NEW YORK-- So far in the month of August, the Mets have been a classic .500 ballclub. They haven't gone on a winning streak or losing streak, but they have been just at or around .500.
Every day this month, the Mets have either been a game over, a game under, or exactly even. Entering today, they're one under at 64-65.
The last time the Mets spent an entire month at no better than one over and no worse than one under was April 1970. Meaning it's been over 40 years since the Mets have had a month this average.
It's the reason why they haven't been able to keep up in the playoff race after being as far as 11 over before the All-Star break. With last night's Phillies win, the Mets are now eight games out with 33 to play, quickly fading in 2010.
They will try to at least split the current home stand today, with R.A. Dickey pitching. The last two starts for the knuckler Dickey have ended in crushing fashion.
On August 18 in Houston, he was two outs away from a complete game victory, before allowing a game-tying home run to Geoff Blum. The Mets went on to win, 3-2, in 14 innings.
In his last start on Tuesday, Dickey gave up a go-ahead three-run home run to Gaby Sanchez in the seventh, before the Mets won in walk-off fashion, 6-5.
In total, it wasn't a great start for Dickey. In seven innings, he allowed five runs on 10 hits. He did strikeout eight without allowing a walk.
He's stuck on eight wins, but his 2.64 ERA is now seventh in the National League as he's pitched enough innings for qualification.
Going for the Astros will be Bud Norris. He faced the Mets and beat them in Houston 10 days ago. It was a masterful performance, as he allowed two runs on only two hits.
The Astros have actually won his last six starts, in which he's gone 4-0. Up until those starts, he was 2-7 with a 6.08 ERA. During this recent stretch, he's 4-0 with an ERA of 3.03.
The Mets recorded nine hits in last night's loss, once again failing to supporting Johan Santana.
The Mets have not scored double-digit runs in a game since June 22, when they scored 14 against the Tigers. There is no reason to believe they will get to that plateau for any of the remaining games this season.
They certainly won't without the bat of Jose Reyes. The shortstop took infield practice before last night's game, and could return soon.
His replacement, Ruben Tejada, got another hit last night, and now has a two-game hitting streak.
After today's game, the Mets will embark on a 10-game road trip. It'll be tough starting with four in Atlanta, so they'll hope to finish strong today and win the series.
R.A. Dickey vs. Houston (August 18)
ND, 8.1 IP, 2 ER, 9 hits, 1 BB, 6 SO
Bud Norris vs. New York (August 19)
Win, 7 IP, 2 ER, 2 hits, 2 BB, 4 SO
2010 season series (New York vs. Houston)
August 16: New York 3, Houston 1
August 17: Houston 4, New York 3
August 18: New York 3, Houston 2 (14)
August 19: Houston 3, New York 2
August 27: New York 2, Houston 1
August 28: Houston 4, New York 1
Series tied 3-3