Eric Lauer vs. Zack Wheeler
Down at the bottom for the Mets and Padres
Advantage San Diego! The Padres clawed their way to a 3-2 victory at Citi Field in their game one match against the Mets on Monday night. It wasn’t easy, it was gritty, and then it had some Mets mess up to make it all work out for the Padres, a real game between two teams that are not playing the best baseball they can.
The fifth and sixth inning were all the Padres (42-61) needed, as Mets mishaps were operating at optimum level; a bounce off Bautista in the fifth, and then a score off a Rosario trip in the sixth. That was how it played out for the Mets, and San Diego could only take advantage and hold for the match.
Taking nothing away from what the Padres did, pitcher Joey Lucchesi (5-5, 3.34 ERA) was rock solid for the better part of five innings, striking out six, while allowing only two runs and not a single walk. Eric Lauer (5-6, 4.87 ERA) will take to the hill in game two on Tuesday.
Scouts may have been in attendance at Citi Field for Wheeler, but there was a major distraction to that mission – Jacob deGrom.
It seems only a matter of time before deGrom is no longer a Mets player, because the logic is simple; a 5-5 record with a league leading 1.71 ERA just doesn’t make sense, and clearly deserves better. The 30-year old right hander is on course to become the “other player” to throw below 2.00 ERA for a season without atleast 10 wins to show for it, the other was Henry Boyle from the Indianapolis Hoosiers back in 1886.
The Mets (40-57) may well be on course for another series loss, after letting probably their best chance slip away with deGrom on the hill. Their home record is nothing to write home about, a miserable 19-33, with 4-6 in their last 10 games overall.
Zach Wheeler (3-6, 4.44 ERA) is the man of the moment, with all kinds of trade rumors and discussion circling him. A strong showing in the weeks leading to the break, put him firmly in team sights and another win over the Padres will surely be more than enough to convince teams to go for broke.
While the thought is that the Padres can capitalize on this win, or that the Mets will retaliate, there is no certainty in any because the two teams have a tendency to surprise us, and not in the best of ways.