New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom, who has had two injury scares of late, is expected to be back on the mound on Wednesday night against the host Miami Marlins.
The 32-year-old right-hander, the reigning two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in four starts. He is close to his 2019 form, when he had a 2.43 ERA in 32 starts.
However, the Marlins historically have battled fairly well against deGrom, considering how much he dominates most teams. For his career, deGrom is 10-7 with a 3.27 ERA in 23 starts versus the Marlins. At Marlins Park, deGrom is 3-3 with a 3.84 ERA in 10 starts.
This year, deGrom beat the Marlins on Aug. 9 in New York, allowing two runs in five innings and striking out six.
That, as it turns out, was deGrom’s most recent start. In that game, deGrom had an issue with the middle finger of his right hand, forcing his early exit.
Then deGrom was supposed to start last Friday night against the Philadelphia Phillies, but he was scratched due to neck stiffness.
“I debated going out there, but then I could change my arm slot and hurt something else,” deGrom said. “I love competing. When I’m not able to go, it’s frustrating.”
Miami will counter deGrom with right-hander Pablo Lopez (2-1, 2.25 ERA in three starts). Batters are hitting just .174 against Lopez’s changeup, and 11 of his 19 strikeouts have come on the pitch.
Because he throws that changeup 30.6 percent of the time, Lopez, 24, is tough to decipher. Lopez also appears to be more stretched out now. After going just five innings in his first two starts, Lopez went six in his most recent outing, throwing a season-high 88 pitches.
In four career starts against the Mets, Lopez is 2-2 with a 6.00 ERA. His most recent start against New York was on Aug. 9, when he lost to deGrom. Lopez allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings.
That was at Citi Field, however. In his career at Marlins Park, Lopez has a 3.48 ERA. On the road, his career ERA is 5.96.
Lopez’s most recent start was an 8-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday in what was Miami’s long-delayed home opener.
“It was fun to see the guys making plays behind me,” Lopez said.
Since then, however the Marlins have lost four straight games. Two of those defeats have come against the Mets in the first half of this series, by scores of 11-4 and 8-3.
The Mets have slugged seven homers in those two games. New York has also received several good performances from its bullpen.
Individually, Brandon Nimmo — who fell just a double shy of a cycle on Tuesday — has been outstanding as a leadoff batter. He has a .431 on-base percentage and has tripled in consecutive games.
He went 3-for-5 on Tuesday and just missed going 5-for-5. On his only two outs, he was robbed of a hit on a line drive into a shift and also flied out to the warning track.
Other hot Mets hitters include Robinson Cano (.393), Michael Conforto (.315) and Dominic Smith (.311).
There was just one .300 hitter who played for Miami on Tuesday: Magneuris Sierra (.333).
–Field Level Media