For the second time this season, the Mets and Orioles will face off in inter-league play. In the first two games this season, the Mets got the better of the Orioles, winning both of those games, one on a walk-off in the ninth inning.
Luckily for the Orioles, neither Jacob deGrom nor Marcus Stroman will pitch in this series. Instead, the O’s will battle against David Peterson and Taijuan Walker. In his first start against the Orioles, Walker threw seven innings, allowing just one run.
For the Orioles, Bruce Zimmermann and Matt Harvey will get the start in these two games. It has been a shaky road for Harvey since his start against the Mets a month ago. Since then, Harvey is 0-4 in five starts, having allowed 24 earned runs in just 15.2 innings of work.
The Orioles must rely on their offense in this series, who are coming off a hot series against the Indians. Cedric Mullins went 9-for-12, including a stretch of eight at-bats in which he hit safely. Most impressively, in those three games, Mullins netted 19 total bases, with the help of three long balls in those three games.
For the Orioles to come away with a series victory, they must follow the Baltimore Battery’s Keys to the Series!
1. Bullpen has to support starters
There’s no denying it. Behind John Means, this Orioles rotation is not very good, and Bruce Zimmermann and Matt Harvey may be at the back end of the group. Luckily, the Orioles just had a day off and will have another after these two games. This means the bullpen should be well rested and will be much needed. The return of Hunter Harvey certainly helps, and arms like Paul Fry and Cole Sulser will be needed to hold down this Mets rotation, following the damage done by the starters. Sulser is having a fantastic under the radar season, where he hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last nine appearances.
2. Keep the offense hot 🔥
This last series against the Indians may have been the best display of hitting all season. Scoring 25 runs in that series came mostly by way of situational hitting and hitting with runners in scoring position, two things the Orioles simply just have not done this year. To beat this Mets team, who is hot as can be, the Orioles’ lineup must continue to hit. Staying around the .220 mark with runners in scoring position will not do us well, as we saw how much of a premium base runners were in the last series against this team. The bottom of the order will be imperative in this series, as they create the opportunities for Cedric Mullins, Trey Mancini, and Anthony Santander.
3. Avoid late game breakdown
Too often this year, the Orioles would take a close game into the final innings and self implode. In the first series against the Mets, a winning ball game was blown in the bottom of the ninth. This is something that has happened a lot this year, and César Valdez in his new set up role and the return of Hunter Harvey may help that. Against a team like the Mets, you must be on your game. The Mets have found just about every way to win recently, and there’s no reason to think that will stop. The Oriole bullpen must throw quality strikes, quit allowing walks, and keep the Mets’ hitters behind in counts. They have shown when they are given pitches that are hittable, they are most likely not going to miss.
Transactions: A few roster moves were made before tonight’s game. First, Rule 5 right-hander, Mac Sceroler, has been reinstated from the 10-day Injured List. Secondly, infielder Pat Valaika has been reinstated off the Bereavement List. Lastly, infielder Ramón Urías has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
Here are tonight’s game one starting lineups:
New York Mets (29-23):
1. Jonathan Villar 3B
2. Francisco Lindor SS
3. James McCann 1B
4. Pete Alonso DH
5. Dominic Smith LF
6. Kevin Pillar CF
7. Tomás Nido C
8. Billy McKinney LF
9. José Peraza 2B
SP. David Peterson LHP
Baltimore Orioles (21-38):
1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Trey Mancini DH
3. Anthony Santander RF
4. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
5. Freddy Galvis SS
6. Pedro Severino C
7. Maikel Franco 3B
8. Pat Valaika 2B
9. Ryan McKenna LF
SP. Bruce Zimmermann LHP
First pitch of this series is Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. You can catch both games on MASN or on the Orioles flagship radio station, 105.7 The Fan!
How do you feel about this short series? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to follow The Baltimore Battery on the web and on Facebook and Twitter!