What to look for: Mets vs. Reds, 7:10 PM
The Mets continue their four-game series with the Reds on Friday night at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati at 7:10 PM.
Here is tonight’s starting lineup for New York:
Curtis Granderson – RF
David Wright – 3B
Daniel Murphy – 2B
Yoenis Cespedes – CF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Travis d’Arnaud – C
Michael Conforto – LF
Ruben Tejada – SS
Noah Syndergaard – RHP
Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:
Noah Syndergaard will start for the Mets.
Anthony DeSclafani (9-11, 3.79 ERA) will start for the Reds.
Here’s what I’m looking for from the Mets tonight:
Start to close the deal.
At worst, the Mets are three wins away from winning the National League East. And if the Phillies decide to help the Mets this weekend, it could be fewer than that.
But the Mets can only control what’s in front of them, and that’s the Reds. This is a game the Mets should get, as have been most of the games they’ve played over the last ten days or so. They got their bats cooking on Friday night and finally delivered a couple of big hits and late at that.
That trend needs to continue, they need a good and lengthy performance from the starter, and quite frankly a relaxing game in Cincinnati tonight.
This is a test for Syndergaard on Friday. He’s pitching on the road, which he has struggled to do successfully in 2015, and he’s pitching in a bandbox where home runs can ruin a pitcher’s day in a hurry.
He’s coming off a start which was good short of two pitches against the Yankees, but as he put it after the loss, he needed to do a better job of mixing up his pitches in those sequences and miss in a different location than he did to both Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann.
That all will need to correct itself tonight against the big bats in Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.
And as Terry Collins said on Thursday, he’s watching his young starters closely this weekend.
More clutch hitting.
On Thursday, the Mets had six hits with two outs and men on-base, and that was a big reason why they were able to come away with the win. It was also a reason the Mets struggled so badly in their previous nine games in that they couldn’t come up with those big hits.
Good teams come up with those big hits, and if the Mets are going to be successful in October, they’re going to have to be able to come through in any kind of situation, especially with two outs.
The Mets can build on their success in that area with another big night in those difficult situations.