What to look for: Pirates vs. Mets, 7:10 PM

Citi Field sunset

The Mets will look to even their series against the Pirates tonight at Citi Field at 7:10 PM.

BaronCurtis Granderson RF
Yoenis Cespedes CF
Daniel Murphy 1B
Juan Uribe 3B
Kelly Johnson 2B
Travis d’Arnaud C
Michael Conforto LF
Ruben Tejada SS
Jon Niese LHP

Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:

Jon Niese (7-9, 3.46 ERA) will start for the Mets.

Charlie Morton (7-4, 4.48 ERA) will start for the Pirates.

Mets vs PiratesHere is what I am looking for from the Mets tonight:

Restart the momentum.

The Mets played a really good game last night, but came up a little short thanks to a rare misfire in the third inning, and a leaky Bobby Parnell in the tenth inning. Against a team like this, the club needs to take advantage of any opportunity they are given, even if it’s against their second-tier pitching. The Pirates area  razor sharp club, capable of doing all of the little things to win a ballgame. The Mets need to do the same, match them pound for pound, and get the momentum back after Friday night’s loss.

More Niese niceness.

Jon Niese continues to roll, pitching some of the best baseball of his career to date and proving his worth to the back end of the Mets rotation. He has never really pitched well against the Pirates in his career, so it’s going to be a challenge for him to overcome some of those demons and give the Mets a quality effort tonight. This is a different Niese than that of the past, as he’s compiled quality starts in 11 of his last 12 and has a 2.76 ERA during that span. He’s keeping the ball on the ground and in the park, effectively mixing his hook and cutter, and stymying left-handed hitters specifically over the last couple of months. It all needs to continue as the Mets look to avoid losing their second series in a week.

Establishment against the National League Central.

The Mets have been flat out inept against the National League Central this season. They’re 9-18 against them, but 0-11 against the Pirates and Cubs. October’s road will very likely go through at least one of these teams, so it’s essential the Mets start to figure things out against the Pirates, and at least know they can beat them in critical situations. That starts with a win today.

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