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Series Preview: Mets Begin West Coast Trip With Four In Arizona

Tonight at 9:40, the Mets begin the first game of an eleven-game west coast road trip against the Diamondbacks in Arizona.

The Mets are coming out of their last homestand desperate for wins. They really need a big run to turn this season around and they need it fast. They are on the brink of being irrelevant. If they don’t roll of a bunch of victories fast, they will be out of the playoff race entirely.

Not only will this series be important in the actual standings, but it will also be very revealing of how resilient this year’s Mets team really is. Terry Collins really ripped into them in his last press conference after yesterda’ys game. After having 36 hours to sit on that, it should be very interesting to see how the Mets respond.

The Diamondbacks are a team led mostly by their offense. They have gotten great performances out of some recent acquisitions: Jason Kubel and Aaron Hill. Hill, who the D-Backs got from Toronto last August, has been a big run producer and is second on the team in home runs. Kubel, who signed a two-year deal with Arizona in December, is having a career-best season. He is hitting around .300 and has over 20 home runs on the season. He is also up there among league RBI leaders with more than 70. Those two have been keys to the Diamondbacks being a .500 team.

The Mets need to step up and win some games if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive, and that all starts tonight. Lose three of four and the Mets could find themselves nine or ten games back. This series will make or break this season.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1- Tonight 9:40

Matt Harvey (0-0, -.— ERA) vs. Wade Miley (11-5, 3.02 ERA)

Game 2- Friday 9:40

Jonathon Niese (7-4, 3.59 ERA) vs. Josh Collmenter (2-2, 3.82 ERA)

Game 3- Saturday 8:10

Chris Young (2-4, 3.91 ERA Ian Kennedy (8-8, 4.20 ERA)

Game 4- Sunday 4:10

R.A. Dickey (13-2, 2.97 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders (5-6, 3.51 ERA)

Notes:

  • Justin Upton has not been himself this season. Upton hit over 30 home runs last year with a slugging percentage of .529. He is on pace to hit fewer than 15 home runs this year and his slugging percentage has dropped more than 100 points from last season.
  • Friday’s starter for the Diamondbacks, Josh Collmenter, has a 1.53 ERA over his last 15 games, which include four starts.
  • David Wright has been in a bit of a slump lately. Well, by his standards. Wright is hitting .301 this month, but also has six homers and 17 RBI.
  • Matt Harvey will make his long-awaited debut tonight. In his last start in Buffalo, he allowed six runs on seven hits in just five innings.
  • Jon Niese bounced back from a rough outing against Chicago on July 8 with two great starts. Niese has allowed more than four runs in just three of his 19 starts this season. He has really only had two really bad starts- against the Cubs on July 8, and also in Toronto in mid-May.
  • Since throwing his second consecutive one-hitter on June 18, R.A. Dickey has struggled. In seven games (six starts) he has an ERA of 5.36, compared to 2.00 over his first 14 outings.
  • Let’s go Mets!