Arizona Diamondbacks @ NY Mets Series Preview

After a series that saw one of their starting pitchers and their starting right fielder land on the disabled list, the Mets limp into a three game series this weekend against the Arizona Diamondbacks, closing out a nine-game homestand. David Cone chronic hip problem flared up again during his start Tuesday against the Houston Astros, and many think this could finally spell the end of Cone's career.

To add insult to injury, in that same game Jeromy Burnitz was plunked on the left hand in the bottom of the ninth inning by Astro closer Billy Wagner in a game that was already well decided.

The Diamondbacks are also banged up heading into this series, as their big one-two pitching combination of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling have both been ailing. Johnson went on the disabled list April 11th with pain behind his left knee after allowing ten runs and ten hits to the Milwaukee Brewers in 4.2 innings. He is due to come off the disabled list and start Sunday. Schilling underwent an appendectomy on April 18th, and is due to return on Monday.

After the series, the Mets head to the midwest for a brief, six-game excursion into St. Louis and Milwaukee, before heading back to Shea to face west coast rivals Los Angeles and San Diego.

Pitching Matchups

The series opens Friday with two pitchers still in search of their first win of the season. Steve Trachsel (0-1, 4.91) gets the ball for Mets against Miguel Batista (0-2, 3.20). Trachsel appeared headed for a win last Saturday against Florida, but was betrayed in the sixth inning by his own bad location, as well as shoddy defense by Roger Cedeno in a game eventually lost by the Mets 6-5.

Tom Glavine (3-1, 3.14) goes for his fourth straight win Saturday afternoon against D-Back rookie Brandon Webb (0-0, 0.00), making his first start ever. Glavine has been superb since his opening day loss to the Cubs, and is coming off a win last Sunday over Florida. Webb, forced into a starting role due to the injuries of Johnson and Schilling, has pitched only two innings all season.

Randy Johnson (0-2, 8.31) is due to make his return to the rotation for Arizona Sunday, and he'll be opposed by Met rookie Jae Seo (1-1, 4.03). Seo was forced into a long-man's role Tuesday night, coming in in the third inning against Houston following Cone's hip injury. He was unable to keep the Astros at bay in a game the Mets lost 6-2.


Rookie 1B Lyle Overbay has replaced veteran Mark Grace this season, and had a 12 game hitting streak earlier this season...With Rey Sanchez struggling at .138, the Jose Reyes watch has begun at Shea. So far at Triple-A Norfolk, Reyes, while struggling with plate discipline, has hit .281, with 7 RBI, 11 runs scored, and 13 steals...None of the Arizona starting pitchers scheduled to work this series have won a game yet this season.

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