Mets vs. Reds at Citifield, 7:10 p.m.
Johan Santana (5-5, 3.41 ERA): The Reds, namely fellow All-Star snub Joey Votto, showed Mike Pelfrey on Monday that they can score runs in a hurry, finishing Pelfrey’s night before the fifth inning for his second straight start. The Mets will turn to Johan Santana, who followed a mediocre June with seven strong innings against the Nationals on Thursday. Quality starts against a good hitting team like the Reds and the NL East rival Braves later in the week in Santana’s final starts before the All-Star break would be an encouraging sign heading into the second half. Even more so in light of Pelfrey’s recent struggles.
Aaron Harang (6-7, 5.02 ERA): If it seems like we just did this yesterday it’s because we did. Harang was scratched from Monday’s start about a half hour before first pitch because of lower back pain. Travis Wood took the ball on short notice and allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings. Just in case you missed it, here was yesterday’s report on Harang: The Reds righthander will 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.
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