Tuesday, October 19 2021
Jeff McNeil, face clearly visible, follows through on single at Citi Field July 2021

Jeff McNeil, face clearly visible, follows through on single at Citi Field July 2021

The Mets and Miami Marlins play a four-game series at Citi Field starting on Tuesday.

Here are five things to watch…

The battle for playing time

With the recent returns of Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez has come reduced playing time for Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, and J.D. Davis.

And the recent offensive surges by Kevin Pillar and Jonathan Villar (who has been leading off lately with Brandon Nimmo batting second), has taken even more time away from McNeil, Smith, and Davis.

It will be interesting to see how this dynamic develops, especially as it pertains to McNeil, whose spot on the 2022 team could be a bit more settled than that of Davis or Smith.

Who pitches on Tuesday?

Taijuan Walker will almost certainly start one of the Mets‘ two games on Tuesday, with the team set to play the completion of a nine-inning game that was suspended earlier this season after just one batter and then a seven-inning game.

When it comes to whom the Mets turn to as their starter in the other game, it could be Trevor Williams — who would potentially be able to provide length — or an opener.

Mets players vs. Mets fans

Baez lit the fuse on a combustible situation after Sunday’s game, saying the Mets’ “thumbs down” celebration was directed at fans who have been booing them.

New York Mets second baseman Javier Baez (23) hits a two run home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.New York Mets second baseman Javier Baez (23) hits a two run home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.

New York Mets second baseman Javier Baez (23) hits a two run home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.

Baez’s comments drew harsh responses from Sandy Alderson and Steve Cohen, and the expectation should be that it will be handled before Tuesday’s games, with that specific celebration coming to an end.

But the fans will likely react on Tuesday, and how vocal and/or negative that reaction is could have a lot to do with what Baez, Lindor, and other players say about it before the game.

Marlins are winning and pesky

After an eight-game losing streak, the Marlins have won four of their last five games, including on Saturday and Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds.

Like the Mets, Miami doesn’t hit much. But they have a very good pitching staff that includes Sandy Alcantara, who is scheduled to pitch on Thursday.

Fortunately for the Mets, Marlins ace Trevor Rogers made a rehab start on Sunday and will not be back in time to face the Mets during this series.

Carrasco is coming off his best start as a Met, where he fired 7.0 innings of two-run ball while allowing just three hits, walking none, and striking out five last Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants.

The Mets badly need Carrasco, who rebounded after two rough starts, to pitch like the No. 2 starter he has been over the course of his career.

Carrasco gets the ball on Wednesday.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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