The Mets are right in the middle of a stretch of games where they were supposed to be taking care of lesser opponents. But so far, they’ve been the lesser opponent, going 1-5 against the Tigers and Rockies. Now, they’re starting a seven-game road trip with three games against the Reds, who own a 14-20 record.
I’m even afraid to say it, but if there’s a chance for New York to right the ship, it’s now. Great American Ball Park is a friendly environment for offense, and the Mets have their top three hurlers scheduled to take the mound. We’ll see what happens. Here’s what the probable starting pitcher matchups look like.
Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. ET: David Peterson vs. Luke Weaver
Max Scherzer was originally the scheduled starter for the series opener, but he was scratched because of neck spasms. The Mets recalled David Peterson from Triple-A Syracuse to make the start. He allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings since getting sent down, which was his only start.
Luke Weaver’s season also hasn’t been going well, but it’s been worse than Scherzer’s. He owns a 7.88 ERA through 16 innings. The hurler has allowed at least four earned runs in each of his three starts. Weaver has a 4.66 ERA against the Mets in two career appearances, but none have come after 2018.
Wednesday at 6:40 p.m. ET: Justin Verlander vs. Hunter Greene
Two first-inning solo home runs aside, Justin Verlander pitched well in his Mets debut. After tossing 79 pitches across five innings, one can hope he’ll get stretched out a little further in his second start. JV has spent his entire big-league career in the American League prior to 2023, so he’s faced the Reds just twice: once in 2012 and again in 2019.
Hunter Greene has a respectable 3.74 ERA through seven starts, but he’s coming off his worst outing of the year. In his last start against the White Sox, Greene allowed five runs on seven hits (two homers), one walk, and seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings. This will be the hard-throwing righty’s second career start against the Mets. The first came last year when he allowed six runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings.
Thursday at 12:35 p.m. ET: Kodai Senga vs. Nick Lodolo
Kodai Senga put together one of his best big-league performances in his last start against the Rockies. While he walked at least three hitters for the sixth straight time, he completed six innings for just the second time. It was also the first time he held an opposing team scoreless.
A rough two-start stretch against the Rays and Rangers has derailed an otherwise solid start to 2023 for Nick Lodolo. He allowed 14 earned runs across 8.2 innings in those two appearances. Lodolo has allowed 10 earned runs across his other 25.2 innings of work. He held the Mets scoreless on three hits, three walks, and eight strikeouts in 4.2 innings during his first career appearance against New York last season.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.