The New York Mets started off their recent nine-game road trip off with a disastrous 1-5 record, but quickly bounced back with a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays for a respectable 4-5 trip. Now they will look to build on that momentum they picked up in Tampa Bay with nine at the friendly confines of Citi Field, starting with a three-game set against the first-place Cincinnati Reds starting Friday night.
The Reds just wrapped up a nine-game homestand of their own that started with a disappointing 2-4 mark but that ended with an impressive three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians, including a 12-5 blowout on Thursday.
Terry Collins squad will continue to rely on solid starting pitching, but will no doubt hope their bats are still hot from the explosive performance against the Rays. In Tampa Bay New York scored 29 runs over three games, something they needed eight games to equal before their trip to the Trop.
Unlikely a coincidence, the Mets finally saw some signs of life out of 1B Ike Davis in the three game sweep. He had two hits in each game to go along with three RBI and five runs scored in the series. If he can turn the corner the second half of June, New York's offense will all of a sudden have a brand new look behind likely All-Star starter David Wright.
Taking the ball for New York Friday night will be Dillon Gee (4-4, 4.42 ERA). The righty was a hard-luck loser last time out against the New York Yankees when he surrendered three runs over seven solid innings. He has now tossed at least 6.2 innings in his last five starts dating back to May 20.
The Reds will counter with troubadour Bronson Arroyo (2-4, 3.79 ERA). The veteran went seven innings, giving up two runs against the Detroit Tigers Saturday after dealing with his two worst starts of the season before that against the Houston Astros (5 ER) and Pittsburgh Pirates (4 ER in four innings).
These two teams split a short two-game series in Queens May 16-17. The Reds took the first game 6-3 behind six strong innings from Mike Leake and two deep balls by Todd Frazier. The second match up went to the Mets 9-4 thanks to three scoreless innings from New York bullpen.
You can watch the game locally on WPIX or hear it on WFA 660 with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m.