Maybe it's over, maybe not. The Mets play another team ahead of them in the standings when they open a three game series in Philadelphia Friday evening. The Mets will face two of the Phillies' best starters over the weekend. Even with injured Ryan Howard out of the lineup, the Mets will still need all the help they can get.
Here's the way your blogger of the day sees it:
Friday: Jonathon Niese (7-5. 3.78) vs. Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.86). This is must-win. Niese needs to rebound from falling apart in his last start vs. Diamondbacks. Blanton is nothing special, but with these erratic bats of the Mets, who knows? Advantage: Slightly to the Mets.
Saturday: Johan Santana (8-6, 3.20) vs. Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.56): Santana is back into an unreliable mode. Hamels is back to being mostly consistent. Advantage: Phillies.
Sunday: R.A. Dickey (7-4, 2.36) vs. Roy Halladay (13-8, 2.17): Dickey is the Mets' best pitcher, which says more about Santana not being the best. Dickey suffers from a lack of run production (as does every Mets pitcher). Halladay has had his own lack of support but he is the lights-out pitcher that teams dream of having. Another nice try for Dickey. Advantage: Phillies.