July 16, 2007

Mets Must Thrive In West Coast Trip

Tonight starts a pivotal road trip for the Mets. They are going to San Diego for three games and then head to Los Angeles for four. If the Mets are going to survive this trip and remain in first place they have to win each series. The entire team is going to have to step up and play like it’s 2006 again or the Braves are going to find themselves in a familiar role (NL East leaders).

Here is a preview of the San Diego pitching match ups (Mets.com):

Mets: Sosa returns from the DL (strainged left hamstring) to make this start. In his last outing, back on June 30 against the Phillies, Sosa allowed three runs over five innings to pick up a win.

Padres: Wells was ejected after three-plus innings of work in final start before the break, against the Braves. He allowed three runs over four hits and struck out one and was visibly upset after being ejected. Over his career, Wells has fared slightly worse in the second half compare to the first, going 103-67 with a 4.17 ERA.

Mets: In his last start against the Reds, Hernandez rebounded from his previous four-frame outing against the Rockies at Coors Field. El Duque pitched six innings to halt Cincinnati, allowing three hits, striking out seven and walking three. The second inning was Hernandez's only weak point on the night, when he gave up his only two runs.

Padres: In his final outing before his All-Star Game start, Peavy threw a good game but the Marlins still got the better of him. He yielded three runs over seven frames, while striking out six, but still was saddled with the loss. Manager Bud Black, for one, believes the team may be a bit too confident in Peavy's starts. "I think we unfairly look, at times, for the spectacular out of Jake," Black said. The right-hander is 8-8 with a 5.20 ERA in 19 career starts against the D-backs.

Mets: Maine got off to a rocky start on Friday against the Reds, allowing a double, a single, a walk and a grand slam to the first four batters he faced, ending his four-game winning streak. Maine struck out three and walked three, tossing just 4 2/3 innings before leaving the game.

Padres: Maddux's career-long struggles against the D-backs continued Friday, when he gave up four runs on nine hits in four innings. After retiring the first two batters in the contest, Maddux gave up hits to the next five, with three runs crossing the plate. The right-hander has now lost three straight starts, over which he has compiled an 8.80 ERA. Before that stretch, Maddux had gone 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA over six consecutive quality starts.

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