Amed Rosario Jacob deGrom
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

Sitting at 17-20, the New York Mets’ season has not been perfect. A golden opportunity to get back on track is right there for the taking.

It’s no secret that the New York Mets have been struggling as of late. Losers of three of their last four series, this team has crashed hard since their 6-2 start.

Mets fans, there is reason for optimism, however. Friday marks the beginning of a 16-game stretch against teams that are multiple games below the .500 mark.

With six of their next nine games coming against the 10-27 Miami Marlins, it is not a stretch to say that this could be a season-defining stretch for the club.

“We have to do better,” manager Mickey Callaway told reporters following Wednesday’s loss. “What we’re doing right now is just not acceptable. We can’t all of a sudden score a few runs one game and everything’s OK. We’ve got to continue to do it.”

Callaway is absolutely right about this team’s Jekyll and Hyde offense. Entering Friday, the Mets have a -27 run differential – the third-worst mark in the National League. Despite this concerning number, the Mets have benefited from the NL East being down. Currently, the Philadelphia Phillies are the only team in the division with a winning record and the Mets sit a manageable 4.5 games back.

The Phillies, on the other hand, do not have it as easy for the remainder of the month. While a three-game trip to Kansas City shouldn’t be too difficult, that is followed by a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers. Starting May 20, Philadelphia has ten games in a row against the top-three teams in the NL Central. Seven of these 10 games will be on the road.

Put simply, this is the time for the Mets to strike. The schedule has broke as favorably as possible and the club must take advantage of it.

Mets Roundup

Jed Lowrie will not be activated on Friday

It was originally expected that INF Jed Lowrie would make his Mets’ debut on Friday. Instead, this will not be the case. Just 2-23 across six rehab games, the team wants the 35-year-old to get a few more at-bats under his belt before joining the big club. He will stay will Triple-A Syracuse through the weekend and could join the team ahead of Tuesday’s series with the Washington Nationals.

Brief IL stint for Steven Matz

LHP Steven Matz (forearm) is expected to rejoin the rotation May 16 at the Nationals, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

Barring any setbacks, this means Matz will only miss one scheduled start. In seven 2019 starts, Matz is 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.

In a corresponding move, Dominic Smith was recalled from Syracuse on Thursday. Appearing in 29 games so far, Smith is slashing .333/.459/.400 in 2019.

Previewing Saturday’s matchup

Jacob deGrom (2-4, 3.60 ERA) will face off against RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-3, 4.93 ERA).

Possessing a 100-MPH fastball, Alcantara has been considered one of the Marlins’ top-three prospects since he was acquired in the Marcell Ozuna trade in December 2017.

A lot is going on in Mets’ land. For all the latest, follow Teddy Rydquist on Twitter @TeddyRydquist.

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