Baltimore won both games against the Mets on June 5-6 at Citi Field. The Orioles also won the opener at home 6-3 on Tuesday night.
The Mets, however, lost for just the second time in six games. Manager Mickey Callaway is trying to balance playing his veterans with getting a look at some younger players.
“We have to continue to talk with everybody and make sure they know the direction we’re going in. It’s tough to always keep everybody happy,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “And if everybody is happy, you’re probably not doing a very good job so you need to make sure they understand what we need to do as a team at the moment.”
Zack Wheeler (7-6, 3.82 ERA) is looking to replicate his performance against the Orioles earlier in the season. He held them scoreless over seven innings but did not get a decision in his first career appearance against them. The right-hander has been one of the Mets’ most effective pitchers.
In his last outing, Wheeler picked up the win against the Marlins when he allowed two runs and four hits with eight strikeouts over seven innings. In that game, he extended his scoreless streak to 23 innings before Miguel Rojas managed a two-run homer in the seventh inning.
“I’m eliminating the big inning. Attacking guys, keeping guys off the base,” Wheeler said. “When they do get on, get quick outs and eliminate the threats.”
Wheeler is 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA over his past five starts.
“He is aggressive toward the hitters and goes after them like he knows his stuff is better than them,” Callaway said.
The Orioles will counter with Dylan Bundy (7-10, 4.70 ERA). The right-hander struggled in his last start against the Red Sox when he allowed eight runs (seven earned) and eight hits with four walks and two home runs. His ERA has risen from 4.08 to 4.70 his last six appearances. Bundy has also given up 29 homers in his 22 starts.
“I can hit the corners when I want to. I’ve done it in the past,” said Bundy, who did win his only career start against the Mets. “I just have to focus on it in my bullpens and get better for the next game.”
Baltimore has already started the youth movement and dealt infielders Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, right-handers Kevin Gausman, Brad Brach and Darren O’Day and lefty closer Zach Britton prior to the non-waiver trade deadline.
“Overall, the past couple of weeks, I think we have a good ballclub,” shortstop Tim Beckham said. “We have a very athletic ballclub and a bit more speed now. We just want to continue to get on base and continue to capitalize with runners in scoring position.”
Baltimore was able to add pitching depth by trading those veterans. Some of the more notable young players are Dillon Tate, Dean Kremer and Zach Pop.
“There’s some good arms that came over in the deals that aren’t here that might end up being bullpen pieces. I’ve got one we acquired who’s got a chance to be a real good one who’s not here yet.”
Mark Trumbo received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right knee and was back in the lineup for the series opener.