Jason Bay hasn't come close to living up to his contract. But that doesn't mean the Mets couldn't use him at Citi Field tonight against the Cardinals (55-44) Adam Wainwright (14-5) and his miniscule 1.94 ERA. 

Wainwright, who has 136 strikeouts, is 4-0 with an insane .25 ERA over his last four starts. Not having Bay in tonight's lineup could really spell trouble for the Mets.

The Mets will counter with Jon Niese (6-4, 3.54 ERA). Niese has pitched well most of the season, but like every starter on the Mets staff, he's gotten little or no run support. Over his last the starts, Niese, who's 0-2 with a 3.20 ERA, has gotten just four runs from the Mets offense. 

Obviously the Mets (50-49) need to win tonight in order to try and get past an ugly 2-9 road trip. The Mets were shut out for times on that 11-game road trip.

So what's the good news for the Mets? The Mets are 30-16 at home. On the downside the Mets are only 6-6 over their last 12 at home.

This six-game home stand is critical, because following this brief stay at Citi Field the Mets are back on the road for three in Atlanta and three in Philadelphia. Ouch! 

Notes: David Wright has just five RBIs in July. He had 29 RBIs in June...Jeff Francoeur has cooled off considerably. He has just one RBI in July. He had 14 in June...Carlos Beltran is 0 for his last 13...One the positive side, Josh Thole will get a lot more playing time with Rod Barajas on the DL. Thole is hitting .419 with a homer and six RBIs in 18 games.