NEW YORK— Now is the time to start reeling off some series victories, and the Mets already have one under their belt on the home stand.
After taking two of three from the first-place Cardinals, the Mets will welcome the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks, a team who swept the Mets a week and a half ago.
Tonight's pitching matchup will be a rematch of the series opener in Arizona on July 19—Mike Pelfrey against Ian Kennedy.
That was the infamous game in which Pelfrey threw 51 first-inning pitches, and hit rock bottom. He only lasted 1.1 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits, while thowing a total of 74 pitches.
The Mets went on to lose the game, 13-2, in what was part of an awful road trip.
Pelfrey did rebound in his last start on Saturday against the Dodgers, where he went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits, in a Mets 13-inning loss.
It was his most effective start since June 25, which was his last win against the Twins. He seemed to be throwing more fastballs and sinkers, staying away from the offspeed pitches, which apparently hurt him.
Facing Pelfrey will be Ian Kennedy who beat the Mets in that 13-2 Diamondbacks win. The Mets had trouble hitting Kennedy, as they did against virtually every pitcher on the road trip, only managing four hits in five innings.
Kennedy's last start wasn't spectacular, lasting 6.2 innings, allowing four runs on six hits, in a 10-4 loss to the Giants.
Since the Diamondbacks swept the Mets, finishing it off with a 14-inning marathon win, they haven't won another game. They have lost seven in a row, having gotten swept four at home to the Giants, and three in Philadelphia.
The problem with the Diamondbacks so far this season is the difference between home and road. They aren't that great at home, but only five games under .500 at 24-29. On the road, they have been awful with a record of 13-36.
Although Arizona swept the Mets in their park, it may be different in this series. The combination of the way they've been playing, the way the Mets have been hitting on this home stand, and the Mets 32-17 home record should give the Mets a huge advantage this time around.
Today, the Mets are expected to make a decision on the concussed Jason Bay. In all likelyhood, they will put him on the disabled list.
The Mets will get back both David Wright and Luis Castillo who both rested yesterday, so they'll have a full lineup against Ian Kennedy.
With R.A. Dickey going 8.1 innings yesterday, the Mets have a fully rested bullpen except for Francisco Rodriguez, who came in and got the final two outs yesterday.
The key in this series amongst other things, will be for the Mets to get to the Diamondbacks bullpen. With one of the worst bullpens in Major League history, the Mets couldn't doing anything against the Diamondbacks relievers in Arizona.
It's the final series in July, and the Mets will try to win the home stand this weekend.
Mike Pelfrey vs. Arizona (July 19)
Loss, 1.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 hits, 2 BB, 1 SO
Ian Kennedy vs. New York (July 19)
Win, 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 hits, 2 BB, 1 SO
2010 season series (New York vs. Arizona)
July 19: Arizona 13, New York 2
July 20: Arizona 3, New York 2
July 21: Arizona 4, New York 3 (14)
Diamondbacks lead series 3-0