Two financially strapped franchises meet tonight at Citi Field when the Dodgers and Mets play.
Jon Niese (1-4, 4.71) starts tonight for the Mets. He’s pitched well in his last two starts, giving up two earned runs in each. He lost his last start, Saturday, against the Phillies, giving up two runs in 6 1/3 innings.
No surprise in this, but he’s gotten three or fewer runs in all but one of his six starts.
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Do you remember the story of the kid who told his father he had a no-hitter going until the big kids got out of school?
PELFREY: Goes tonight at Philly.
Well, that’s the Mets, whose six-game hitting streak was snapped last night at Washington. After beating Houston, Arizona and the Nationals, the Mets are in Philadelphia for the second time this month to face the Phillies.
Time to start another streak.
Mike Pelfrey, suffering from the flu the past week, was cleared and will start tonight despite losing 11 pounds. The Mets are taking the precaution of having Dillon Gee ready should Pelfrey weaken, which tells me they are concerned.
Given that, why push the envelope on Pelfrey in the first place? It’s only April. Do they really have to run Pelfrey out there tonight?
Gee has pitched well and is on the roster for situations just like this. I’d rather push Pelfrey back and have him pitch on full strength.
Chris Capuano did not have a good start last night, but there’s been no word of taking him out of the rotation. Something to possibly look for is that with another bad outing he could be replaced by Gee.
The Mets are riding high with five straight victories, and tonight behind R.A. Dickey can climb out of last place in the NL East. Who would have thought that two weeks ago?
With a victory tonight at Washington, coupled with a loss by Atlanta, the Mets could finally be looking down at somebody in their division. Yes, small steps.
This winning streak hasn’t convinced us the Mets have reached contending status, but what it has done has made the team worth following again. Last night was especially important in that they found a way to win.
Chris Young was gassed early as three home runs indicated, but the Mets overcame blowing the lead and adding tack-on runs. They did not play as crisply as they have but still found a way to manufacture runs and a victory. And, they did it on the road against a team they are supposed to beat.
All this victories have come across teams they should win – Houston, Arizona and Washington – but this isn’t fishing, you don’t have to throw anything back.
Sure, you’d like to see the Mets beat the Phillies, Reds and Giants, but one step at a time. The important thing is they are finally taking steps.
It is premature to panic over Mike Pelfrey after two horrific starts that have given him an unsightly 15.63 ERA.
PELFREY: Seeking first win tonight.
Pelfrey said he’ll return to square one for tonight’s game against Colorado, and will rely more on his fastball and splitter something he didn’t do against Florida Opening Day and last week in Philadelphia when he gave up seven runs in two innings.
“I know I need to be better,’’ Pelfrey said in a classic understatement. “I just have to rely on my fastball and splitter, which I didn’t to the first two times out. … If I get beat, I have no problem walking off the field if I can say they beat my best stuff.’’
Against the Phillies, Pelfrey threw first-pitch fastballs to six of the 18 batters he faced. He didn’t say why he went away from his bread-and-butter.
This is what happened to Pelfrey last July when he was winless.
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While it’s not too early to analyze, it is premature to draw any definitive conclusions about Mike Pelfrey after two horrid starts. Both times he failed to get out of the fifth, and last night he gave up seven runs in two innings.
Every year he strings together several stinkers. It just happens that he’s had two to start the season after a poor spring training. What beat Pelfrey last night was beat him last season, which was losing focus and getting away from his fastball.
Still, I believe he’s made progress and will snap out of it and get into the kind of groove that last season made him one of the premier starters in the first half. A strong start yesterday would have given the Mets two series victories to start the series.
Instead, with Roy Halladay terrific and Jon Niese assaulted by the Phillies, the Mets are currently being waxed 10-0 and six outs away from a 2-2 start.
It’s still a better start than most anticipated, and somewhat disappointing considering what might have been.