Despite Thursday's much needed victory for not only the New York Mets, but Mike Pelfrey (and his confidence), the 13-18 Amazin's are really sputtering along this season. They'll get to face another very inconsistent (and "broke") National League team in the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday as Jon Niese takes on Hiroki Kuroda at Citi Field.
What is there to look forward to in this game? Well for one, Niese looks to continue his very steady pitching; he's given up just two earned runs in three consecutive starts. Despite this, though, he's just 1-4 on the year. Kuroda is a solid strike-thrower for the Dodgers who is 3-2 on the season with a 3.10 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. In addition, Dodgers' slugging left-fielder, Andre Ethier, is riding a 29-game hitting streak -- and struggles against lefties, so it'll be interesting to see if Niese can be the one to break it. Another player to watch in this series, the Dodgers' centerfielder, Matt Kemp, who is playing at an exceptional level, with a .352 batting average, six homeruns, 20 RBI and 10 stolen bases.
Besides their six-game roll at the end of April, the Mets have just six wins on the year. The pitching and hitting have both been far too inconsistent: when the starters give the team quality innings, the relievers find a way to cough up the advantage -- and when the starters struggle, the relievers manage to patch up the rest of the game with relative ease. And some games, with the hitters play to the name on the back of their shirt and you think that this could be one of the better hitting teams in the National League. But then some games, they just cannot manage to put together a stream of hits to get runners in. Per the major league ranks, the team ranks 17th in runs scored, 16th in batting average, 14th in on-base percentage and 15th in slugging percentage.
Nobody thought this would be an easy year, but that belief doesn't make it any easier to swallow for Mets fans.