Series Preview: Orioles make quick stop in Long Island for tangle with Mets

QUEENS, NY — Sitting at 17-41, the Orioles continue to limp through the 2018 season with the worst record in the Major Leagues and currently a seven-game losing streak on the minds of both the players and the franchise’s fans. Those fans finally got some semblance of a rebuild late on Sunday when Jon Meoli‘s article from the Baltimore Sunrevealed recent comments from Orioles’ General Manager Dan Duquette.

According to Meoli’s post, Duquette acknowledged that the team is “not up to the competitive standards of previous Orioles clubs or the top clubs in the [American League East]”, and that the Orioles need to “put a little bit sharper focus on the future.” Given the non-existing message from Orioles’ ownership detailing the team’s plans for a rebuild, these particular comments from Duquette are a step in the right direction.

As the front office begins to supposedly prepare for the future, the present ice-cold Orioles embark on a six-game road trip, with the first two games of that stretch in New York against the Mets. Like the Orioles, the Mets (27-30) come into Tuesday on a four-game losing streak of their own featuring a troubled offense. The Mets are losers of four straight with four or fewer runs scored in five straight games. The Mets left May with a 17-9 record, but have since played 10-21 baseball and now rank fourth in the National League East while the Braves (35-24), Nationals (33-25) and Phillies (31-26) duke it out in the top of the division.

Last Meeting: This marks the first time in three years that the Mets and Orioles face off. In 2015, the teams played two games at Citi Field and two games at Camden Yards. The same goes for this season as the teams will reconvene on Aug. 14-15 for a two-game set in Baltimore.

In 2015, the Mets won the season series 3-1, including a 2-0 sweep at Citi Field, 3-2 and 5-1. Bud Norris and Ubaldo Jimenez started those games for the birds, and Kevin Gausman was still pitching out of the bullpen. Machado and Chris Davis both homered in the first game of the series, with Jimmy Paredes driving in the lone Baltimore run in the second game on an RBI single that scored Travis Snider.

READ: Orioles must change offensive approach to end losing ways 

Game times and pitching matchups:

Game 1: Tuesday, Jun. 5, 7:10 pm – Alex Cobb (1-7, 6.80 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (2-3, 8.53 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan  

Game 2Wednesday, Jun. 6, 1:10 pm – Dylan Bundy (3-7, 4.46 ERA) vs. Zach Wheeler (2-4, 5.14 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Orioles:

  • The Orioles promoted catcher Austin Wynns from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Andrew Susac, who hit .115 with three hits in 26 plate appearances. With the Tides this season, Wynns hit .265 with three home runs and 14 RBI. Wynns, a 10’th round draft selection by Baltimore in 2010, will make his major league debut in his first Orioles appearance. With Wynns, the Orioles now have two rookie catchers on the major league roster.
  • Manny Machado has more home runs (18) than the Orioles have wins (17). Machado is on pace to hit about 54 home runs this season, which is more than the amount of games the Orioles currently project to win this season (51).
  • Zach Britton will continue his rehab assignment tonight for Triple-A Norfolk in Columbus. The tentative return date for Britton is Jun. 15 during the Orioles’ next homestead against the Marlins, but that’s subject to change.

Notes on the Mets: 

  • The two pitchers the Orioles will face in this series – Jason Vargas and Zach Wheeler – carry an interesting backstory. In the early stages of spring training, the Mets inked Vargas to a two-year deal, despite the fact that the Mets carried nine pitchers in camp with starting potential. At the time, Wheeler was competing for a spot in the rotation, and he took exception to his team’s decision to sign Vargas. Both pitchers have struggled this season with Vargas also dealing with an injury. To put it lightly, the Orioles are lucky they are missing Jacob deGrom (4-0, 1.49 ERA, 12 starts), and Noah Syndergaard (4-1, 3.06 ERA, 11 starts) this week.
  • Against left-handed pitching this season, the Mets are last in the major leagues with a .203 average and nine home runs.

Image Credit: Heavy

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