One thing seems certain: The second meeting between the Diamondbacks and Mets this season will not be as bizarre as the first, when two of the four games went into extra innings and two had rain delays. The D-backs lost the opener in New York in 13 innings and won the final game in 15, when Brad Ziegler recorded the first of his now seven saves as the bullpen underwent a facelift.
The Mets enter this series on a bit of a roll, having won four of their last six games after finishing a three-game sweep of the Rockies at CitiField on Thursday. New York limited Colorado to three runs in the three games, although the D-backs will face only one of the three starters involved, that being Jenrry Mejia.
Mets third baseman David Wright will miss the series because of a hamstring strain suffered last week that is expected to keep him out for about four weeks. He was 6 for 18 with two doubles, a home run and two RBIs in the first series. PITCHING MATCHUPS: Friday — RHP Jeremy Hefner (4-8, 4.23) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (12-3, 2.33). Saturday — RHP Zack Wheeler (4-2, 3.73) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-5, 4.94) Sunday — RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-1, 1.96) vs. RHP Zeke Spruill (0-1, 6.48).
WHO’S HOT FOR THE DIAMONDBACKS: Martin Prado is hip-deep in his best stretch of the season. He has 26 hits in his last 67 at-bats (.388) with eight doubles, two home runs and 14 RBIs. … Cody Ross has 14 hitrs in his last 34 at-bats (.412) with two doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs. … Setup men Heath Bell and J.J. Putz have made 11 consecutive scoreless appearances apiece, and Ziegler has converted all six of his saves since taking over the closer’s role in the final series before the All-Star break. … Eric Chavez has 14 hits in his last 42 at-bats (.333) with three doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs.
WHO’S NOT: Gerardo Parra’s pinch single helped ignite a game-winning rally in the eighth inning of a 9-8 victory over the Rays on Wednesday, but he has just 13 hits in 89 at-bats (.146) along with two extra-base hits and two RBIs since July 5, the first game after the first series against the Mets ended.
WHO’S HOT FOR THE METS: Arizona native and ASU product Ike Davis has nine hits in his last 18 at-bats. Davis was recalled from the minors immediately after the first series against the D-backs. … Eric Young Jr. has 15 stolen bases, second on the team, despite having played only 43 games since being acquired from the Rockies in mid-June. His walk-off homer beat the Royals in the 11th inning last Friday.
WHO’S NOT: Marlon Byrd has four hits in his last 25 at-bats, with no homers and no RBIs. … Daniel Murphy has six hits in his last 31 at-bats, with his lone extra-base hit, a homer, accounting for his lone RBI. … Wheeler, the principal piece the Mets received when Carlos Beltran was traded to the Giants in a 2011 deadline deal, has not given up more than three earned runs in any of his last six starts.
NOTES, QUOTES, ODDS AND ENDS: The teams are moving in opposite directions at the plate recently, as the D-backs scored 15 runs in their two-game sweep of the Rays, the first time Tampa bay had been swept in a month and a half, while the Mets scored just 21 runs in their last eight games. The D-backs were 6 for 16 with runners in scoring position against the Rays. … Mejia, a 23-year old from the Dominican Republic, has 18 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings in his first three starts of the season, although he has a bone spur in his elbow that will require surgery when the year is over, the Mets have said. … Young is 3 for 9 with three doubles against Corbin, who is attempting to become the fourth 13-game winner in the NL. The Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn and the Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann are tied for the league lead with 13 wins. … D-backs third base coach Matt Williams continues to see his name mentioned as a candidate for the Washington managerial job in 2014. Davey Johnson has said this will be his last season in the dugout before moving upstairs. … Martin Prado is 2 for 5 with a solo homer against Hefner. … The D-backs have never faced Wheeler, and the Mets have never faced Spruill.