After Mike Pelfrey's implosion last night, Jon Niese takes the hill on Wednesday afternoon (3:05 p.m. EST, SNY) with a goal of providing quality innings and translating that to the New York Mets' second series win of the year. Of course, his task won't be easy because he'll be facing NL Cy Young winner, Roy Halladay, who's pretty much as automatic as any pitcher comes nowadays.
While Niese didn't earn a victory in his first start of the season against the Marlins, he threw well: seven two-run innings, with three strikeouts. This start should be a very telling for Niese against a number of plus hitters who hit lefties well and a park that plays like a bandbox. Keep the ball down -- unlike Pelfrey -- and Niese will have a chance. The worst part for him, though, is that giving up one run could be the game against Halladay, who is 6-2 with a 3.86 ERA against the Mets. The 33-year-old allowed one run in six innings and struckout six in his season's debut against the lowly Astros. Luckily for the Mets, there hitting isn't nearly as poor as Houston's.
Carlos Beltran is expected to receive a day off today; he's 3-for-17 this season. Willie Harris should start in left with Lucas Duda in right field. Most Mets regulars haven't had too many at-bats against Halladay; Beltran has 42 plate appearances, but Reyes is the next with 20 (and is batting .421/.450/.789) while Angel Pagan, David Wright and Ike Davis are the only other batters (with very little success) with double-digit at-bats against the Phillies' ace.
3 game series vs Phillies @ Citizens Bank Park
WP: Chris Young (1 - 0)
LP: Cole Hamels (0 - 1)
|7 - 1 win|
WP: Antonio Bastardo (1 - 0)
SV: Jose Contreras
LP: Blaine Boyer (0 - 1)
|7 - 10 loss|