Opener of Brewers-Mets doubleheader features pair of aces

MLB

It took an assist from Mother Nature, but All-Stars Jacob deGrom and Corbin Burnes will get to oppose one another Wednesday afternoon.

deGrom and Burnes are slated to start the opener of a day-night doubleheader Wednesday, when deGrom’s New York Mets host Burnes’ Milwaukee Brewers in a battle of first-place teams.

The doubleheader was necessitated by a rainout Tuesday, when the scheduled middle game of the three-game set was finally postponed around 9:45 p.m. — almost three hours after the scheduled first pitch.

deGrom (7-2, 0.95 ERA), who was scheduled to start Tuesday, will battle fellow right-hander Burnes (4-4, 2.41 ERA) in the opener, which is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. ET. Burnes was originally penciled in for Wednesday’s finale.

The second game Wednesday is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m. ET, but the late afternoon and evening forecast in New York is threatening.

The Mets had yet to announce a starter for the nightcap, although right-hander Robert Stock (0-1, 11.25 ERA) is a possibility after being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday. Left-hander Brett Anderson (2-5, 4.69 ERA), who was scheduled to start Tuesday for Milwaukee, will start the second game.

The opener Wednesday will pit two of the top candidates to start for the National League in next Tuesday’s All-Star Game, although deGrom may still be reluctant to pitch at Colorado’s Coors Field.

deGrom, who was originally scheduled to start Sunday’s first half finale for the Mets, said last weekend he would not pitch in the All-Star Game and might not even attend the festivities.

The 33-year-old ace said he was reluctant to pitch in Colorado because he believes the stress of pitching in the thin air of Denver on April 17 may have caused the various mild injuries he has pitched through in the first half.

deGrom missed one start in early May due to a sore right side, spent 15 days on the injured list later in the month due to the same injury and made early exits from back-to-back starts in June, once with right flexor tendinitis the other time with a sore right shoulder.

“That’s kind of where all this started,” deGrom said. “I had to go from five days’ (rest) to six days after going to Colorado.”

Burnes has a chance Tuesday to bolster his candidacy by officially moving just behind deGrom in several notable pitching categories. deGrom leads the NL in ERA, WHIP and strikeouts per nine innings. Burnes would have entered Tuesday ranked sixth, fifth and second, respectively, in those categories if he had enough innings to qualify (one inning pitched per team game). He has thrown 82 innings in the Brewers’ first 86 games.

The sterling first half continues a career turnaround for Burnes, who posted an 8.82 ERA in 2019 but went 4-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 12 games (nine starts) last season.

“Corbin is a great example of a player who the game kind of kicked in the teeth, but he made a decision not to let it beat him or not to let it hold him down in any way,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Monday, one day after Burnes was named to this All-Star team. “It’s been really impressive.”

deGrom is 3-3 with a 4.80 ERA in eight career starts against the Brewers — his highest ERA against any opponent he’s faced more than once. Burnes tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in his lone appearance against the Mets, on May 4, 2019.

As a member of the San Diego Padres, Stock threw a scoreless inning of relief against the Brewers on Aug. 7, 2018.

Anderson has never faced the Mets in the regular season. He lost to New York in Game 3 of the 2015 National League Division Series, when he gave up six runs on seven hits in three innings while pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

–Field Level Media

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