The New York Mets will bring out their two big guns to start the final two games of their four-game series in Atlanta.
Now if they can only stay healthy enough to get past the second inning.
The Mets lost their starting pitcher after two innings for the second straight game against the Braves on Tuesday. Taijuan Walker left with back spasms after throwing only 32 pitches.
On Monday, Carlos Carrasco exited with a left oblique strain that landed him on the injured list.
Now, with Atlanta having won the first two games of the series, the Mets need a big finish from Max Scherzer on Wednesday and Jacob deGrom on Thursday. The Braves have trimmed the Mets’ lead in the National League East to 3 1/2 games.
“I feel like we are a unit and really doing well as a unit,” said Scherzer, a right-hander. “Going out there and providing quality starts to the team and being consistent. We are the backbone of the team. Let the hitters be the muscle and we’re the backbone. You can’t win without backbone.”
Atlanta manager Brian Snitker knows the final two games of the series won’t be easy.
“We’re aware that we’re facing two of the game’s best in the next two days,” Snitker said. “But anything can happen. If you go up with that bat and swing it, you’ve got a chance. They’re two of the premier pitchers in the league, and you know that going in. You still get after it and compete and see what happens.”
Scherzer (8-2, 1.93 ERA) will be opposed by Atlanta right-hander Jake Odorizzi (4-4, 3.80) on Wednesday.
Scherzer is coming off a seven-inning stint against Philadelphia on Friday, when he allowed one run on nine hits and six strikeouts. It was the seventh time he has pitched at least seven innings and allowed one or fewer runs.
Scherzer is 12-9 with a 3.62 ERA in 29 career appearances (27 starts) against the Braves. He threw seven scoreless innings and fanned 11 without allowing a walk against Atlanta on Aug. 6 in the second game of a doubleheader.
Odorizzi was acquired by Atlanta from Houston at the trade deadline to provide depth for the team’s young starting rotation. He is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in two starts since joining the club. The veteran worked four innings and allowed two runs on eight hits, one walk and two strikeouts in his last start against Miami on Friday.
He took the loss against the Mets in his Atlanta debut on Aug. 6 when he allowed three runs, two earned, in 4 2/3 innings in the first game of the twin bill.
The Mets might have highly regarded third baseman Brett Baty in the lineup. Baty, their first-round draft pick in 2019 and rated as their No. 2 prospect, was called up on Tuesday. He was hitting .315 with 19 homers in 95 minor league games split between Double-A and Triple-A.
Infielder Luis Guillorme was placed on the injured list with a groin strain, and Eduardo Escobar, who has lingering issues with his left oblique, was a late scratch on Tuesday. Escobar could be headed for the IL.
The Braves recalled right-hander Freddy Tarnok and middle infielder Ryan Goins, designated Danny Young for assignment and put reserve catcher Chadwick Tromp on the injured list.
–Field Level Media
Mets hope ace Max Scherzer can top Braves, stay healthy originally appeared on NBCSports.com