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News » Brewers-Mets Preview 2009-04-18

Brewers-Mets Preview 2009-04-18

Brewers-Mets Preview 2009-04-18
Citi Field has only seen four regular-season games, but its early reputation as a pitcher's park hasn't exactly held true for the New York Mets.

They're expecting it will when Johan Santana is on the hill.

Santana has been nearly flawless in two road starts, and Saturday afternoon he'll hope to stay hot in his Citi Field debut when the Mets continue a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers.

New York's new ballpark is a cavernous one, with dimensions of 408 feet in dead center field and 415 feet to right-center. Factor in a nearly 20-foot high wall in right field, and the sparkling venue in Queens appears to be a pitcher-friendly venue.

That hasn't been the case for the Mets (5-5), though, as their second-through-fifth starters have a 6.86 ERA in their new home, with none lasting longer than six innings.

The one member of New York's rotation yet to pitch at Citi Field is Santana (1-1, 0.71 ERA). The two-time Cy Young winner gave up one run in 5 2-3 innings in a win at Cincinnati on opening day, but was even better Sunday in Florida despite being a hard-luck loser.

Santana gave up two unearned runs - due to a fly ball that David Murphy dropped - over seven innings, striking out 13 in a 2-1 loss to the Marlins.

Shaky starting pitching hurt the Mets in two losses to San Diego in their first series at Citi Field, but when Milwaukee (3-7) came to town Friday, New York's offense made sure it wouldn't cost them another one.

Livan Hernandez gave up four runs over five-plus innings, including a three-run shot from Ryan Braun in the sixth that put the Brewers up 4-3, but Gary Sheffield's 500th home run - his first with the Mets - plus Luis Castillo's two-out RBI single in the ninth gave New York a 5-4 win.

Sheffield, who was drafted by the Brewers in 1986, became the 25th major league player to hit his 500th homer, and the first to do it in a Mets uniform.

"Now that I'm in the club it's like getting your degree. Nobody can take that away from you," Sheffield said.

Milwaukee has hopes Yovani Gallardo (1-1, 6.94) can one day be in Santana's class on the mound, but his latest start proved the 23-year-old has a way to go. Gallardo gave up two runs and struck out six over 6 2-3 innings in a win at San Francisco in his first outing, but yielded seven runs over five innings Monday in a 7-6 loss to visiting Cincinnati.

Gallardo squandered a four-run lead by giving up six runs in the third inning, including a grand slam to Edwin Encarnacion with two outs.

"It's just frustrating, especially after two outs. That's the last thing you want to have happen," Gallardo told the Brewers' official Web site. "After that, I just tried to hold them ... But I blew a four-run lead. I mean, I was pretty upset about that."

Gallardo has never faced the Mets.

He may get a rude introduction from Carlos Delgado. New York's first baseman, who hit .198 with three homers and 12 RBIs before May 1 last year, is hitting .342 with three homers and 13 RBIs in the first 10 games of 2009.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 18, 2009

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