LOS ANGELES: There's only one thing you can do once you've gone 2-8 on a road trip. That's win the finale, which at least sends you home with some positive feelings.
The Mets need all the positive feelings they can get right now, having gotten embarrassed on an 11-game West Coast trip.
On Thursday, Mets GM Omar Minaya told reporters that Jerry Manuel is the Mets manager, and that there hasn't even been discussion regarding his future.
Well, if the Mets lose today and complete a 2-9 road trip, will all of that change? Would Omar Minaya even have a say, and will he be the one to get axed?
All of that is still up in the air, depending on whether the Mets can pull out today's finale.
It has been a disastrous road trip to the Bay, the Desert, and SoCal, and the Mets will be glad to return home where they haven't been in over two weeks.
But first, they have to focus on winning today's game, not focus on the flight to follow. There's a lot on the line for the Mets today.
They'll put the finale in the hands of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who was a hard-luck loser in each of his last two starts.
Dickey, against all odds, continues to impress and pitch well.
In his last start on Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, Dickey went seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, and received his fourth straight loss, after starting the season 6-0.
In three of those four losses, Dickey hasn't allowed more than three earned runs, which further documents the Mets recent offense struggles.
Every Mets pitcher seemingly in the month of July has been a hard-luck loser on multiple occasions, and Dickey has proven so, keeping his ERA at 2.73.
It has been said so many times that it's becoming redundant, but if the Mets continue to squander solid pitching performances, they'll fall ever so further away from the National League race.
What Dickey must do to help the team out, other than pitch effectively, is go deep into the game. The Mets used everyone in their bullpen during yesterday's 13-inning affair except for Francisco Rodriguez.
Out of Dickey's 12 starts so far, in six of them he has pitched at least seven or more innings, so he's capable of resting a bullpen.
Pitching for the Dodgers will be their ace, Clayton Kershaw. This will be Kershaw's 21st start of the season, and only in three previous starts has he allowed four or more earned runs.
His overall numbers have been great this season, as he's allowed 25 fewer hits than innings pitched, and his strikeouts-per-nine innings is at 9.9.
In his last start on Tuesday against the Giants, Kershaw pitched six innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits, he walked two and struck out six.
He has only allowed seven home runs in 122.2 innings pitched this season, which is only one home run allowed every 17.5 innings. Kershaw, only 22 years old, has already won more games, nine, than he ever has in his brief career.
He might have an even bigger advantage in today's game, as Jerry Manuel announced after yesterday's game that David Wright might get today or Tuesday off. Manuel, seeing Wright's struggles, wants him to get consecutive days off, paired with Monday's team off-day.
For the Mets, their longest road trip since 2007 comes to a bitter end today. Will it be bitter-sweet? We'll see.
R.A. Dickey this season (12 starts)
6-4, 2.73 ERA, 79 IP, 78 hits, 22 BB, 54 SO
Clayton Kershaw vs. New York (career)
1-0, 3.72 ERA, 9.2 IP, 8 hits, 6 BB, 9 SO
2010 season series (New York vs. Los Angeles)
April 27 (1): New York 4, Los Angeles 0
April 27 (2): New York 10, Los Angeles 5
April 28: New York 7, Los Angeles 3
July 22: Los Angeles 2, New York 0
July 23: New York 6, Los Angeles 1
July 24: Los Angeles 3, New York 2 (13)
Mets lead series 4-2
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