New York- “We’re facing three really tough foes in their parks; we knew it was coming,” said Mets manager Buck Showalter last week before his NL East-leading ballclub flew out to the West Coast. (4 @ LA Dodgers, 3 @ SD Padres, 3 @ LA Angels), a difficult and nauseating 10-game stretch for any team, however, these Mets have battled and fired back through adversity, whether its injury concerns, competitive opponents or a straining weekly schedule. To conclude the road trip, the Mets begin a 3-game series tonight against the defending American League MVP Shohei Ohtani and the Halos. The Mets enter Angel Stadium with a 3-4 record and 28 runs scored in their last 7 games. On the other side, an all-around slump in all aspects is occurring in Anaheim. The Angels remain searching for answers with a 1-14 record in their last 15 games. On Tuesday afternoon, the Angels announced Joe Maddon was relieved of his managerial duties, naming Phil Nevin as their interim manager for the remainder of the season.
Snapping a 14-game losing streak with last night’s 5-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox, the Angels will have their hands full this weekend against a powerful Mets lineup. With both teams heading in separate directions, let’s dive into Mets Angels with the projected pitching matchups.
New York Mets (38-21) vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (28-31) – 3 Games
Friday 6/10 @ 9:38pm ET:
RHP Tylor MeGill (4-2, 4.41 ERA) vs. TBD
Saturday 6/11 @ 10:07pm ET
RHP Carlos Carrasco (7-1, 3.52 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Lorenzen (5-3, 3.69 ERA)
Sunday 6/12 @ 7:08pm ET
RHP Taijuan Walker (3-2, 3.28 ERA) vs. LHP Patrick Sandoval (3-1, 2.81 ERA)
Firing on Offense – Players to Watch in Mets vs. Angels
NYM: Eduardo Escobar – La Pica, Maracay, Venezuela
The 33-year-old is proving that the Mets struck gold in one of their many successful offseason signings. In this road stretch (7 games), Escobar is batting .370 (10-27) with two HR, 8 RBI, and a triple. He was the lead contributor to the Mets 11-5 victory this past Monday night in San Diego. Escobar made history by becoming the 11th Mets player in franchise history to hit for the cycle. On his career night, Escobar went 4-5 with 6 RBI with each of a 1B, 2B, 3B, and HR.
LAA: Luis Rengifo – Naguanagua, Venezuela
Since his MLB debut in April of 2019, Rengifo has displayed his versatility on the Angels defensive alignments. The 25-year-old plays an array of positions at an elite level in both the outfield and infield (LF, RF, 2nd baseman, SS, 3rd baseman). In 154 career games on defense, he has totaled 27 errors. A rough number in the error category, however Rengifo has constantly switched positions. On offense, Rengifo has progressed his game when given the playing opportunities. He has grown and developed into a key utility player for the Halos. Provided below is a comparison of Rengifo’s 2021 season to his start of the 2022 regular season.
2021 Regular Season – (54 games played)
.201 batting average, 6 HR, 18 RBI with 35 hits and a .246 OBP
2022 Regular Season – (26 games played)
.233 batting average, 2 HR, 7 RBI with 20 hits and a .290 OBP
Injury List Notice – NY Mets vs. LA Angels
This week, the Mets leader in home runs (16), RBI (54) and slugging percentage (.546), Pete Alonso, was sidelined day-to-day due to a right wrist contusion. The injury occurred in the top of the second inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Padres as Alonso was struck in the right wrist by a fastball from RHP Yu Darvish on a questionable check-swing. “Whenever the swelling goes down, the pain will go away,” Alonso said about the injury.
Yet, another injury struck the Mets, with right fielder Starling Marte departing from Tuesday night’s game against San Diego in the second inning with left quad tightness. “I’ve never had that particular type of injury, so I didn’t know how I was going to react to it. Luckily, it’s not as bad as we originally thought,” Marte said through the team’s interpreter. In 50 games played this season, Marte has totaled 59 hits, 33 RBI with a .277 batting average.
RHP Tylor MeGill is scheduled to make his return from the IL on Friday night, June 10th. Since May 12th, MeGill has been sidelined with right biceps tendinitis. Before the brief injury stint, the 26-year-old was pitching excellent with 37 strikeouts in 34.2 innings pitched. The Mets, who remain without their two aces in Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom, continue their winning patterns with clutch pitching performances from Chris Bassitt, Carrasco, Walker and Trevor Williams.
In Tuesday night’s matchup against the Boston Red Sox, Mike Trout left the game in the 3rd inning with left groin tightness. This is unfortunate news for all baseball fans as Trout is one of the faces of the sport. In the first inning of Tuesday’s loss to Boston, Trout hit his 14th home run of the season. The 3x American League MVP is batting .284 with 52 hits, 30 RBI in 52 games played this season.
“This isn’t nothing crazy,” Trout said when asked about the degree of injury. The Angels recently announced Trout as day-to-day.
Tune into Mets Angels this weekend as the 3-game series goes down in Anaheim.
Robert Rizzo writes for Latino Sports and NY Sports Day
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