NEW YORK-- In order for the Mets to compete into August and September, they'll have to start doing two things. Win games on the road and beat up on bad teams.
The Mets have had trouble doing both, and are now 0-4 this season against the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks.
Last night, the Mets scored six runs but five were on two swings from David Wright. Other than his bat, the Mets offense didn't do a whole lot much.
Usually, six runs is still enough to win a ballgame, but the combination of Mike Pelfrey's continued struggles and Raul Valdes' implosion put an end to hopes for a win.
Tonight, the Mets will hope to score as many (or more) and for Hisanori Takahashi to get the job done.
Takahashi last started nine days ago in the series opener against the Dodgers. He pitched a brilliant game, only allowing two runs and three hits in seven innings, but just like any other Mets pitcher on the road trip, it wasn't good enough to win. The Mets lost 2-0 and Takahashi suffered his fifth loss of the season.
Takahashi did come in on Wednesday in the seventh inning to get an inning of relief and retired the side in order, striking out two. It'll be Takahashi's 12th start of the season, he's 4-4 in his previous 11.
Pitching for the Diamondbacks will be Barry Enright, who pitched a masterful game against the Mets in Arizona on July 20. In that game, Enright went eight innings, allowing one run on five hits, he walked one and struck out eight.
The rookie Enright has done a decent job so far in his first five Major League starts, pitching at least five innings while not allowing more than three runs in each start.
Once again, a major issue with the Mets offense last night was the lack of hitting against the Diamondbacks bullpen. Just like in Arizona, the Mets couldn't get to the Arizona relievers, a bullpen among the worst in Major League history.
They had three innings to try and score four runs, and only came up with one in the seventh. The biggest indication of the Mets struggles against that bullpen was how they fared against Chad Qualls. They went down in order against him in the eighth, a pitcher with an ERA of 8.51.
Especially at home, where the Mets thrive and as bad as the Diamondbacks are on the road, the Mets can't end up losing this series.
Arizona had lost seven straight games, and 11 of 14, with the three wins coming against the Mets. The Mets must find a way to win the next two games, and they'll have a shot with Jon Niese pitching tomorrow.
With the way Jeff Francoeur has played, hitless since his three-run home run on Tuesday, he may get the night off against the right-hander Enright.
The Mets have some left-handed options with Chris Carter and Jesus Feliciano. If that is the case, Angel Pagan would play right field, with one of those two playing left. No matter what the lineup is, the Mets have to win tonight.
It's not likely, but with the trading deadline ending before the Mets game, the Mets may have some new faces or some old faces by the time this game is played.
Hisanori Takahashi this season (28 games/11 starts)
7-5, 4.47 ERA, 88.2 IP, 89 hits, 34 BB, 81 SO
Barry Enright vs. New York (July 20)
Win, 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 hits, 1 BB, 8 SO, 1 HR
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)
July 30: Arizona 9, New York 6
Diamondbacks lead series 4-0