The New York Mets head out on a six-game road trip as a well-rested team. Not by their choice, however.
New York is scheduled to open a three-game series at the Colorado Rockies on Friday night. The Mets were able to catch an early flight after the final game of their four-game series with Philadelphia was postponed due to weather. Between weather and an opponent's COVID-19 battle, it was the fifth time a Mets game has been postponed, and another was suspended after just nine pitches.
Two weeks into the season, New York has completed only eight games, which means it will have a heavily loaded schedule down the road. The Mets are slated to play 16 games in a 15-day stretch beginning in mid-June.
"I don't think it will be the first time ever that we'll be facing something like that," Mets manager Luis Rojas said. "Right now we can take advantage of the seven-inning games when you play a doubleheader. It comes in handy, this rule."
The Rockies, on the other hand, have not had a game postponed or suspended due to weather, but Friday night's opener at Coors Field won't be summer baseball. A snowstorm blew through Colorado late Thursday, dumping more than five inches of the white stuff in Denver. While the forecast called for the snow to move out before first pitch, the temperatures will be in the high 30s.
The cold is a perfect metaphor for the struggling Rockies, who just completed an 0-6 road trip through San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Dodgers sent them home with a 7-5 loss on Thursday night.
Things don't get easier. Friday night will be Colorado's 14th game and its fourth time facing a Cy Young Award winner. Jacob deGrom, who won the honor in 2018 and 2019 for the Mets, is scheduled to take the mound against Chi Chi Gonzalez.
This will be deGrom's third start of the season. He was scheduled to pitch against the Phillies on Thursday but got an extra day of rest. In his most recent game, deGrom (0-1, 0.64 ERA) held the Miami Marlins to one run over eight innings and struck out 14 but took the hard-luck 3-0 loss on April 10.
He has faced Colorado seven previous times in his career -- all starts -- and is 4-1 with a 1.25 ERA in those matchups. Two of those starts came at Coors Field, where he is 1-1 with a 2.51 ERA.
Gonzalez (1-0, 3.60) is making his second start and fourth appearance of the season. The journeyman has taken advantage of an opportunity created by Kyle Freeland's injury with some solid work for the struggling Rockies.
In his only start this season, he allowed one run over five innings and got a no-decision in a 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants on April 10. He earned his lone victory on Opening Day despite allowing three runs in two innings against the Dodgers.
Gonzalez never has faced the Mets and will try to give the Rockies a chance to turn things around with a good start. They've played just 13 games but it feels as if the season is already slipping away with only three wins so far in the tough National League West.
"Obviously, right now, we are not playing the baseball we want to play," Trevor Story said after Wednesday night's loss. "Guys feel that. But each day that we show up, we feel we're going to win. We feel confident in that."
--Field Level Media