Tonight is my last Game Preview/Write-Up for probably close to two weeks. I’ll be heading out to California for my honeymoon early tomorrow morning. We’ll get to see at least 2 Mets games out in San Diego on Friday & Saturday (7th and 8th). Enough about me, let’s talk about tonight’s game!
You know, my biggest fear for tonight’s game is that maybe the Mets have been playing so well because they were trying to send a message to management that with a little bit of help, they could get to the playoffs. If that is the case, they could be a little disappointed now that Santa Minaya left them coal in their trade deadline stocking. This team has always seemed to react poorly to bad injury news, take the Nieve injury as a great example. Today, Jose Reyes had a setback (again), according to Jerry Manuel during his pre-game media report. Apparently Reyes was unable to run the bases hard, even though he was expected to be able to do so by now.
The way I see it, by August 14th when the Mets play San Francisco they HAVE to have gone at least 9-4 in the next 13 games in order to have a realistic shot at the playoffs.
So they begin their 13 game journey with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks were blessed with a much needed day off yesterday, while the Mets had to fight through a tough double-header.
Lefty Doug Davis will take the mound for Arizona. For a guy with a 5-10 record, Doug Davis is having a pretty decent year. His last start was a strong 6 inning performance in which he struck out 8 batters, walked 3, and gave up no runs on 5 hits to the Altoona Curve (I mean, Pittsburgh Pirates.) A nice little positive is the team that just left Citi Field in a hurry, absolutely rocked Davis on July 20th for 8 earned runs in just 2.1 innings pitched. However, the Mets don’t exactly have the best history against Davis. Between Wright, Francoeur, Castillo and Pagan, they are a combined 5 for 35 lifetime against Davis.
Livan Hernandez will hope to pick the Mets back up against after a tough 4-2 loss to the Rockies last night. Hernandez is coming off two straight wins, with his last performance in Houston being credited by some as the spark this club needed. Hernandez has to stop donating runs to the opposition in the first inning. It’s eerily familiar to the way Pedro Martinez used to pitch towards the tail-end of his Mets days. To Hernandez’s credit, after surrendering 3 runs to Houston, he only allowed 4 hits in the remaining 6 innings while striking out 8 batters and walking none.
The Diamondbacks haven’t seen Hernandez quite as much as the Mets have seen Davis, most likely because Hernandez obviously was a Diamondback for some of 2006, and all of 2007. However, between Upton, Drew, and Reynolds, they are a combined 3 for 9 against Hernandez. Only 2 less hits in 26 less at bats than the Mets have against Davis.
In the last 8 games against one another, the series has been split 4-4, with each team winning the game, following a loss. One stat that Mets fans will love is that Arizona is just 5-18 in the last 23 road games Davis has started. One stat that Mets fans won’t love is that the Mets are just 2-6 in Livan’s last 8 starts.
OVER/UNDER RUNS: I was off last night with the over. Tonight’s line is 9 runs. I’m going to go against the odds and take the OVER. (Season Record 1-1)
METS POTG: I’m not a huge Livan Hernandez supporter lately, however, he does seem to fair pretty well against young lineups that love to just hack away. Arizona is 3rd in team strikeouts.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Mark Reynolds can really hurt you if you make a mistake. Reynolds has 28 HR, 68 RBI, and is 7th in slugging in the National League. The stat Mets fans want to hear? He’s 1st in all of baseball in strikeouts. Still, if Hernandez has his 1st inning melt-down, Reynolds will likely be smack dab in the middle of it. Last night I was dead on with Barmes, tonight let’s hope I’m wrong!
I’LL BE DRINKING A: Water? My flight is crazy early in the morning, as if an 8 hour flight weren’t bad enough, imagine it with a hangover! Maybe if I’m lucky there’s apple juice in the house? Who doesn’t love the combination of apple juice and Mets games?
Enjoy the Game(s), I’ll be back in two weeks or so. Let’s Go Mets!