Streaking Mets bring confidence against inconsistent Dodgers

Field Level Media

April 19, 2024 at 12:03 am.

After a rough start to the season, the New York Mets now have a full head of steam and will take their improved brand of baseball to the West Coast on a six-game road trip that opens Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Mets are riding a four-game winning streak after a three-game home sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates and have won six of their last seven. Contrast that with a five-game losing streak to open the campaign.

With the stop-start nature of their weather-marred opening week behind them, New York has gone 10-3 since rallying to win the second game of a doubleheader April 4.

First it was the offense leading the way with an average of 7.3 runs over seven games starting April 6. Over the last four games, the pitching staff has delivered a 1.50 ERA. The solid pitching gave the Mets time to rally for all three victories over the Pirates, including from an early 1-0 deficit in the third inning of Wednesday’s 9-1 win.

“For me, it matters that when you get down in games, you know you’re going to come back; that’s a good feeling,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “There’s no panic. You can just continue to have good at-bats and we did it again (Wednesday).”

Starling Marte hit a home run for the Mets against his former team, giving him 150 homers in his career. Right-hander Luis Severino gave up an unearned run over six innings to improve to 2-1 with a 2.14 ERA in four starts this season.

Set to follow Severino’s lead is left-hander Sean Manaea (1-1, 4.30 ERA), who is coming off a rough start Saturday when he gave up eight runs (six earned) over 3 2/3 innings in a home loss to the Kansas City Royals. It is New York’s only setback in seven games.

Manaea has traditionally struggled against the Dodgers, going 1-5 with a 7.50 ERA in 10 appearances (seven starts). He is 1-3 at Dodger Stadium with a 7.50 ERA in six appearances (five starts).

The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto (1-1, 4.50), who will be making his fifth career MLB start. After a pair of scoreless outings, Yamamoto gave up three runs on four hits over five innings against the San Diego Padres on Friday to end up with a no-decision in Los Angeles’ 8-7 defeat in 11 innings.

Yamamoto has essentially pitched once a week as he eases into life with the Dodgers, but he threw a season-high 91 pitches in his most recent outing.

“The first couple of innings I was struggling with my control, so that’s what I focused on adjusting as the game moved on,” Yamamoto said through an interpreter after giving up his three runs over the first two innings.

The Dodgers’ season has trended in an entirely different direction than the Mets’ campaign. Los Angeles opened 7-2 but has gone 5-7 since and dropped each of its last two home series. The Dodgers were shut out for the first time this season, 2-0, on Wednesday by the Washington Nationals.

“There were a lot of strikeouts and soft contact,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Wednesday’s defeat. “Clearly, our guys weren’t seeing the ball well.”

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