Logan Verrett’s start against the Padres on Friday night will be big, but not because his spot in the rotation appears to be in jeopardy. Verrett will try to be the stopper after the Mets were swept in three games by the Diamondbacks.
Verrett, who is filling in for the injured Matt Harvey, did not have to look over his shoulder for most of the season because Zack Wheeler was always months away from joining the team as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Wheeler’s return could be on the horizon, but the more immediate threat to Verrett might have been Jonathon Niese, who was reacquired from the Pirates at the non-waiver trade deadline. Niese, who relieved Noah Syndergaard on Thursday, allowed six earned runs in the sixth inning, so, barring injury, don’t look for him in the rotation anytime soon.
In two starts this month, Verrett has a 9.35 ERA. He gave up six runs in 3 2⁄3 innings, five in the fourth inning, last Saturday in Detroit against the Tigers. Overall, he is 3-7 with a 4.66 ERA.
“I’m going to go out and pitch just like I would any other day,’’ Verrett said of facing the Padres. As for any thought that he eventually could be replaced, Verrett said, “I don’t listen to it. I don’t read it. It’s as simple as that. I had one bad inning over my last five starts. One blowup inning. Other than that, I had a sub-4 ERA, kept us in every ballgame and gave us a chance to win. We need every victory. I don’t think [Friday night’s] any different than today, than yesterday, than the day before that or Saturday. We need every one. We’re in a wild-card race. We need every victory. One’s not more important than the other.’’
The Diamondbacks swept the Mets at home for the first time since winning four straight in 2002 . . . Arizona stole four bases with Syndergaard on the mound and had 13 in the three-game series. It was the most the Mets had allowed for three games in franchise history.