Monday, August 8, 2011

Padres-Mets Preview

The New York Mets' chances to reach the postseason may be dim, but they're not giving up.

A collective effort against one of the best staffs in baseball may have provided some momentum.

After rallying for a stunning victory in the opener of this four-game set, the Mets look to continue overcoming

some key absences when they face the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.

New York (57-57) is nine games back of wild card-leading Atlanta and is missing Jose Reyes(hamstring), Daniel Murphy (knee) and Ike Davis (ankle). Murphy and Davis are out for the season, and Reyes landed on the disabled list for the second time this year Monday.

"We're not conceding anything," said David Wright, batting .368 with 18 RBIs in 16 games since missing two months with a back problem. "There are a lot of games left. Crazier things have happened."

That was certainly the case Monday, with rookie Lucas Duda hitting a two-run walkoff single as New York erased a four-run deficit in the final two innings to beat San Diego 9-8. New York has won two of three after a five-game slide.

"I'm proud of the way they have endured this whole thing," manager Terry Collins said. "We're not done yet. ... If they think for one second that this is over, they're mistaken."

Jason Bay appears to have heeded Collins' message, enjoying perhaps his best stretch since joining the Mets prior to last season. He's hitting .447 with three homers and nine RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak.

"It really is going to take everybody," said Bay, one of three Mets to homer Monday.

Duda, Wright and rookie Justin Turner accounted for seven hits and five RBIs for New York, which scored three runs off Heath Bell and handed the Padres closer just his third blown save.

Wright owns a .351 average with three homers and 10 RBIs in his last nine meetings with the Padres (51-65), who are among baseball's best with a 3.33 ERA - 2.89 from the bullpen.

The Mets turn to Chris Capuano (9-10, 4.44 ERA), who is 1-3 with a 5.23 ERA in his last five starts after winning five of his previous six with a 2.57 ERA.

The left-hander was in position for a victory last Tuesday, leaving after six innings with a one-run lead only to have Jason Isringhausen give up two runs in the ninth in a 4-3 loss to Florida.

Capuano is 4-2 with a 3.29 ERA in seven games - six starts - against San Diego.

Like the Mets, the Padres are dealing with a slew of injuries, having added third baseman Chase Headley (finger) and reliever Ernesto Frieri (back) to the 15-day DL on Monday.

They've recalled Wade LeBlanc (0-2, 4.98) to make another start in place of Dustin Moseley, recently lost for the season with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder.

In his last outing July 31, LeBlanc allowed three runs and nine hits with six strikeouts in six innings while not getting a decision in an 8-3 win over Colorado. He was demoted to Triple-A Tucson the following day and hasn't pitched since.

"They said kind of hold tight and see what happens," LeBlanc told the team's official website. "They said they may need someone or they may not."

LeBlanc was charged with a 4-2 defeat in his only meeting with the Mets on June 1, 2010, yielding two runs and four walks in 5 1-3 innings.

Wright is 3 for 3 with a homer off LeBlanc.

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