The Mets—erm, the 9-12, 4th place New York Mets—have been shaky to say the least so far this season.
But May is a new month, and if there was a time for the Mets to get pumped, it's this weekend, as they visit Philadelphia for the first time in 2009 to play the Phillies—erm, the 2008 World Series Champion, Philadelphia Phillies ( if there needed to be any more reason for the Mets to hate the Phillies, there it is).
To call Citizens Bank Park a "house of horrors" for the Mets may be a bit of an overstatement, as they did go 6-3 there in 2008. But if you want to look back on a season full of disappointment, that game on August 26th when the Mets had a 7-0 lead get away on a day they could have moved into first place and stomped the confidence of Philly would be at the top of any Mets fan's list.
Breaking down every series starts with the starting pitching, and Friday we have:
Mike Pelfrey (2-0, 6.32 ERA) vs. Chan Ho Park (0-0, 7.16 ERA)
Outlook: Pelfrey had a good outing last time out against the Nationals, as he seems to have recovered from forearm tendinitis. Mr. Park pitched quite well his last outing, but has been pretty awful outside of that, going no more than five innings in his first two starts.
The Mets are also going to be desperate to win this game. I think we DESTROY Park, and Pelfrey goes six strong.
Game 1: Mets win big.
Saturday: Oliver Perez (1-2, 9.31 ERA) vs. Jamie Moyer (3-1, 5.09 ERA)
Outlook: This is one of the biggest starts of Perez's career. If he does not pitch well Saturday, he could find himself in Buffalo Sunday morning. I'm rather confident, because Perez was money against the Phillies last year (ERA of 0.35 in 4 starts, 26 innings pitched). But Jamie Moyer always somehow keeps the Mets to a bare minimum of runs.
Look for this game to be a low scoring affair.
Game 2: Mets win, but barely.
Sunday: John Maine (1-2, 5.40 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton (0-2, 8.41 ERA)
Outlook: Maine pitched well Monday against the Marlins, allowing no earned runs through six innings. But the Phillies will be chomping at the bit against him, because they do NOT want to get swept at home by the Mets if my first two predictions are correct. They're going to work the count against him, because he has always been a high pitch count pitcher, and the Phillies are notoriously patient at the plate. Also expect Joe Blanton to have a good start, he's due.
Game 3: Phillies win by 3-4 runs.
Players to Watch For:
Mets: David Wright He's been having trouble seeing the ball lately, and is on pace for 208 strikeouts. Hopefully a few at bats against Chan Ho Park will get his bat going for good.
Phillies: Shane Victorino. He always spoils the Mets fun, especially on the basepaths and in the field. Keep him off base, he's only half the pest he usually is.
Outcome: Mets win 2 of 3