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Mets (17-13) vs. Braves (15-16)


RandolphScott
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NEW YORK -- In the early winter months, knowing they didn't have the economic firepower to acquire CC Sabathia, the Mets instead set their sights on a secondary prize: Derek Lowe. Lowe was coming off one of the better seasons of his career, and -- though older than Sabathia -- promised a handsome return on any team's investment.

 

Yet when the Braves ultimately swooped in and gave Lowe $60 million over four years to head to Atlanta, the Mets were left with only one other option. Oliver Perez re-upped in Queens, and now is spending his days idling away on the disabled list.

 

Whether the Mets come to regret letting Lowe slip away hardly matters. On Monday, they will have a firsthand opportunity to influence public perception of that sequence of events. When the Braves come to Citi Field for the first of three games against the Mets, Lowe will pitch.

 

The Mets certainly hope that they will continue to hit.

 

They did so remarkably well the last time they faced Lowe, battering him for nine runs in three innings in a game in 2007. But back then, Lowe was a Dodger. Now, he's a divisional rival.

 

"I've always been a big Derek Lowe fan as far as work ethic, the way he goes out there and eats up innings and keeps his team in the game," Mets third baseman David Wright said. "It's going to be a battle for us. Runs are going to be at a minimum."

 

After discussing Lowe's merits as a sinkerball specialist, shortstop Jose Reyes said simply: "He is tough."

 

So it seems the Mets do still have rivals in the National League East, even if they're currently playing without peer. Their seven consecutive wins have vaulted them to the top of the division, a perch they could barely see after a sub-.500 April. And they have one more thing going for them, too.

 

Johan Santana, an addition from two winters ago that trumped anything they did this past offseason, will start the series opener. Santana hasn't lost since April 12. He hasn't deserved to lose for some time longer than that. And his 0.91 ERA is the third lowest in franchise history through six starts, ranking just behind David Cone and Nolan Ryan.

 

The Mets, having run out of superlatives, are content now simply to watch their star work.

 

"It's good to be where we are," manager Jerry Manuel said, "and then start the rotation over again with Johan."

 

 

Pitching matchup

NYM: LHP Johan Santana (4-1, 0.91 ERA)

The NL Pitcher of the Month for April was quite dominant in his first May start, against the Phillies on Wednesday night: seven scoreless innings, 10 strikeouts, two hits and three walks. Now he is to face the team he missed last week because a rainout pushed back the rotation. The Twins, his former team; the Rockies, a team he never has faced; and the Braves are the only teams Santana never has beaten. He lost twice to Atlanta last season, despite a 2.57 ERA in 21 innings (three starts). He is pitching as well this season as he did at any time in his first season with the Mets. Chipper Jones, Matt Diaz and Kelly Johnson have been a challenge for him. Their combined career average in 40 at-bats against Santana is .475.

 

ATL: RHP Derek Lowe (4-1, 3.98 ERA)

Lowe got the win against the Marlins on Wednesday, despite a start he called "disappointing." The 35-year-old right-hander, who gave up four runs in five innings the previous time he faced Florida, was beat around for six runs in five innings and needed 102 pitches to get through it. He gave up seven hits, walked three batters and struck out five while yielding the most runs in seven starts for the Braves this season. In eight career games (two starts) against the Mets, Lowe is 1-2 with an 8.78 ERA.

 

Tidbits

With a swipe of third base in the seventh inning on Sunday, Reyes recorded the 300th steal of his career. Reyes is the Mets' all-time stolen-base leader and passed fan favorite Mookie Wilson on the list last year on Sept. 10. ... Right-handed pitcher Tim Redding, rehabbing from a right rotator cuff strain, is scheduled to start Monday for Triple-A Buffalo. ... It's a good bet Gary Sheffield will be in Monday's lineup. In 17 career at-bats against Lowe, Sheffield has hit .471 with two doubles, two homers and eight RBIs.

 

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You can tell Santana is struggling but he is doing a good job at minimizing it. Imagine if this was Perez out there with not his best stuff. Wait a minute, best stuff, hahaha.

 

Now if they could only find a way to scratch out a few more runs. Lowe is looking good but the Mets can score on him. They are swinging at bad pitches.

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Someone please explain to me why Manuel left Feliciano in to pitch to Diaz after the inexuseable error by Reyes(who has had a bad year thus far). Was it Felicianos 350 batting average against vs Righties or Diaz' .328 batting avarage career vs lefties?

 

Great move Jerry :brooding:

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I cannot blame Feliciano. He gave up a ground ball that Reyes booted than he should have been removed promptly.

 

Feliciano did no wrong, once Reyes fucked it for him though he should have been taken out by thuglife manager, there is no logical explanation for those actions. Willie never even did stuff that blatantly stupid.

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I was watching DNL earlier and they were saying that Manuel stuck with Feliciano because if he put in Stokes, Bobby Cocks would have probably have pinch hit Garrett Anderson. I would have taken that chance.

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No. Like the Yankee players they just hate Arod.

I dont know what A-Rod and the Yankees have to do with this, but whatever. Im just saying, they seem to play like shit when he pitches. Guy is 4-2, should be 7-0 and in his 2 losses, he's given up 0 earned runs....not mention all the games they blew last year for him.

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I dont know what A-Rod and the Yankees have to do with this, but whatever. Im just saying, they seem to play like shit when he pitches. Guy is 4-2, should be 7-0 and in his 2 losses, he's given up 0 earned runs....not mention all the games they blew last year for him.

 

See I asked the Mets this very same question and they told me "no we just hate AROD like everyone else". I am just saying.....

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Did anyone else have a flashback to that MLCS with Beltran stading there 3-2 with the bat on his shoulder... that breaking ball was pretty damn close, if it was called a strike I think there might have been riots out in flushing.

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Feliciano did no wrong, once Reyes fucked it for him though he should have been taken out by thuglife manager, there is no logical explanation for those actions. Willie never even did stuff that blatantly stupid.

I was pissed too but Jerry said the next day if he brought in a righty Garret would have pinch hit for Diaz. So it was a tougher call then we think.

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