The ridiculously banged-up New York Mets and the host Miami Marlins — who are only slightly injured by comparison — are set to wrap up a three-game series with Sunday afternoon’s finale.
The series is split so far, and with the exception of New York’s Marcus Stroman on Friday and Miami’s Pablo Lopez on Saturday, the other starting pitchers this weekend have come from outside these teams’ regular rotations.
It’s a trend that will continue Sunday as Miami will start 26-year-old rookie right-hander Cody Poteet (1-0, 1.80 ERA). The Mets have not yet named a starter.
That’s what happens when the Mets are without four of their top five rotation options: two-time Cy Young Award-winner Jacob deGrom, former 18-game winner Carlos Carrasco, ex-14-game winner Noah Syndergaard and starter/reliever Seth Lugo.
Miami has not escaped the injury bug as manager Don Mattingly is without two of his top five starters, including potential ace Sixto Sanchez.
That has presented an opportunity for Poteet, a former fourth-round pick out of UCLA who has yet to face the Mets.
The Marlins are 1-1 in his two starts, and he has lasted five innings each time. Poteet beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 3-2, in his major league debut on May 12.
“Amazing moment,” Poteet said of that game. “I’ve spent a lot of years working on this.”
The Mets’ starter could be former Marlins right-hander Jordan Yamamoto (1-0, 3.38 ERA), who was recalled from the minors on Saturday. He has never faced the Marlins and has pitched in the majors just once this season, beating the St. Louis Cardinals on May 5.
For his career, Yamamoto is 5-6 with a 6.12 ERA in 20 appearances, including 18 starts.
Poteet will face a Mets lineup with just two regular starters left standing. Somehow, the Mets have risen to first place in the National League East with about three-quarters of the season remaining.
Due in part to all of those injuries, this series has already been wild, and Friday’s 6-5 Mets win in 12 innings may have been the most bizarre game of the year. Two Mets rookies — playing only because 16 New York players are on the injured list — produced their first major league hits during a three-run rally in the final frame.
New York’s biggest hero on Friday was rookie outfielder Khalil Lee, who had the go-ahead RBI double after striking out in each of his first eight major league at-bats this year.
“It’s a brand-new day,” Lee said after his big hit.
Saturday, however, was Miami’s day as Garrett Cooper supplied the drama, hitting a two-out, two-run, walk-off homer in the ninth to beat the Mets, 3-1.
Cooper, who hit a 3-2 fastball, came close to striking out on the previous pitch, but reliever Drew Smith didn’t get the call.
It was Cooper’s third homer in three games, and he also extended his hit streak to seven.
“I was trying to find myself as a hitter earlier in the year,” Cooper said. “I wasn’t playing every day.”
–Field Level Media