The New York Mets’ problems on offense reached a low on Tuesday, when Pittsburgh rookie Jameson Taillon took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his second career start. The Mets will try to bounce back from that shutout loss and end a three-game slide when they host the Pirates in the second of a three-game series on Wednesday.
New York has dropped 10 of its last 16 games and is scoring an average of 2.7 runs in that span, including two or fewer nine times. The Mets scraped out three hits in Tuesday’s 4-0 setback and Michael Conforto, who is limited to pinch hitting after receiving a cortisone injection in his ailing left wrist, struck out in his lone plate appearance. The Pirates aren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard but did manage to snap a five-game slide with Tuesday’s triumph. Pittsburgh (33-31) has dropped 12 of its last 17 to flirt with the .500 mark but three of the five wins in that span have come over New York.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ROOT (Pittsburgh), SNY (New York)
Pirates – C F. Cervelli (15-Day DL, hand).
Mets – 2B N. Walker (Questionable Wednesday, back), 3B D. Wright (15-Day DL, back), 1B L. Duda (15-Day DL, back), C T. d’Arnaud (15-Day DL, shoulder).
WEATHER REPORT: The weather conditions look good for tonight’s game at Citi Field in New York. Gmae-time temperatures are expected to be in the 80’s with low humidity. There will be some scattered clouds but forecasted chance of precipitation is zero percent. There will be a slight 5-10 mph breeze blowing out to center field.
HOT FAN BATTLE:
PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates LH Jeff Locke (5-4, 5.38 ERA) vs. Mets RH Noah Syndergaard (6-2, 2.00)
The Pittsburgh rotation took a major hit when ace Gerrit Cole was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, and some consistency from Locke would certainly help the team bridge the gap to Cole’s return. Locke tossed a three-hit shutout at Miami on May 30 and followed it up with seven strong innings in a win over the Los Angeles Angels on June 4 but was demolished for 11 runs on 11 hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings at Colorado on Thursday. The New Hampshire native is looking for his first win against New York after posting a 0-1 mark with a 4.20 ERA in his first three chances.
Syndergaard went up against the Pirates last Wednesday and ran his streak of appearances allowing two or fewer earned runs to eight by scattering two on seven hits over six innings in a no decision. The 23-year-old Texan was not quite as sharp as usual last time out and ended up walking more than one (two) for the first time since May 6. Syndergaard is searching for his first win against Pittsburgh and is 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA at home this season.
* Pirates are 1-5 in their last 6 road games vs. a right-handed starter.
* Pirates are 5-0 in Locke’s last 5 starts vs. National League East.
* Mets are 1-5 in their last 6 home games.
* Mets are 7-1 in Syndergaard’s last 8 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 7-1-1 in Locke’s last 9 starts vs. a team with a winning record.