Dodgers @ Mets: Series Preview

Jeez, I almost forgot that it was my job to write series previews! Talk about having to get used to that and quick!

Luckily for me and my responsibilities here, the Mets were rained out last night after a rain shortened victory against the Atlanta Braves. Man, is there nothing worse than a rain out? The only positive thing was I got to bang through a bunch of TV Shows we have on DVR.

Between the Mets regular season and our beloved Pittsburgh Penguins quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup, we don’t get a lot of regular TV viewing these days.

However, now that we have learned that Ted Mosby’s kids are living in a house he purchased several years prior through an auction, and we know that Julia’s daughter is gifted and not suffering from any forms of possible autism, my family can now peacefully enjoy the Dodgers series. (By the way that was a How I Met Your Mother, and Parenthood reference.) 

Game 1 is just about ready to start, unless the rain has taken over Citi Field again? I haven’t looked because knowing the Mets are on at 4p.m. when I get out of work at 4:30 p.m is just a cruel joke.

The Mets showed everybody one very important thing in their series with the Braves. That their pitching is very good? No. That Reyes is back? No. 

The Braves are really not that good. 

The one thing that came to mind as I watched that series was the Braves play defense like a monkey humping a football.

So while it’s great the Mets won (swept) that series, I think they had to based on how poorly Atlanta played. In past years, the Mets would’ve found ways to let the Braves off the hook. They didn’t, and they need to be recognized for that. 

But with that sweep, the Mets are looking to maybe get themselves a little winning streak. “If we win today, that’s 2 in a row. If we win tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak. It has happened before,” as the quote from Major League goes.

So Game 1 now rests upon the arm of Johan Santana who is 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA. Since his beating at the hands of Josh Willingham, Santana has bounced back quite nicely and has allowed just 1 run in his last 13 and a third innings.
Hiroki Kuroda will challenge Santana for the Dodgers. Kuroda is off to a nice 2-0 starts with a 2.18 ERA. The one good thing we have to look forward to? The Mets pound Kuroda. He’s 0-2 with a 12.86 ERA on the road against the Mets. That’s not just bad, that’s John Maine bad.

Oliver Perez is going to get the ball for the nightcap tonight. This was a great call by Jerry Manuel, and hopefully it works out for him. I heard Ron Darling this morning talk about how Perez has started to follow Santana around (thank God), and I think having Santana throw in Game 1 could give Perez a nice boost of energy heading into Game 2.

Perez is 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA, and while he isn’t pitching great, he isn’t giving games away early. All you’re asking Perez to do is to give the Mets a chance to win. He’s been doing that for the most part, and if he can get better with his control over the course of the season, I think he’ll be just fine. Granted, I voted Ollie P to be Comeback Player of the Year, and while I was laughed at for it… you gotta admit he’s doing better than you expected.

Perez always seems to excel against the better NL teams. Case in point is his best start was against the Cardinals. He seems to bring just a little more to the mound when he’s up against the better teams. Perez is 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA against Los Angeles.

Perez will be countered by Charlie Haeger. Go ahead, look him up.

Haeger is 0-2 with a 6.46 ERA, and until two seconds ago when I typed his name, I had never heard of him. If you follow the Mets closely, this likely means he’s going to dominate. You ever notice these young no name guys always seem to have the Mets number in their first start? One day I’m going to write a blog about that. I call dibs.

Anyway, Haeger throws a knuckle ball which is either PERFECT for this slumping offense, or it’s going to be just funny watching how foolish the Mets lineup can look. Haeger hasn’t shown great control yet, so the Mets are going to have to force him to locate his pitches early on, and not give in to what appears to be a fat knuckler over the plate right away.

Wednesday is a get away matchup at 1:10 pm; the Dodgers will be looking to head home after a grueling 9 game road trip. The Dodgers have yet to officially announce who will start on Wednesday but it appears to be the 23 year old righty, John Ely.

So if Haeger doesn’t prove me right about random pitchers owning the Mets, look for Ely to do so.

Ely was drafted in 2007 out of Miami (Ohio) University. He dominated Double-A last year with a 14-2 record and a 2.82 ERA. Ely was acquired by the Dodgers in the deal that sent Juan Pierre to the White Sox.

John Maine will get the ball for the Mets, and that sound you just heard was me being grateful I have to work tomorrow. Maine has shown me nothing except he’s reserving a rotation spot for somebody. He left his last start because his non pitching arm was hurt.

Maine’s pretty much run out of chances with me, and if he can’t out pitch a kid who is getting called up at the last second to pitch on get-away day, then I don’t know what to tell ya.

The hitter to watch for on the Dodgers is Matt Kemp. Kemp loves hitting off the Mets just like Brian Jordan use to.

This series could be a huge momentum swing for the Mets. Every pitching matchup is winnable, and they aren’t seeing the Dodgers’ two best pitchers in Kershaw & Billingsley. It’s very sweepable, but let’s just look for a nice 2 out of 3 here before heading to Philadelphia to help Ryan Howard count his money.

Player to watch v. Santana: Reed Johnson – .545 Avg, with 1 HR, and 5 RBI in 22 AB
Player to watch v. Perez: Matt Kemp  .364 with 1 HR, 2 RBI in 11 AB
Player to watch v. Maine: The entire Dodgers lineup, including John Ely.

About Michael Branda 267 Articles
Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.