Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Blank Slate

Posted by JD on May 25, 2009

One of the best things about baseball is that the start of a new series always feels like a blank slate. The Mets return to Citi Field to face the Washington Nationals after an up-and-down roadtrip that them finish a very satisfying 5-5. The pitching matchups (via MetsBlog): John Maine vs. John Lannan, Livan Hernandez vs. Craig Stammen, and Johan Santana (I’m a gamer!) vs. Jordan Zimmerman.

I have a lot of respect for John Lannan. Though his won-loss record doesn’t show it (1-4), the Long Beach, LI native has fared pretty well against the Mets. In 27 2/3 innings pitched he’s allowed 16 earned runs (5.20 ERA), but that’s largely due to one bad start last season where he gave up five runs in three innings. He followed up that stinker by throwing seven innings of one-hit ball against the Mets only five days later. Given the small sample size, my respect is probably irrational. But given the fact that he’s sure to be amped up pitching in front of family and friends, I think John Maine is really going to have to bring his “A game” to keep the Mets in it tonight.

Jordan Zimmerman had a solid start against the Mets on April 29, allowing one run on six hits two walks over six innings and striking out five. Zimmerman is also a decent pitcher but he’s facing Santana, who’s a bona-fide Cy Young candidate. It should be an intriguing game, one that I fully expect the Mets to win.

If it seems like I’m overlooking Craig Stammen, that’s because I am. The rookie has one career start, a solid effort against the Pirates that resulted in a Nats win. That had more to do with Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn having clutch at-bats against Tom Gorzelanny (why did John Russell leave him in?) than Stammen, though. Hopefully the Mets will hit him hard, early and often.

I have no right to high expectations considering the inconsistency the Mets have shown this season. But nonetheless, I ‘ll be disappointed with anything less than a sweep.

For a more comprehensive series preview, check out Adam Rubin at Surfing the Mets. An interesting tidbit? Elijah Dukes is on the DL with a left hamstring issue. No misadventures in center for him this series.

As always, Let’s Go Mets!

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