Today's starting pitchers: RHP Braden Shipley (2-1, 2.96) vs. RHP Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 2.75). . . . Storylines: The D-backs have won 4 in a row over the Mets over the past 8 days -- included in that stretch was a 9-0 victory last Thursday in a matchup of these same starting pitchers. Syndergaard has been one of baseball most dominant pitchers this year; Shipley was making his fourth major league start. Such are the whims of the baseball gods. The Mets' lack of success against the D-backs has pushed them 3 games behind the Cardinals and Marlins in the race for the NL's second wild-card berth. They're counting on their pitching (3.48 ERA, third best in the majors) to keep them afloat, but the D-backs have scorched them for 27 runs in four games. . . . Watch: 6 p.m., FOX Sports Arizona and FOX Sports GO; 6:30 p.m. (Espanol), FOX Sports Arizona Plus.
D-backs starting pitcher Braden Shipley
Shipley kept the Mets' lineup off-balance last week with a sneakily efficient assortment of pitches that induced tons of weak contact. He needed just 78 pitches to get through 7 innings, limiting the Mets to 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 7. . . . After a shaky initial outing following his call-up from Reno, he's been exceptional over his last 3 starts: 2 runs, 12 hits and a .182 opponents batting average in 19 innings.
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY SportAnthony Gruppuso
Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard
Syndergaard has been battling a bone spur in his elbow since late June, and though he remains one of baseball's most feared pitchers, recent results indicate that he's not at peak efficiency. He's winless in his last six starts, and while the stats haven't been awful (0-4, 3.78 ERA, .291 opposing batting average), they represent a significant dropoff from his early season form. Over his first 13 starts, he was 7-2 with a 1.91 ERA and a .219 batting average). ... The Mets' offense hasn't provided much assistance, scoring a total of 14 runs in his last 6 starts.
Share the wealth
All 9 D-backs' starters had at least 1 hit in Monday's victory, and there's been plenty of offensive fireworks to spread around in their 4 games against the Mets thus far. The D-backs are hitting a cumulative .305 vs. the Mets, with 15 doubles, 4 triples, 5 home runs and 16 stolen bases in the 4 games. ... The chief tormentors have been Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Owings. Goldy is hitting .600 (9 for 15) against New York with 3 doubles, a triple, a home run, 2 stolen bases and 3 walks. Owings, settling in as the every-day shortstop with Nick Ahmed on the disabled list, has an 8-game hitting streak and is hitting .473 (9 for 19) vs. the Mets with 4 doubles, a triple, 5 RBI and 3 stolen bases.
APRoss D. Franklin
Walker, hitter, father, traveler
Mets second baseman Neil Walker had 3 hits, including his 22nd home run (one short of his career high), in Monday's loss. He's 9 for 17 (.529) in 4 games vs. the D-backs with a pair of home runs, and over his past 19 games overall, he's hitting .455 (26 for 82) with 6 homers. . . . Remarkably, he's maintained the hot streak while coping with a major distraction. His wife, Niki, is 9 months pregnant with their first child, and her due date is today, so he's been making plans to fly back to their home in Pittsburgh on a moment's notice if he gets the call. "I'll pretty much have my phone on me everywhere except second base," he said Monday. "I'm trying to stay ahead of everything, so my head is swimming."
Earning his place
Manager Chip Hale said Monday that reliever Enrique Burgos has made the most improvement of any Diamondback from last year to now. Burgos fanned all 3 Mets batters he faced in the 8th inning on Monday night and has strung together 8 consecutive scoreless appearances this month: 8 1/3 innings, 4 hits, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts. He's brought his ERA down from 3.86 to 2.67, and Hale says he's worked himself into the mix to pitch in the 9th inning.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
Wednesday's series finale
RHP Zack Godley (3-2, 5.24) vs. LHP Jonathon Niese (8-6, 5.20), 6 p.m., FOX Sports Arizona.