Argenis Reyes SS
Daniel Murphy 1B
David Wright 3B
Gary Sheffield LF
Ryan Church RF
Fernando Martinez CF
Brian Schneider C
Luis Castillo 2B
Fernando Nieve (3-0, 1.31 ERA) P
Well, there’s a Reyes at shortstop. Unfortunately, it’s not the one you’d like to see on the field. The other Reyes, Jose, is still rehabbing from a slightly torn hamstring and is still unsure of when he’s coming back.
Church apparently feels better than yesterday when he was scratched from his start thanks to flu-like symptoms. Maybe a little of what hit the Yankees reached Church.
The Mets face their former closer in Braden Looper, who has done well for himself as a starting pitcher. So far this season, he’s 5-4, with a 5.16 ERA.
The Mets have to be careful here or they might find themselves in third place behind the resurgent Florida Marlins, who face the lowly Washington Nationals tonight. The good news is the Mets are still only 2 1/2 games behind the Phillies for first place, despite their offensive slump. The bad news is the Marlins are only a half-game behind the Mets. They could leapfrog the Amazin’s with a Mets loss and a win for themselves.
It might be odd to hear but Nieve just might be the best option to put an end to a Mets three-game sweep by the Yankees over the weekend. He’s pitched brilliantly and has gotten better with every outing. The same can’t be said for any of the other starters including Johan Santana, who has an ERA over 5 in June.
Just like over the weekend, the Mets need to play flawless baseball to have a chance at winning. They can’t miss pop flies, waste potential double plays and initiate base-running blunders. They need to rise above and beyond.