Mets vs. Rockies Series Preview

By Jack Ganchrow

The 2015 New York Mets continue on their quest to win the N.L. East for the first time since 2006. This weekend’s opponent is the Colorado Rockies, for the second time in as many weeks. Less than two weeks ago I previewed this same Rockies team and the four-game set at Citi Field went well. The Mets won all four contests, and the pitching was the story for — the most part — as both Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom held Colorado scoreless.

The Mets are a different team on the road though, as after this weekend’s split in Baltimore, the Mets are 22-35 away from Citi Field. The Rockies are not a good home team though, as they have the second-worst home record in the National League.

The probables for the home team this weekend are Jon Gray, Chris Rusin, and former Brave David Hale. Both Gray and Rusin started in the series back in New York, and they both fared very well. Gray, a top prospect and former No. 3 overall draft pick, pitched six innings of one-hit, one-run ball. Rusin also pitched six innings and only gave up one run against the Mets on Aug. 11. He was better in his last start, a complete game shutout against the Padres.

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The starters are a problem for the Rockies, but the bullpen is even worse. In the four games at Citi Field, the Rockies bullpen pitched 10 innings and gave up 13 runs, good (or in this case, bad) for an 11.70 ERA. In back-to-back games, Boone Logan gave up a bases loaded walk (HBP/BB) to Curtis Granderson in tight situations. If the Mets can run the pitch counts up on the average Rockies starting pitching, the hitting can take advantage of the weak Rockies bullpen.

The Mets bullpen hasn’t been much better lately. Bobby Parnell was terrible until being sent to the minors. Carlos Torres gave up a walk-off home run on Wednesday to Henry Urrutia, and that’s all that needs to be said about him. The media has gone on and on about different suggestions, but none will help this weekend. The bullpen will have to get it done with the roster they have, and hopefully the starters can go deep into games and get to the dynamic duo of Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia.

Speaking of the starters for the Mets this weekend, Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese and Harvey are scheduled to start. Colon and Niese are safe for Friday and Saturday, respectively, but Sunday is still up in the air. Innings limits are a topic no fan wants to hear about, but when Logan Verrett is starting on Sunday there will be much discussion.

Niese pitched really well against the Rockies two weeks ago and has been good for a couple of months now. Colon has been Colon, going into the 7th inning in four of his last five starts. Harvey has been on a roll, but this seems like a good time to skip a start. It is tough to pitch in Colorado, and he will be able to come back strong Friday night at home in front of a big crowd against the Red Sox.

The Nationals lost last night to these Rockies, and the division lead is up to four. It is tough, even for the pessimist, to not believe in this season. The Nationals continue to struggle, and the Mets schedule looks very manageable for the next couple of weeks. These are winnable games that are all very important this time of year.