2021-07-15 19:26:04 GMT + 00: 00 – Whether they went to the All-Star Game, had a short vacation, or maybe enjoyed a stay, the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates players could get the feeling have it be a while they got to know each other.
It was actually only Sunday. Now they’re back after the break with a three-game series starting Friday night in Pittsburgh.
The teams split four games last weekend in New York, with the Pirates making a comeback 6-5 in the final on Sunday.
The two clubs are in very different situations that come out of the break.
The Mets lead the National League East; the Pirates are the last in NL Central.
For New York, the defeat on Sunday was difficult to cope with given a lost 5-0 lead and a team meeting after the game.
“There are no heads hanging in the clubhouse,” said Mets rightfield player Michael Conforto.
Closer Edwin Diaz, who failed to hold a 5-4 Mets lead in the ninth game of the game, would rather look at the bigger picture.
“We are well positioned at the moment,” he said. “We’ll try to win every game.”
For the pirates, the second half begins with questions about the squad and maybe a look into the future.
All-star second-player Adam Frazier has been the subject of fairly intense trade speculation, and it’s possible Pittsburgh will switch more than a few players this rebuilding season.
While the Pirates could bring players back from the injured list relatively soon, the focus will be on some who helped fill it out.
Players like first baseman John Nogowski, who has become something of a cult hero in just seven games for Pittsburgh, beats .500 with five RBIs. Players like rookie infielder Rodolfo Castro, who made his one-game debut in April before moving up from Double-A Altoona last week.
In the most recent series against the Mets, he was 3-for-9 in three games, with all three hits home runs, including two in the comeback win on Sunday.
“My plan is to stay here,” Castro said through an interpreter. “I love it here. I enjoy being part of this clubhouse, this team. I love to compete with them and most of all I love to be an asset to help them win.”
The Pirates were impressed with Castro’s show.
“The boy is from Double-A, he plays in New York and the audience is thrilled – and he’s having fun,” said Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton. “That’s what we want him to do; we want him to have fun.”
In keeping with the tide surrounding the pirates, they have not announced a starter mug for Friday.
Right-hander Marcus Stroman (6-7, 2.75 ERA) should start for New York.
Stroman took Saturday’s loss to Pittsburgh in the first game of a double header, allowing three runs and five hits in five innings, with no walks and five strikeouts. Even though Stroman fell to 6-7, Mets manager Luis Rojas liked his performance.
“A normal game (nine innings), he’ll probably give us seven (innings) the way he threw the ball,” said Rojas.
In his career, Stroman is 0-2 with a 3.50 ERA in four games, three of which start against the Pirates.
-Field level media
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