at 0-3 with an ERA of 6.75, much higher than last year where his road ERA was more than double his home ERA at 3.64. Hopefully Warthen and the coaching staff can help deGrom overcome his road woes and keep him on track because over his last three starts, deGrom has caught fire going 2-0 with a 1.27 ERA, and 26 strikeouts against just 1 walk.
Can Lucas Duda continue to own the Padres? Lucas has been on fire to end May, as he has batted .320 over his last 7 games while crushing 4 of his 9 home runs on the season. He has been the lone steady bat in the Mets lineup (aside from Flores’ power) and will be leaned on heavily the rest of the way as the Mets look for him to repeat his 30 dinger performance of his breakout 2014 season. In 20 career games against the Padres, Duda is batting a whopping .324 with 3 homers, 9 RBI and 7 doubles. Apparently big parks make Lucas happy.
Can the Mets take advantage of a Padres team who is playing below .500 ball at home? While the Mets are the furthest thing from road warriors, the Padres are not much into home cooking, as they sit just 12-14 at home so far in 2015. They Padres enter the season losers in 6 of their last 10 games and will be sending last year’s breakout pitcher Andrew Cashner (2-7, 3.00) to the mound to oppose Jacob deGrom. So far this season, Petco Park has not been kind to Cashner as he is 0-4 with an impressive 2.42 ERA but a less than impressive .277 average against. On the season, the Padres have the fourth worst home team average, hitting just .235 and have 209 strikeouts at home with 209 (5th most in MLB), to go with just 59 walks (7th least in MLB)