10/1/15 Game Preview: Gilmartin vs. Eickhoff

The Mets (89-69) take on the Philadelphia Phillies (61-97) at 12:05 at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia. Sean Gilmartin (2.58 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 1.22 WHIP, 52 1/3 IP over 49 relief appearances) faces off against Jerad Eickhoff (3.07, 3.66, 1.09, 44 IP over 7 starts). For Gilmartin, it marks the Rule 5 selection’s first major league start. He will likely be followed by veteran starter/reliever Tim Stauffer in relief.

Lineups:

[USA Today]

[USA Today]

Mets:

  1. Kelly Johnson, 2B (L)
  2. Ruben Tejada, SS (R)
  3. Michael Conforto, LF (L)
  4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B (R)
  5. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, RF (L)
  6. Eric Campbell, 3B (R)
  7. Kevin Plawecki, C (R)
  8. Juan Lagares, CF (R)
  9. Sean Gilmartin, P (L)

Phillies:

  1. Freddy Galvis, 2B (S)
  2. Odubel Herrera, CF (L)
  3. Aaron Altherr, LF (R)
  4. Jeff Francoeur, RF (R)
  5. Darin Ruf, 1B (R)
  6. Cody Asche, 3B (L)
  7. Carlos Ruiz, C (R)
  8. Chase d’Arnaud, SS (R)
  9. Jerad Eickhoff, P (R)

With a tough loss last night and only 11 hours between games, the Mets are sitting all regulars except for Michael Conforto and Ruben Tejada (only Conforto started last night). This gives the Mets secondary lineup another chance to get a big win – a lineup of many of the same characters beat Cincinnati 8-1 on Sunday. Yoenis Cespedes is out after being hit in the hand by a pitch yesterday (contusion) and Wilmer Flores is out with lower back stiffness. David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, and Daniel Murphy are getting the day off.

Sean Gilmartin gets his first major league start today in place of Steven Matz, who is out due to right side stiffness. The team hopes to pitch Matz at some point this weekend, otherwise Matz’s NLDS roster spot may be in jeopardy. Gilmartin has had reverse platoon splits this season; righties have a .237 wOBA against him while lefties have a .306 wOBA (though even that number is solid, especially considering he’s a rookie Rule-5 selection that had not pitched out of the bullpen prior to this season). Part of that discrepancy could fall in BABIP and batted ball rates – 25.6 percent of batted balls from righties have been softly hit, while only 17.9% to lefties. That could explain a .358 BABIP to lefties versus a .282 BABIP to righties. Gilmartin has above average strikeout and walk percentages for relievers (23.6% and 7.9%, respectively), but has a way-below league average .17 HR/9 allowed (the league average is .94, suggesting good luck for Gilmartin). Gilmartin has only allowed 1 home run in his 52 1/3 innings of work.

Jerad Eickhoff has been very good in his 7 starts with the Phillies this season. Eickhoff, acquired from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade, has a 3.07 ERA over his 7 starts. Part of that, however, can be explained by a low .256 BABIP which is due for at least some regression. Eickhoff has neutralized righties very well, to a .227 wOBA in 97 plate appearances, but has struggled more against lefties (.348 wOBA in 80 plate appearances). In those 80 plate appearances, Eickhoff has allowed 8 walks, a double, 2 triples, and 4 home runs. The Mets, while without 3 of their 4 regular lefty bats, will look to take advantage with Kelly Johnson, Michael Conforto, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. In his two starts against the Mets this season, Eickhoff has allowed 7 runs (6 earned) over 13 innings pitched, striking out 10, allowing 10 hits, walking 3, and allowing 2 home runs. The Mets won both games.

As always, LET’S GO METS!

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