The New York Mets face the possibility of dropping all seven games of the season series against the Dodgers over a 10-day span when the teams meet Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.
Adding to the Mets’ pain is the fact that New York was just a half game out of first place when their recent troubles began.
After losing eight of their past nine contests, the Mets are seven games behind the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves. Those struggles have come at the start of New York’s 13-game stretch against the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, the teams with the two best records in baseball.
“I knew a tough stretch was coming and it wouldn’t be easy,” said the Mets’ Brandon Nimmo, who hit a home run Saturday off Dodgers’ right-hander Max Scherzer. “It’s difficult to stay even keeled even though. That’s what we have to do.
“I know all the guys want to fix this. It’s a tough time we’re going through. Sometimes baseball is like that. These are good teams. It’s been a tough ride here the last few weeks.”
Another three games await against the Giants starting Tuesday in New York. First things first for the Mets, who will send right-hander Marcus Stroman (8-12, 2.84 ERA) to the mound on Sunday in an effort to salvage at least one game in the season series.
Stroman has just one career start against the Dodgers, giving up two runs on eight hits over seven innings in a no-decision in 2016 when he was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. He has not pitched at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers have bullied more than just the Mets of late. They have won nine straight games and 13 of 14 dating back to Aug. 7, one week after they acquired Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals and one day after Turner made his Los Angeles debut.
Despite initially having reluctance to join a West Coast team, while also spending time away in health and safety protocols, Turner has settled in just fine with the Dodgers. He had a home run among his three hits Saturday, his fifth multi-hit game in his past six contests and his second three-hit performance in that stretch.
“I’m just getting good pitches to hit,” Turner said. “I think the majority of hitting is getting a good pitch in the zone and putting a good swing on it, putting it in play. Ending the at-bat when it should be over is how I look at it.”
Turner’s offense has been a welcome addition, while an improved bullpen also has helped Los Angeles to its current run of success. Blake Treinen gave up two runs Saturday, but over the previous 14 games, the Dodgers’ relievers had a 1.36 ERA in 67 2/3 innings with 82 strikeouts.
Those relievers will be backing up left-hander David Price (4-1, 3.62) on Sunday. In a steady season, Price has a 3.62 ERA in 11 starts and a 3.63 mark in 21 relief appearances.
Price has just one career appearance against the Mets. In 2012 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, Price took the loss after surrendering seven runs on nine hits in five innings.
–Field Level Media