Angel Pagan CF
Luis Castillo 2B
David Wright 3B
Gary Sheffield LF
Jeff Francoeur RF
Daniel Murphy 1B
Alex Cora SS
Brian Schneider C
Oliver Perez (2-2, 8.78 ERA) P
Welcome to the second half of the season as Perez faces Derek Lowe tonight in the first game back since the All-Star break. Tonight’s game will be a reunion of sorts as Ryan Church and Jeff Francoeur will get to face the teams that traded them away for each other just a week ago. There are reportedly no hard feelings from either player so the drama should be limited.
This is the first of a 10-game road trip the Mets will take before coming home for 10 games. It will be a telling time and could well decide their fate for the rest of the season. If they win no more than six or seven games in this span, their season could be over for all intents and purposes. Luckily, they have a couple of sub-.500 teams after the Braves in the form of the Nationals and Astros. If they can get out of Atlanta with at least a series tie, they should be in good shape.
The Mets and their fans are hoping the team can hold it together until at least one or two of their injured starters return. Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado both had promising workouts earlier this week, but there is no word on Carlos Beltran’s progress.
To start it off, Perez will have to pitch better than his last time out when he walked seven batters and lasted just five innings against the Dodgers. He got lucky and was able to get out of a couple tough situations. He might not be so lucky this time. Perez got the win, but the Mets barely held on to preserve the 5-4 win.
I still would’ve preferred to see Johan Santana pitch this game, but the Mets management want to give him more time between starts after throwing 114 pitches in his last outing. It’s the same reason he didn’t pitch in the All-Star Game. It doesn’t make sense to me that they’re babying him so much, since 114 pitches doesn’t seem like a whole lot to me and he would’ve pitched on regular days of rest. That is unless he asked them to give him more time.
Try to enjoy the first game of the second half and hope that the good Ollie shows up.