|Top NL Contenders Conclude Series as Mets Battle Padres at Shea|
|Thursday, 23 August 2007 09:30|
Trouble at Home
The New York Mets were denied their longest winning streak of the season in their last game, but have good reason to believe they will get back on track with Tom Glavine on the mound.
The future Hall of Famer tries to lead the Mets to a series win over the San Diego Padres when the teams meet in the finale of their three-game set on Thursday at Shea Stadium.
New York (71-54) has won a season-high four consecutive games seven times this year, but again failed to win a fifth straight with a 7-5 defeat to the Padres (67-58) on Wednesday. The Mets ran into a tough Jake Peavy, who had 11 strikeouts to increase his league-high total to 186 and win his fifth straight decision.
New York tried to rally with three runs in the ninth, but lost for the first time in their last eight home meetings with the Padres. Carlos Beltran went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs, and is 7-for-10 with 12 RBIs over the last three games.
Oddsmakers from Bodog.com have made New York -160 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 88% of bets for this game have been placed on New York -160 (View MLB Bet Percentages).
Mets shortstop Jose Reyes stole three bases to bring his season total to 67, a new club record. He has 11 steals in his last seven games.
"Anytime you break a record, it's great. But like I said before, I'm not here to set records," said Reyes, whose team holds a five-game lead over Philadelphia in the NL East. "I want to get on base and help us score runs."
The Mets hope Glavine (11-6, 4.12 ERA) can help them avoid losing their third straight home series. He is 4-0 over his last seven starts and has been particularly strong in his last four, giving up six runs through 25 2-3 innings without allowing a homer.
The veteran left-hander surrendered one run and eight hits over seven innings in a 6-2 win over Washington on Friday to notch his 301st career victory. He walked one and struck out six to move into sole possession of 21st place on the all-time wins list.
Glavine has 2,555 career strikeouts, tying him with Tim Keefe for 27th.
"I was mixing my pitches pretty well, perhaps as well as I have all year," Glavine said.
The Mets should feel particularly confident with Glavine starting at Shea, where he is 4-0 with a 1.96 ERA in six outings since May 30. He is 22-12 with a 3.46 ERA in 44 career starts versus the Padres, but hasn't faced them since 2005.
Khalil Greene drove in three runs Wednesday and Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a pair of RBI doubles for the Padres, who hold a one-game lead over Philadelphia for the NL wild card. San Diego was 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position to even the series.
The Padres will hand the ball to Justin Germano (6-7, 4.18), who is trying to end a dismal stretch. The right-hander won his first five decisions of the season, but has dropped seven of his last eight.
He is 0-4 with a 5.57 ERA over his last six starts, getting two or fewer runs of support in each of those outings. Germano gave up three runs and five hits over six innings in a 3-2 defeat to Houston on Saturday.
"You know it was a team effort to battle it out, but just couldn't get those last couple of runs across," Germano told the Padres' official Web site. "Just had a little bit of bad luck in those last couple of innings."
Germano, who has never faced the Mets, is 4-2 with a 3.04 ERA in nine road starts.
The Padres aren't sure when they'll get All-Star right-hander Chris Young back after he left Tuesday's game due to lower back pain. The major league leader in ERA (2.12) returned to San Diego on Wednesday to be examined.
by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us
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