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Mets (23-24) vs. Rockies (19-30)


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The Mets (22-23) begin a three-game series versus the defending National League champion Rockies (18-29) tonight at Coors Field in Denver, starting at 9:05 pm EST.


The Lineup:


* SS Jose Reyes

* 2B Luis Castillo

* 3B David Wright

* CF Carlos Beltran

* 1B Carlos Delgado

* LF Marlon Anderson

* C Brian Schneider

* RF Endy Chavez

* P Oliver Perez


According to John Delcos of the Journal News, Ryan Church is not in tonight’s lineup due to dizziness.


The Pitchers:


LHP Oliver Perez (4-3, 4.25 ERA) takes the hill for the Mets. Perez earned a victory in his last start on May 18 versus the Yankees surrendering two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out four over 7.2 IP. He leads the National League with an .094 batting average against left-handed batters this season. Perez is 4-4 with a 5.04 ERA in 12 career games, 11 starts, versus the Rockies.


RHP Greg Reynolds (0-1, 3.09 ERA) makes his third career start for the Rockies. In his last start on May 17 versus the Twins, Reynolds allowed no runs on three hits while striking out two and walking two. This is his first career start versus the Mets.




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And another thing, I don't know why Willie decided to pitch to cone head instead of Atkins who was on deck. Cone head should have been walked. So what if he was life time 0/4 against Heilman. Pointy head is a pesky hitter and I rather take a chance with someone that has a round head.

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As a veteran of eight big league seasons, Fernando Tatis has learned how to create opportunities for himself -- and seize the ones handed to him by others.


Signed by the Mets to a Minor League contract during Spring Training of 2007, Tatis spent a year working his way back to the Majors. He was finally recalled on May 14, 2008, and with three Mets outfielders suffering injuries in a four-day span, Tatis found himself inserted into the outfield for Friday's game. It was just his fifth time playing outfield in the big leagues, but he homered in his first at-bat and earned his first start of the season on Saturday.


"I didn't expect it would happen the way it's happening right now," Tatis said on Saturday. "I wish I could have another opportunity without people getting hurt. I didn't play for a couple days, and to come to the plate the first time and hit a homer, it's a great feeling."


On all counts, it was a feeling Tatis hadn't experienced since the end of 2006, when he last played in the big leagues with the Baltimore Orioles. In the interim, he started working on his outfield chops, realizing that the more versatile he could make himself, the better chance he'd have at landing a job in the Majors.


"When I was in Baltimore, I wanted to learn [to play outfield], because I know something can happen," Tatis said. "In Triple-A, I played a lot of games in the outfield. When I was back in the Dominican, I played a lot of games in the outfield. I worked so hard in the winter. I took ground balls. I took fly balls in the outfield. And I'm seeing the results right now. When you work hard, you're going to see the results."


Both the work and the results made an enduring impression on manager Willie Randolph, and with Moises Alou and Marlon Anderson hitting the disabled list over the past three days, Randolph is counting on the 33-year-old veteran to step up and fill the void in the Mets' outfield.


"He'll have to," Randolph said of Tatis. "He's played a lot of positions in Triple-A this year, and he's done them all adequately, I guess. I asked him if he'd played right field, [and] he said yes. He's played some left field, played first, second, third. He does a little bit of everything. He has to be the guy. He has to get the job done."


Pitching matchup

NYM: RHP John Maine (5-3, 3.29 ERA)

It now appears the standard M.O. for Maine's opponents is to foul off pitches by the dozens in an effort to tire the Mets starter. Maine has thrown 325 pitches in his three most recent starts, covering 18 1/3 innings. His loss to the Braves on Tuesday was his first after four consecutive victories. He needed 99 pitches to achieve 12 outs.


COL: RHP Aaron Cook (6-3, 3.06 ERA)

Cook has lost two straight starts after winning a club-record six straight. He grasped for control during the first four innings of his last start, against the Giants, giving up four runs in the first four innings. But after a brief pointer from pitching coach Bob Apodaca to stay compact in his delivery, he pitched three strong innings to last through the seventh. He's trying to take that feeling into his next start.



Nick Evans' three doubles in his big league debut on Saturday marked the first time a player has had three extra-base hits in his first game as a Met since Kazuo Matsui hit two doubles and a homer on April 6, 2004. ... Luis Castillo's eighth-inning double extended his hitting streak to nine games. ... Jose Reyes singled and stole a base to lead off the game, giving him 24 consecutive games in which he reached base safely by hit or by walk.


This day in Mets history -- May 25

Some records are not meant to be broken. Tom Seaver set an enduring mark for the Mets on May 25, 1976, when he went six innings in an 8-4 loss in Philadelphia, giving up seven runs on 15 hits and three walks while striking out five. No Mets pitcher has allowed 15 hits in a game since. Dave Kingman and Jerry Grote both homered for the Mets against Philies starter Jim Lonberg, who went on to win, improving his record to 7-0.




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