Johan Santana (5-4, 3.00 ERA) tries to up the Mets’ winning streak to four when he opposes right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (0-4, 4.04) at 7:15 p.m. ET today at Dodger Stadium.
The Mets aren’t planning on shutting down Santana for the remainder of the first half following tonight’s start. It sounds like a good idea, Terry Collins said there’s no need as the left hander has held up well physically. There was concern after the 134-pitch no-hitter, but that has dissipated as Santana rebounded after a rocky start against the Yankees.
* Rueben Tejada continues to play well since coming off the disabled list. Last night he reached base a career-high five times.
* Ike Davis was fined $750 for inadvertently touching umpire Manny Gonzalez with this glove Tuesday in Chicago. There will be no suspension. It was good to see MLB go in that direction. In viewing the replay it was clear there no deliberate contact. Davis apologized to Gonzalez and the umpire acknowledged the contact was accidental.
* Jason Bay will attempt to run this afternoon. With the All-Star Game a week away, shutting Bay down for the rest of the first half would be good idea.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis is in the midst of a horrid 3-for-26 slump, looking so bad he sat yesterday against a right-hander. He’s likely to sit again tonight against lefty Chris Capuano.
Nieuwenhuis is striking out in 33 percent of his at-bats (once every three), and has 15 since June 15.
Terry Collins is careful not to quash Nieuwenhuis’ confidence, saying he’s giving him a mental breather. However, one can’t help but wonder when that breather will turn into “the need to play everyday.”
If we see Nieuwenhuis sitting more and more, don’t be surprised if he’s sent down to play every day when Jason Bay returns.
If last night’s postgame media session with Mets manager Terry Collins was animated, you could’ve seen the steam coming from his ears and his face getting fire engine red. Collins was clearly angry, and when asked about the lousy umpiring, said they didn’t leave all those men on base.
After Monday’s throwaway game, you would’ve thought the Mets would have stormed Wrigley Field and taken no prisoners. Nope. They responded with ugly baseball. Bad pitching all around, no clutch hitting, hesitant baserunning and porous defense. They brain cramped their way through nine innings.
What the Mets accomplished last night was to make us think for the first time they were morphing into “the same old Mets.”
Say it ain’t so.
Yes, I know, Frank Francisco got the save last night and backed up his boast, but not before getting into trouble. Fact is, he’ll blow a key save opportunity soon enough.
The biggest thing that came out of last night was Ike Davis’ homer in the first against lefty Andy Pettitte. I wrote earlier how that match up would be key in this series.
Davis delivered last night and that was the difference and supported Jon Niese. You have to give credit to Terry Collins for sticking with him when Davis was struggling.
There are several things I’d like to see happen for the Mets this weekend. If recent history is any indicator, they will be swept by the Yankees. Trading sweeps is not a way to make the kind of progress Terry Collins needs.
We’ve seen it before with the Mets. They’d come into the Yankees’ series on a roll and get dumped on. And, at home, too. That needs to stop, and here’s what we need to see.
* With the Yankees throwing left handers Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda (tight hammy) need to have a good series. Raking would be nice, but don’t get stuffed. It is easy to envision them getting shut down, but their development requires standing in against tough lefties.
* The bullpen bridge to Frank Francisco must produce. And, the sometimes shaky closer needs to show his mettle. Of course, the best thing would be to get quality innings from the starters.
* The RA Dickey success is no fluke, but the Yankees have a way of cutting down hot pitchers a notch. A strong game on national TV Sunday night against Sabathia would be a great way to start a long road trip.
There are other things I’d like to see, but if the Mets produce the above three, it should be a successful weekend.
ON DECK: Interleague play.