New York Mets Look for More Home Cooking as They Face San Diego Padres

Sammy Makki@sammymetsfanAnalyst IJune 8, 2010

NEW YORK - MAY 27:  Mike Pelfrey #34 of the New York Mets pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during their game on May 27, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

NEW YORK: How must teams feel coming to play the Mets at Citi Field? It's become a house of horrors for opposing teams, as only nine games have resulted in a Mets loss in their home.

Asking the Mets players, none of them can come up with a legitimate reason why they can't take their act on the road.

Manager Jerry Manuel, though, thinks the road wins will eventually come.

"If we continue to win in the fashion we're winning in, eventually we're going to take this on the road," he said after Sunday's sweep over the Marlins.

There's a reason to believe that if you're the Mets or their fans. You don't lose talent or forget how to win on the road. The same players putting on a show at Citi Field every night, are the ones suiting up for the Mets on the road.

Starting on Friday, the Mets will play two road series against the two worst teams in the American League, the Orioles and Indians. You'd think the Mets could at least win four of those six games, if not five or even all six.

Right now, though, there's a task at hand for three more at the ballpark where the Mets are playing to a .710 winning percentage. The San Diego Padres come to town tonight, coming off of a split of four games with the Phillies.

The Mets will seek some revenge against San Diego, who took two from the Mets last week at PETCO Park, including beating the Mets 18-6 in the first game on Memorial Day.

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It was a really strange sight, considering the Mets were playing in a ballpark similar in size to theirs.

The only win they got in that series was last Tuesday with Mike Pelfrey on the mound. Thankfully for the Mets, they'll have him on the mound tonight.

How else would you want to begin a series against the league's best team than with your best pitcher on the mound at a park where you've dominated?

It's a pretty good formula for the Mets to make some hay in the NL East, where they now only trail the first-place Braves by 2 1/2 games.

Standing in their way will be Padres starter Clayton Richard. Just like Pelfrey, Richard's last start came against the Mets on Wednesday in the series finale in San Diego.

He was facing Johan Santana, whom the Mets just can't score runs for, and the Padres won on Adrian Gonzalez's 11th inning, walk-off grand slam. Richard pitched a decent six innings, and left after only six due to throwing 109 pitches.

Trying to help Pelfrey out will be a confident Mets offense that stormed back for a seven-run outburst in the final three innings of Sunday's comeback.

Led by a resurgent Jeff Francoeur, the Mets are not having too much trouble scoring runs at home; well, they aren't struggling at doing anything this season at home.

David Wright has been somewhat hot on the home stand, having gone 5-for-10 in the Marlins series, with a home run, his 150th career shot.

The biggest problem right now for the Mets is their bullpen. After getting off to a fast start, and being among the league's best in April and early May, they've really been struggling, none more than Ryota Igarashi.

After coming over from Japan in the offseason and taking the Mets eighth-inning role by storm with a fiery attitude, Igarashi hasn't been the same after his return from a hamstring injury.

It's, no pun intended, hamstrung the bullpen, leading to Jerry Manuel now using the 39-year-old journeyman reliever Elmer Dessens in the eighth inning.

The Mets, though, have a golden opportunity to win some series, starting with this one. Being at home with their top two starters going, if they can pull this one out, they have the two easy series in Baltimore and Cleveland to follow.

Can the Mets go 6-3 to get to 36-30 by the Yankees series, starting weekend after this?

They should and they could, but will they? That remains to be seen. It all starts tonight.

Mike Pelfrey vs. San Diego (June 1)
Win, 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 hits, 2 BB, 8 SO

Clayton Richard vs. New York (June 2)
ND, 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 hits, 4 BB, 5 SO

2010 season series (New York vs. San Diego)

May 31: San Diego 18, New York 6
June 1: New York 4, San Diego 2
June 2: San Diego 5, New York 1 (11)


Padres lead series 2-1