Pre-game Prediction: Niese will put an end to the Mets 4-game skid

O.K., I’m no longer optimistic about the Mets making the playoffs or even finishing the season .500, but no matter what the team’s record is and what direction they’re heading, I will always enjoy watching them beat the Phillies.  Problem is, after a 10-0 beatdown at the hands of the Phils last night, there’s little reason to expect that tonight will bring much rejoicing.  With Jon Niese on the mound, however, I’m going to muster up what little enthusiasm I have left and predict that the lefty will slow down the NL East division leaders in game 2 of this 3-game series.

Vegas will give you almost 2:1 odds if you bet the Mets and why wouldn’t it?  New York has dropped 4 in a row and Philadelphia, well, they’re the best team in baseball.  Toss in the fact that the Phils have won 7 out of 10 against the Mets this season and rookie Vance Worley is 8-1 on the season and there seems to be more cause for concern than there is for optimism.  With that being said, the Mets have proven they can hit Worley and tagged the 23-year-old with his only loss of the season back on May 29th, a game in which the righty allowed 12 hits and 8 runs (5 earned) in just 3 innings of work.  Sure, Flash Vance has had two good outings against New York on the year but the Mets have proven to be patient when he is on the mound and worked deep into his pitch count every time out, leading to early exits.

Photo by Michael G. Baron

I realize Worley is on a 5-game personal win streak and the Mets are finding new ways to lose games almost daily, but the Phils boast only a .241 batting average against lefties on the season (12th in the NL) and in his last 3 starts against the reigning division champs Jonathon Niese is 2-1 with a minuscule 1.37 ERA (19 2/3 IP, 15 K).  It’s been a rough stretch for the Amazin’s faithful over the past couple of weeks and tonight seems as good a time as any for things to get turned around.

Ruben Tejada, who is 9-16 (.563 avg.) with 4 walks over the last seven days is batting second tonight and the Big Ox Lucas Duda gets the nod in right field with Nick Evans taking over at first base.  Here’s to hoping New York can get back on track against a team I love to see them beat….LGM!

OK - Mets shake up lineup. RT @: insert quake joke here Pagan-8 Tejada-6 Wright-3B Duda-RF Bay-LF Evans-1B Thole-C Turner-2B Niese-P
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