Kirk Rueter battles veteran Al Leiter on the mound tonight in a lefty vs. lefty duel. Rueter is 2-0 in his last two starts against the Mets and has been looking good this year (2.87). Leiter has a crazy cut fastball that disrespects righties like nobodies business. He'll slide that sucker in on righties - which actually may not be too bad considering that's where Benito Santiago hits all of his homers at - and leave the lefties reaching out for low outside fastballs. Woody's MRI on his knee that he tweaked in Atlanta came back okay, so look for him to battle out Mike Piazza (11-32, 3 HR) and Jeromy Burnitz (2 HR, 9SO) with nothing too forceful.
Friday's contest is Jason Schmidt against Pedro Astacio. Astacio, who had shoulder problems last season but still was a Mets workhourse, continues this year to pitch well despite a sad outing against St. Louis. He'll go low on you, drawing groundballs, and he'll try to get you swinging. Schmidt's only game against them last year was a win, 9 innings of shut out ball. That puts a smile on your face, doesn't it?
Satruday pits Damian Moss against Steve Trachsel. The Mets have only won twice with Trachsel starting a game, and even better is the 11-27 with 1 SO that Edgardo Alfonso and the 9 H, 2 HR that Santiago has on him. Moss took his first loss of the season against Montreal early in the week. The Mets haven't seen much of Moss, but what they have seen, they've liked- Piazza is 4-6 with 4 HR. Look for Moss to keep trying to locate his pitches on the low corners.
Sunday has Kurt Ainsworth dealing with former Atlanta ace Tom Glavine. Glavine, who Woody has been oft compared to, is 4-3 with a 3.76 ERA and is striking them down in the same manner as he always has- 87 fastball followed by stinging changeup (fools the pants off of a lot of people). Ainsworth has lost the last 3 decisions he's contested and has to be looking to prove his mettle with the return of Ryan Jensen to the bullpen.
It's been a tough couple of games for the Giants and this seems like a good sereis to get them back on their feet and ready for 13 division games (Atlanta and Colorado) before facing interleague play.
Jillian Bailles d'Err writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants fan since 1988. She currently writes the column 'The Crystal (Base)Ball', a preview into upcoming Giants series. If you'd like to say hey, or comment about how amazingly insightful she is (or not), contact her at JayBird704@aol.com