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News » Phillies-Mets Preview 2009-05-06


Phillies-Mets Preview 2009-05-06


Phillies-Mets Preview 2009-05-06
The New York Mets can't afford to waste strong outings by Johan Santana, especially against the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies.

They'll try to avoid doing that for a second consecutive start from the left-hander Wednesday night when they face the Phillies at Citi Field.

Santana was the NL pitcher of the month for April after going 3-1 with a 1.10 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 32 2-3 innings over five starts.

"This is the best I've seen him," Mets manager Jerry Manuel told the team's official Web site. "He was good at the end of last year, but not as dominant as he's been this season. To have a loss with the stuff he's had is indicative of how our offense has been, not anything he did."

Like last season, Santana is suffering from a lack of offense in 2009. The Mets (12-13) have scored 11 runs in the two-time Cy Young Award winner's five outings - the fewest for any member of their rotation.

Last year, New York averaged 2.2 runs for Santana in his 12 starts that resulted in losses for the club. The left-hander was also hurt by poor bullpen work behind him last season - a problem that re-occurred in his last outing.

The left-hander allowed two runs and five hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings and turned over a one-run lead to J.J. Putz on Wednesday. The reliever couldn't hold it, surrendering two runs in the eighth of a 4-3 loss to Florida.

Santana went 2-0 with a 2.97 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 36 1-3 innings over five starts against the Phillies (14-10) in 2008.

He wasn't scheduled to pitch in this two-game set, but Sunday's rainout in Philadelphia moved his start back a day. That postponement also meant the Mets and Phillies split the rain-shortened, two-game series.

New York is coming off a 4-3 win at Atlanta on Tuesday that gave it a two-game sweep of the Braves.

Carlos Beltran went 2-for-4 to extend his career-best hitting streak to 16 games. He's batting .443 (27-for-61) with three homers and 11 RBIs during that stretch.

The center fielder went 3-for-7 and walked three times while also being hit by a pitch in the last two games against Philadelphia, which is making its first visit to Citi Field.

The Phillies, who moved atop the division with Tuesday's 10-7 win at St. Louis, are getting outstanding production from Shane Victorino. The center fielder went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs on Tuesday and is batting .365 (23-for-62) during a 14-game hitting streak. He has 15 RBIs over that span.

"I don't really want to talk about it," said Victorino, 3-for-10 with an RBI in the last two meetings with New York. "When you feel good, you feel good. I just want to be the player I can be."

The Phillies will give the ball to Chan Ho Park (0-1, 8.57), who allowed seven runs and eight hits with six walks in 4 2-3 innings of a 7-4 loss to the Mets on Friday.

The right-hander hasn't won since a relief appearance July 1 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He's 0-3 with a 6.02 ERA in 36 games - six starts - since then.

Park is 5-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 16 games - 10 starts - against New York.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 6, 2009

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