New York Mets (31-24):
1. Curtis Granderson (L) RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes (R) CF
4. Neil Walker (S) 2B
5. Wilmer Flores (R) 3B
6. James Loney (L) 1B
7. Michael Conforto (L) LF
8. Rene Rivera (R) C
9. Steven Matz (R) P
SP: Steven Matz LHP (7-1, 2.60 ERA)
Pittsburgh Pirates (30-26):
1. Josh Harrison (R) 2B
2. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
3. David Freese (R) 1B
4. Jung Ho Kang (R) 3B
5. Starling Marte (R) LF
6. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
7. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
8. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
9. Jonathon Niese (L) P
SP: Jon Niese LHP (5-2, 4.36 ERA)
Today’s game can be seen on SNY.
METS-PIRATES NOTES: The Mets are 2-8 in their last 10 games at PNC Park…New York is 21-27 all-time at PNC, which opened in 2001…The Mets went 0-6 vs. the Pirates last year… It was the first time in team history they were swept in a season series by Pittsburgh…New York has lost seven straight to the Pirates dating back to June 29, 2014.
DOUBLEHEADER NOTES: The last time the Mets played the Pirates in a doubleheader was September 19, 2004 in Pittsburgh… The Mets lost both games, losing Game 1, 1-0 and falling in Game 2, 6-1…The last time the Mets swept a doubleheader from the Pirates was July 30, 1996, winning 5-4 in Game 1 and 4-3 in Game 2…The Mets played one doubleheader last year, losing both games (3-1 & 2-0) to Washington on October 3 at Citi Field.
FOUR OR MORE: The Mets are 23-5 when they score four or more runs and 8-19 when they score three or fewer.
HOMECOMING: Pittsburgh native and member of the Pirates from 2009-2015, Neil Walker returns to PNC Park tonight… Walker hit .279 with 83 doubles, 42 homers and 199 RBI in 421 career games at PNC Park.
FAMILIAR ENEMY: LHP Jonathon Niese will start tonight for Pittsburgh…Niese was drafted by the Mets in the seventh round of the 2005 draft and he went 61-61 with a 3.91 ERA from 2008- 2015 with the Mets.
OTHER METS-PIRATES TIES: Mets Manager Terry Collins was a coach on Pittsburgh’s staff from 1992-1993…Antonio Bastardo pitched for the Pirates last year, going 4-1 with 2.98 ERA in 66 games…Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle played with the Mets in 1983, 1985 and 1987.
MAGNIFICENT MATZ: Steven Matz is 11-1 in 15 regular season games in the majors…he has never faced the Pirates in his career…Matz has won seven straight decisions, as he is 7-0 with a 1.51 ERA over eight starts during that stretch…Matz has issued nine walks and struck out 52…The last Met to win seven or more consecutive decisions was R.A. Dickey (April 25-July 19, 2012), who won 11 straight.
STRONG PITCHING: The Mets rank second in the majors with a 3.14 team ERA…The staff has allowed 42 homers, tied for the second- fewest in the majors…They have issued 132 walks, the fewest in the majors and have 476 strikeouts, ranking 10th in the majors.
WATCH OUT PIRATES: Asdrubal Cabrera will be playing his first games at PNC Park in his career and is 10-31 (.323) vs. Pittsburgh in eight career games but all of those games came at home as a member with Washington and Cleveland…James Loney is batting .322 (48-149) vs. the Pirates in his career and he has hit in six straight games vs. Pittsburgh dating to August 14, 2012 (.478, 11-23) with one homer and five RBI’s.
METS VS. NIESE: This is the first time Jon Niese will be facing his former team, but notable current Mets numbers against the 29-year old lefty are provided below…
Curtis Granderson: .333 (3-9), 3 K
Neil Walker: .154 (2-13), 2 RBI, 4 K
James Loney: .143 (1-7), 1 K
Asdrubal Cabrera: .000 (0-3)
Rene Rivera: .000 (0-3), 2 K