May 15, 2007

A Look At Tonight's Game

Anthony Di Como at, writes about tonight's game against the Cubs at Shea Stadium:

It's now been five wins in six games for the Mets, and with six more contests still to come at home, the team is slowly beginning to pick up the pace in the National League East. It's certainly early, but with many elements of the offense coming around, the upcoming stretch could prove vital for the Mets.

David Wright is hitting. Carlos Delgado, too, is coming on, while backups Endy Chavez and Damion Easley are flourishing in their newly expanded roles. And even with Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran cooling down -- slightly -- it leaves the impression that this is a complete team.

"I'd love to see these guys carry the team the whole year," Wright said. "But there's going to be times when they struggle. It's all about getting hot at the right time."

The Mets will try remaining hot in the second of four games against the reeling Cubs. While New York has been winning, Chicago hasn't, now with four losses in its past five games.

Things don't get easier for the Cubs against John Maine, the Mets' lone remaining undefeated starter. Maine will put his 5-0 record to the test against Chicago's Carlos Zambrano, who hasn't been nearly as consistent -- as his 3-3 record can attest.

RHP John Maine (5-0, 1.79 ERA)

Maine admittedly hasn't had his best stuff in two May starts, but he pitched well enough for the Mets to win both. The young right-hander pitched one of his best games of the season last year against Chicago, firing seven innings of shutout ball -- despite earning a no-decision in an eventual 1-0 Mets victory.
RHP Carlos Zambrano (3-3, 5.83 ERA)

Zambrano hasn't been close to his dominant self this season, his ERA only recently dropping below 6.00. He still pitches deep into games -- averaging around six innings per start -- but has been plagued by the effects of 10 home runs. Zambrano was perfect against the Mets last season, earning two victories in two tries.


Chavez should again start in left field with Moises Alou on the pine, and the speedy backup is likely looking forward to it. In 14 career at-bats against Zambrano, Chavez has five hits, including a triple and a home run.

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