The New York Mets made their first move that they hope will begin to fix their anemic offense. They may not need to do much with Matt Harvey on the mound at Citi Field.
With the availability of Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson unknown, Harvey will try to stop the Mets’ skid by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time Saturday night.
New York (49-48) is only three-game back of NL East-leading Washington despite ranking last in the majors with a .233 average and 3.41 runs per game.
The Mets have been outscored 14-5 while batting .172 during this three-game losing streak after mustering six hits in Friday’s 7-2 loss to the Dodgers (56-42).
They attempted to address their feeble offense after the game, sending a pair of minor league pitchers to Atlanta for Uribe and Johnson.
Uribe can play third with David Wright still recovering from spinal stenosis. He’s batting .272 with eight homers and 23 RBIs with the Braves and Dodgers this year.
"One of the best teammates I’ve ever had and a good baseball player," said Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, a member of the Mets from 2010-13. "I already told a couple of guys, ‘You’re going to love (him),’ and he’s going to be great for the clubhouse over there."
The well-traveled Johnson has been surging in July with a .311 average, three homers and a team-high 12 RBIs. He’s played this season at first, third and in the outfield.
”You find a good routine and when it’s working it’s hard to think about getting out of that,” said Johnson, who was surprised to be traded to a division rival. ”Now the toughest thing will be finding that routine there.”
Harvey (8-7, 3.19 ERA) is 5-2 with a 2.95 ERA in nine starts at home, compiling a 0.90 ERA over his last three and winning both decisions.
The right-hander wasn’t sharp at Washington in Monday’s 7-2 loss, allowing five runs in the first three innings before leaving after the seventh.
"Part of the game is finding a rhythm early," Harvey told MLB’s official website.
Harvey is 0-2 with a 5.29 ERA in three starts against Los Angeles, yielding three runs and matching his career high with five walks in five innings of a 4-3 road loss July 4.
The Dodgers, winners in 10 of their last 12 at Citi Field, were hoping to have Zack Greinke back after he was scratched from Friday’s scheduled start to be at the birth of his first child. He’s slated to return for Sunday’s series finale, making Zach Lee the likeliest candidate to start in his major league debut.
Lee, the 28th overall pick in the 2010 draft, will need to be recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. The right-hander went 5-0 with a 1.41 ERA in his last six starts in the minors.
Turner is 13 for 24 in his last six games after hitting a solo homer and adding two doubles with two RBIs on Friday.
"I think for any player, if you ask them, it always feels good to get hits against your former team," Turner said.
Turner will face Harvey for the first time, while Yasiel Puig is 3 for 5 with a double off him. Puig had a two-run homer Friday and he’s 6 for 18 with two home runs, two doubles and five RBIs in five games in Queens.
The Mets may have prospect Michael Conforto – their first round pick last year – back in left field after he went 0 for 3 with an RBI in his major league debut Friday.
"I thought he looked good," manager Terry Collins said. "He’s got a nice approach, some patience at the plate, so I was very pleased with what I saw."