Mets at Reds Series Preview

So here we are, less than 24 hours removed from as tough of a loss to swallow as any we’ve had so far in 2010.

There is one positive thing to note from Sunday’s loss. We don’t have to listen to Miller & Morgan talk about the Mets until the Yankees come to town on May 23rd. Nor do we have to listen to McCarver any time soon. Just a nice heaping serving of our hometown crew. 

The Mets head to Cincinnati for a three game set that if anything will hopefully get this team back on track. I always enjoy watching the Reds play, something about their history just has always seemed to peak my interest when the Mets play them. That and my cell phone text messages from my buddy Derek are through the roof. (He’s a Reds fan.) 

Game 1 is up to Oliver Perez to get the Mets back on track, and to help the Mets fan forget that Johan Santana was nice enough to pitch BP on Sunday night. Perez will be matched up against rookie Mike Leake tonight. Leake is of no relation to Kelly Leake from Bad News Bears, talk about a loan shark!

An interesting tidbit to tonight’s game is that Leake and Ike Davis were college teammates. Nice to see both of these young talents getting to face one another this early in their careers.

Against the Dodgers I had some concern that the “same old Mets” would show up against LA’s young unknown pitchers. That really didn’t happen. Maybe these aren’t the same old Mets? If they are, Mike Leake will have himself an amazing day.

Perez has to be solid tonight, he’s skated by and not had a huge target on his back, thanks in part to John Maine and also due to the fact Jerry pulls the plug on Ollie very quick. I love Takahashi, but I don’t want to see him tonight. I want to see the Ollie P that was in St. Louis. He’s fun to watch, and other than Scott Rolen, nobody on the Reds has really hit Perez that well. Votto has, but it’s a small sample size. Rolen absolutely owns Perez though with a .450 average in 20 at bats!

Tuesday Night, the Mets get a good look at the guy several critics say they want to see wearing a Mets uniform in Bronson Arroyo. I am one of those club members as well. Conveniently he is facing the guy I want to see him replace in the rotation. However, to be fair to Maine, he pitched pretty well in his last start. He showed pretty decent control, but he also benefitted from a team that was just looking to get home to Los Angeles. Brandon Phillips is the guy to keep an eye on here as he seems to fair well against Maine, but lately who hasn’t?

Historically speaking the Mets don’t like hitting off of Arroyo. This will be a tough matchup for the Mets as they will need to get on the board early to give Maine some breathing room. 

The final game is an early Wednesday start with Jon Niese taking on Johnny Cueto. If this game turns out to be a rubber game as I expect (I’m looking at a win tonight and loss tomorrow) Jerry Manuel needs to be sure not to sit his starters for this game to get an extra day of rest before the home stand.

This series I’m looking for big performances from four guys: #1 Oliver Perez, #2 Jason Bay, #3 Jose Reyes and #4 Frankie Rodriguez. Those are the 4 guys that I want to say are the reason the Mets won the series. 

The Mets have to win this series. A loss in a 3 game series before heading home to face Sanchez and Lincecum could prove deadly for this team. They have to take 2 out of 3 at least, and head home and have confidence that they are a legitimate threat in the NL. After San Francisco, the Mets play 11 straight divisional games and then a quick weekend series versus the Yankees and then of course Philadelphia.

The Magic number for the next 23 games (through the Philly series) is 13 wins. The Mets must at least head to Milwaukee with a record of 27-21 otherwise the competitive season train might as well leave the station in my opinion.

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.