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By Gary W. Marchese Jr.
Flushing, NY (July 6) – The New York Mets will try and win their second straight over the Cincinnati Reds this evening. The Mets will be looking to take the series and then host the Atlanta Braves for three big games this weekend that will be for first place in the NL East. Here are the lineups, news, and notes for tonight’s game.
Mets Lineup: Reyes (SS), Pagan (CF), Wright (3B), Davis (1B), Bay (LF), Thole (C), Feliciano (RF), Cora (2B), Niese (P)
Reds Lineup: Phillips (2B), Cabrera (SS), Votto (1B), Rolen (3B), Gomes (LF), Heisey (RF), Stubbs (CF), Miller (C), Arroyo (P)
Oliver Perez will report to AAA-Buffalo today manager Jerry Manuel told reporters. Luis Castillo will play this weekend with A-St. Lucie. Perez pitched yesterday and threw 85 pitches with 53 of them being strikes. He allowed two runs on two hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Perez also hit a batter. Jerry Manuel told reporters he has been impressed with Josh Thole and that he has improved from last year. Manuel said he will try to find a way to keep him on the roster.
Manuel said he hopes that Mike Pelfrey will be added to the NL All Star Team. Reyes will hit however he is most comfortable whether it is right or left handed. Hisanori Takahashi will serve as the second lefty out of the bullpen tonight. Ike Davis needs three days off as much as anyone. I think everyone forgets he is a rookie and has played pretty much every day.
The Mets have won 15 of their last 19 games at Citi Field. The Mets are 25-8 in their last 33 games at home and 29-13 overall. The Mets have the third best winning percentage at home behind the Braves and Tigers. The Mets posted their 12th shutout last night. That mark is tied with San Diego for most in the major leagues. The Mets have 10 shutouts at home which is most in the majors. The Mets have 12 shutouts all of last year. The last time the Mets have more than 12 shutouts in a season was 2001 when they had 14. 2001 was also the last time the Mets had 10 shutouts at home in a single season.
Johan Santana became the second pitcher in franchise history to hit a home run and toss a shutout in the same game. Pete Falcone accomplished the feat on September 29, 1981. According to Elias Santana is the sixth pitcher since 1983 to throw a shutout while allowing three hits or fewer and hitting a home run in the same game. It was Santana’s seventh career shutout and first since September 27, 2008. The home run was the first by a Mets pitcher since John Maine hit one in 2007 and 45th time in Mets history they have had a pitcher hit a home run.
David Wright was named the June National League player of the month last night. He leads the National league with 64 RBI and has 42 in his last 47 games. Jason Bay has driven in 13 runs over his last nine games dating back to June 28. His 263 game errorless streaks ended last night. The Mets are 3-8 in rubber games this season and 3-2 at home. Jon Niese returned from the disabled list on June 5 and is 5-0 with a 2.43 ERA. He has won five consecutive decisions to put together the best streak of his career. Niese became the Mets first rookie to win three straight and pitch at least seven innings since Jae Seo in 2003.