The New York Mets are trying to find some positives in the last month of the season and introducing young players to larger roles. The Mets will look to those youngsters to lead them to a series sweep when they host the Cincinnati Reds in the finale of a four-game series on Sunday.
New York outscored the Reds 18-4 in the first three games of the series and watched youngsters Kevin Plawecki (26), Dominic Smith (22) and Matt Reynolds (26) combine to go 4-for-10 with three runs scored and three RBIs in Saturday’s 6-1 triumph. “We’ve gotten some big hits from some young guys, and that’s impressive to see,” Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters. “Even though we sit where we sit as far as records go, some of these guys are playing for something. And I think that means something this time of year. They know that all eyes are on them.” The Reds are losers of five straight on the road and scored a total of five runs in those games. They will try to put some better swings together when they go up against Mets ace Jacob deGrom, who starts opposite Cincinnati right-hander Sal Romano on Sunday.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Sal Romano (4-6, 4.62 ERA) vs. Mets RH Jacob deGrom (14-9, 3.65)
Romano has allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his last four starts but is coming off a loss at Pittsburgh last Sunday. The 23-year-old was reached for two runs - one earned - and four hits in 5 2/3 innings but walked four and struck out just two without getting any support from his offense. Romano had no trouble getting support against the Mets on Aug. 29, when he allowed three runs in six innings and earned the win behind an offense that pounded out 14 runs.
The 29-year-old DeGrom was shelled for nine runs - six earned - on 10 hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings against Philadelphia on Tuesday. The Florida native has absorbed the loss in four of his last five starts and yielded at least five earned runs in three of the four losses. He was better at Cincinnati on Aug. 31 but still suffered the loss while yielding four runs - three earned - on six hits and three walks in six innings.
1. Mets rookie SS Amed Rosario (finger) is expected to return to the lineup for the first time since last Sunday after appearing as a pinch runner in Saturday’s victory.
2. Cincinnati 2B Scooter Gennett is 17-for-36 over his last 10 games to raise his batting average to .302.
3. New York RHP Noah Syndergaard (lat) will throw a 50-pitch simulated game on Sunday.
PREDICTION: Reds 4, Mets 3