The New York Mets are about to face the worst thing a struggling pitching staff can see: a red-hot Mike Trout. The Mets, who are losers of seven in a row, will try to find some way to slow the reigning American League MVP when they open a three-game interleague series against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.
New York’s staff is allowing an average of 7.4 runs during its slide and it fell 5-4 at Arizona in 11 innings on Wednesday to finish up a winless six-game road trip. “We didn’t play too good as a team,” Mets third baseman Jose Reyes told the team’s website. “It’s not one thing. There’s a lot of other stuff happening right now. It’s hard to describe. We’re going to get better. We’re not going to stay the whole season playing like this. At some point, this has to turn around. Hopefully, it’s sooner than later.” The Angels are averaging seven runs during a four-game winning streak and Trout homered five times in the last six contests. Trout does not have much of a track record against any New York pitchers and will be seeing Jacob deGrom for the first time on Friday while Los Angeles counters with veteran Ricky Nolasco.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Ricky Nolasco (2-2, 4.34 ERA) vs. Mets RH Jacob deGrom (2-1, 4.07)
Nolasco enjoyed back-to-back quality starts in his last two outings but was held out of the decision in each turn. The 34-year-old allowed three runs on five hits and four walks against Detroit on Saturday while surrendering a pair of home runs - the third straight start in which he yielded two home runs. Nolasco spent the first eight seasons of his career in the National League and is 6-8 with a 5.03 ERA in 26 career games - 24 starts - against New York.
DeGrom is racking up good strikeout numbers but is not finding the win column of late with back-to-back no-decisions. The Stetson product was reached for four runs and eight hits in six innings while striking out seven at Milwaukee on Sunday in a game the Mets went on to lose 11-9. DeGrom is making his first career start against the Angels and is 4-3 with a 2.16 ERA in 10 career interleague starts.
1. Angels OF Cameron Maybin is 8-for-10 with four runs scored in the last two games.
2. Mets OF Michael Conforto is 1-fo-14 with eight strikeouts in the last three games.
3. Los Angeles DH Albert Pujols left Wednesday’s game early with hamstring tightness and is day-to-day.
PREDICTION: Mets 6, Angels 4