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Mets At Pirates: Amazin's Look To Reach .500

Saturday night the (31-32) New York Mets have a chance to get back to the .500 mark for the first time since May 20. If they play like they did yesterday -- aggressive at the plate on strikes and quality innings from their starter -- it should not be a difficult "feat" to achieve against the Pittsburgh Pirates and starter James McDonald.

On the hill for the Mets will be R.A. Dickey, who is coming off of a dazzling performance against the Atlanta Braves where he allowed one run in eight innings. His past three starts (not counting the one where he tore his plantar fascia and lasted 2 2/3 innings), he's allowed five earned runs combined. His ERA is 4.04 ERA and 1.39 WHIP on the season, which have all been slowly creeping downward.

McDonald has a lively arm and definitely has promise, but with inexperience comes the ups and downs of a young starter. He has a 4.97 ERA and 1.52 WHIP, with 31 walks in 63 1/3 innings really contributing to those inflated numbers. In his past start, he lasted four innings, allowed three runs and walked five. In the three starts prior, he pitched 18 2/3 innings and allowed four runs combined and walked four altogether. If he can command his pitches, he has a chance to last in this game. If he doesn't have his command, it's easy to see him lasting less than five innings. The Mets need to be aggressive on strikes from McDonald and not give him unwarranted strikes if his pitches are not in the zone.

Jason Bay returns to the lineup after taking a breather over the last two. He's batting .207/.307/.279 on the season and really needs to get it turned around soon. Lucas Duda starts at first base, with Daniel Murphy moving to the hot corner.

Final - 6.10.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York Mets 1 0 0 5 1 1 0 0 0 8 13 0
Pittsburgh Pirates 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 2
WP: Dillon Gee (7 - 0)
LP: Charlie Morton (6 - 3)

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