NEW YORK -- And now the New York Mets turn to a rookie to try to keep things rolling.
Robert Gsellman makes his first major league start as the Mets try to complete a weekend sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field. Gsellman, who debuted with 3⅔ scoreless innings in relief of Jonathon Niese on Tuesday at Busch Stadium, opposes right-hander Vince Velasquez (8-6, 4.31 ERA).
Gsellman’s outing begins an interesting stretch of starting pitching for the Mets. Rafael Montero will fill in for skipped Jacob deGrom against the Miami Marlins on Monday, followed by Seth Lugo on Tuesday and potentially Steven Matz in his first start off the disabled list on Wednesday.
Matz is due to throw off a mound Sunday for the first time since landing on the DL with shoulder discomfort.
Montero had a 7.20 ERA in 16 starts for Triple-A Las Vegas, but then posted a 1.70 ERA in eight starts after a demotion to Double-A Binghamton.
“Even though it’s Double-A, that’s still a good league,” Terry Collins said.
The Mets (66-63) have won six of their last seven games. They are now three games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 7. They moved to within 2½ games of the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League’s second wild-card spot.
The Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates both trail St. Louis by 1½ games.
SUNDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:
Noah Syndergaard allowed one run and two hits in seven innings and Asdrubal Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson and Neil Walker homered as the Mets beat the Phillies 12-1 on Saturday. The Mets now have 87 homers at Citi Field this season, -- a franchise record at the stadium, which opened in 2009. Walker’s 23rd homer of the season, a solo shot in the eighth, matched his career high. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and at NJ.com.
Justin Ruggiano landed on the disabled list before Saturday’s game with a left-shoulder injury. T.J Rivera returned from Triple-A Las Vegas. Rivera did take some pregame fly balls in center field, but Ruggiano’s return to the DL again leaves the Mets with no bona fide righty-hitting center fielder.
Gabriel Ynoa tossed eight scoreless innings and Gavin Cecchini went 5-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored in Las Vegas' 9-0 win against Salt Lake. Subbing for a scratched Montero, spot starter Logan Taylor allowed two runs in 2⅔ innings in Binghamton’s 5-0 loss to Bowie. Ben Griset, Domingo Tapia and Robby Coles combined for eight scoreless innings in a game against Palm Beach that was suspended in the eighth. Patrick Mazeika, Eudor Garcia and Tucker Tharp had run-scoring extra-base hits in a seven-run third and Columbia beat Kannapolis 10-6. Joel Huertas tossed five scoreless innings in Kingsport’s 2-0 loss to Danville. Read the full minor league recap here.
BIRTHDAYS: Joel Youngblood turns 65. ... Mike Torrez is 70. ... David Thompson is 23.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Apparently Galvis hit one into the Utley Corner. pic.twitter.com/npDRFLyK1G
— Take It Down JRake! (@CoronaLimeDFS) August 28, 2016
YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets thrive during this upcoming stretch with young starting pitchers?