Flushing, NY- The second half is upon us. Right out of the gate, fans are delivered with a pristine weekend matchup between the San Diego Padres and New York Mets at Citi Field. To start the series on Friday night, two elites in Yu Darvish and Max Scherzer took to the mound for a dynamic pitching duel. Darvish finished the night by completing seven innings pitched, allowing one earned run with 4 hits, and 9 strikeouts. Scherzer totaled 8 strikeouts while allowing two earned runs with 5 hits in 6 innings pitched.
Darvish was the ultimate factor in the 4-1 win over New York. The 34-year-old set the tempo early in counts, tallying 21 first pitch strikes in 26 Mets batters faced. San Diego’s charge on offense began with an Eric Hosmer two-run homer and a solo-blast from Trent Grisham. The Mets were held to just 4 hits on the night. There’s a ton of top tier talent across these ball clubs. With two games remaining in the thrilling matchup, let’s go to Players to Watch in Padres Mets.
San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets – 3 game series
Friday 7/22 – Results
Padres win 4-1
Saturday 7/23 – Probables
LHP Blake Snell (1-5, 5.22 ERA) vs. RHP Chris Bassitt (7-6, 3.79 ERA)
Sunday 7/24 – Probables
RHP Joe Musgrove (8-2, 2.42 ERA) vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (10-4, 4.27 ERA)
Players to Watch in Padres vs. Mets
SD: Manny Machado – Third Baseman – Miami, Florida
84 games: .299 BA, 15 HR, 51 RBI, 95 Hits, .374 OBP
In the running for National League MVP, Machado is the ultimate catalyst on San Diego’s path to the postseason. The 30-year-old ranks among the top ten across the National League in a variety of offensive categories.
Batting Average: 6th in NL (.303)
On Base Percentage: 5th in NL (.377)
Slugging Percentage: 9th in NL (.513)
OPS: 7th in NL (.890)
Hits: 9th in NL (95)
Machado, who is of Dominican heritage, represented the DR as a member of the 2017 Dominican Republic National Team alongside Adrian Beltré, Hanley Ramírez, and José Reyes in the famous World Baseball Classic. In similar fashion, Machado may have his eyes set on playing a role in the Dominican Republic’s chase for the 2023 World Baseball Classic title.
NYM: Francisco Lindor – Shortstop – Caguas, Puerto Rico – 2016 AL LatinoMVP
93 games: .245 BA, 16 HR, 66 RBI, .321 OBP
In Friday night’s 4-1 loss to Darvish and the Padres, Francisco Lindor snapped an 11-game hitting streak. This marked his longest hitting streak as a member of the Mets. The defense from Lindor has shaped him among the top shortstops in the game. With that being said, Lindor at the plate, the offensive statistics speak for themselves. Check out how Lindor ranks among shortstops across MLB.
Stolen Bases: 8th in MLB (10)
RBI: 2nd in MLB (66)
Walks: Tied 1st in MLB (36)
Hits: 6th in MLB (89)
Runs: Tied 3rd in MLB (54)
SD: Jurickison Profar – Infielder/Outfielder – Willemstad, Curaçao
The versatility stands as the trendsetter in evaluating a ballplayer such as Jurickson Profar. Profar has implemented a dual threat type of impact on the Padres alignments, whether at the plate or on defense. He is currently tied for the second most outfield assists across MLB with 8, behind Cleveland Guardians OF Miles Straw (11). Profar leads the Padres in walks on the season (49) to go along with a .342 on base percentage. With 50 runs in 87 games played this season, the 29-year-old has already surpassed his run total from 2021 (47).
NYM: Edwin Díaz – RHP – Naguabo, Puerto Rico
The trumpets blast at Citi Field each and every time Mets closer Edwin Díaz enters from the bullpen. In his most crucial season with free agency looming, the 28-year-old has shown he’s worth every penny. Out of a total of 145 batters faced this season, Díaz has retired 75 for strikeouts, which marks out at 51.7%. In 38 appearances this season, Díaz has recorded a 1.69 ERA in 37.1 innings pitched. Paired with the lethal command of his slider and four-seam-fastball, Díaz is currently tied for 4th in saves across MLB (20).
SD: Nomar Mazara – Right Fielder – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
37 games: .293 BA, 17 RBI, 34 Hits, .344 OBP
Before the All Star break, Mazara was on an offensive tear, hitting .364 (12-33), with 4 RBI in his last 9 games. The sample size may be minimal; however, Mazara contributes in the clutch. With RISP this season, the 27-year-old is batting .444 with 12 hits and 12 RBI.
NYM: Carlos Carrasco – RHP – Barquisimeto, Venezuela
On the mound with ease, Carrascos impact on the Mets rotation cannot go unnoticed. Last Thursday at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs, the 32-year-old right hander tallied his tenth win of the season. Carrasco has risen to the occasion in a number of scenarios this season; however, the month of July stands at the top. Check the numbers.
3 outings in July: 2-0 record, 1.56 ERA, 3 ER, 19 K in 17.1 IP
The pitch selection has shown to be the main difference in his recent outings. The slider in particular has been the go to in key scenarios for Carrasco. In his last three outings, opponents are batting .191 against Carrascos slider with 9 strikeouts and 4 hits. This Sunday afternoon in Queens, Carrasco is projected to start against Machado, Profar and the elite hitting “Slam Diego” Padres.
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Robert Rizzo writes for Latino Sports
Follow on Twitter: @RobertRiz994
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