The Mets (80-73, 3.5 GB for second Wild Card) continue their three-game series with the Reds (72-82, 15.0 GB in NL Central) when they resume action Saturday at 4:10 p.m. from Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
After five scoreless innings between both sides to start Friday's game, the Mets made the most of another gem from ace RHP Jacob deGrom (10-8, 2.51 ERA) with Jeff McNeil's sixth-inning solo home run to get the offense on the board before seven more runs over the final three frames buried the Reds in the 8-1 series-opening win. J.D. Davis is one home run shy of 20 for the first time in his third-year career -- he has slashed .302/.366/.505 in 132 games -- which would group him with Pete Alonso (50), Michael Conforto (30), McNeil (23) and Todd Frazier (22) among the Mets' single-season franchise-record number of players with 20-plus home runs in a season. RHP Seth Lugo (7-4, 2.75 ERA) has 99 strikeouts in 75.1 innings, which is good for third among NL relievers. Should he notch his 100th strikeout of the season, Lugo would do so for the second straight year after fanning 103 in 2018. The century mark for Lugo would double as the Mets' fifth reliever in franchise history to reach the milestone.
|Brandon Nimmo, CF||Josh VanMeter, LF|
|Jeff McNeil, LF||Joey Votto, 1B|
|Pete Alonso, 1B||Eugenio Suarez, 3B|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||Aristides Aquino, RF|
|Wilson Ramos, C||Tucker Barnhart, C|
|Michael Conforto, RF||Jose Iglesias, SS|
|Todd Frazier, 3B||Brian O'Grady, CF|
|Amed Rosario, SS||Derek Dietrich, 2B|
|Zack Wheeler, RHP||Anthony DeSclafini, RHP|
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Who is starting for the Mets?
Will the Mets get another strong start from RHP Zack Wheeler (11-7, 4.09 ERA)? The light has come on for Wheeler since the end of August, going 2-0 with two no-decisions and a 1.44 ERA -- plus 23 strikeouts -- while the Mets have gone 3-1 in the four outings. Wheeler's latest performance last Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers gave the Mets a chance to win before the 3-2 loss, scattering six hits for one run while striking out nine and walking none in 7.0 innings. Wheeler gave an identical effort in his previous start Sept. 10 for the Mets' 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing seven hits but just one run with seven strikeouts to two walks in 7.0 innings.
Who is starting for the Reds?
RHP Anthony DeSclafani (9-9, 3.93 ERA) was the tough-luck loser in last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He allowed just one run on one hit, striking out five while walking none in 7.0 innings. His outings since the calendar flipped from August have been mostly solid -- before the loss to Arizona, DeSclafani got the win against the Diamondbacks Sept. 8 with three runs (two earned) on three hits and three strikeouts to three walks in 6.0 innings. Prior to the two starts, DeSclafani got the loss in Sept. 2's 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies, but scattered four runs on three hits -- the downfall coming from two home runs -- with eight strikeouts to two walks in 7.0 innings.
The Mets complete their weekend set against the Reds with Sunday's 1:10 p.m. matchup between LHP Steven Matz (10-9, 4.16 ERA) and RHP Trevor Bauer (11-12, 4.41 ERA). Matz looks to bounce back from Monday's 9-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies in which the southpaw's seven runs on six hits -- including two home runs -- over 4.0 innings largely came from a six-run fourth inning.