After splitting a six-game road trip, the Mets welcome home gift will be a pair of series against two first place teams. First will be a three-game set with one of the surprise teams in the league, the NL Central leading Reds followed by three games against the Braves, in what could determine who sits atop the NL East heading into the All-Star break. Speaking of All-Stars, tonight's pitching match-up will feature arguably the game's biggest snub:
Mike Pelfrey (10-2, 2.93 ERA): 10 wins and a sub-three ERA before the All-Star game seem like numbers that would not only guarantee a pitcher a spot on the All-Star roster, but also add him to the discussion of starting the game. But in this the so-called second coming of the "Year of the Pitcher," unless he is added as a replacement, Pelfrey will be watching the game at home. Pelfrey looks to rebound from his rough outting in Puerto Rico against the Marlins where he allowed four runs on 12 hits and was bounced before completing the fifth inning. He will look to regain "All-Star form" against a power hitting team that is tied for the NL lead in home runs with 102. With a win tonight, Pelfrey will surpass his win total from last season.
Aaron Harang (6-7, 5.02): The Reds righthander will also be looking to surpass his win total from last year. Since posting consecutive 16-win seasons in 2006 and 2007, Harang has been highly ineffective, winning just six games in each of the next two seasons for poor Reds teams. Thanks to his run support this season, the wins have come despite his 5.02 ERA. Keep an eye on his match-up with Jason Bay, who is hitting .370 with five homeruns in 46 at-bats against him.