Mets @ Reds Series Preview

The Mets go to Cincinatti having a "good news/bad news" scenario. The good news is that they won 2 of three games against the Montreal Expos. The bad news is that they got completely shelled in the third game, losing 11-4, and seeing the damage be done to one of their more consistent pitchers in Jae Seo.

If the Mets thought the Expos line-up was tough, the Reds have the bats to beat the Mets senseless, starting with the hulking Adam Dunn, who can hit the ball a mile when he connects (he has 23 home runs but a .203 average). He's young, so he has time to refine his game. Austin Kearns, Jose Guillen and Aaron Boone also have power bats. The Reds expect to get Kearns back for this series after he missed time due to an injury when he ran into the outfield wall giving chase to a ball.

The Reds also have a penchant for winning in their last at-bat this season, so Art Howe might have to think long and hard about putting Armando Benitez in the game.

Ironically, Roberto Alomar was thought to be heading to the Reds before the White Sox trade.

The pitching matchups:

Game One
Tom Glavine (5-8, 4.98) vs Jimmy Haynes (1-7, 5.90)

This matchup features two pitchers who are having wretched seasons. Glavine probably wakes up every night in a cold sweat and hopes that one day he'll wake up and be back in Atlanta. Haynes has not turned out to be the pitcher that people thought he would. He loses focus too quickly and thus his E.R.A. has ballooned to near 6. Glavine has to worry about his usual first inning jitters, because this Reds team could make him pay for them very quickly. This could be a football-game type of score.

Game Two
Al Leiter (8-5, 5.57) vs. Danny Graves (4-7, 4.76)

Both Leiter and Graves have had a poor season. Leiter, while showing some glimpses of his old self, has been mostly horrible of late, while Graves has been unable to have the same transformation from closer-to-starter like Derek Lowe. Leiter gave up five runs in five innings his last start, while Graves' last two starts have been decent, giving up 4 earned runs, but over the season, he hasn't been consistent, which he needs, since he's a finesse pitcher.

Game Three
Steve Trachsel (7-5, 4.34) vs. Paul Wilson (5-5, 4.53)

Ah, to go back to those days in the late '90s, when the Mets were supposed to be set at pitching with Generation K-Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isiringhausen and Paul Wilson. That trio has fallen well short of the fame that they were supposed to reap. Wilson and Isringhausen have gotten some respectability back, but Wilson just lost it with that thumping he took at the hands of Kyle Farnsworth of the Cubs. Images of Wilson being tackled and slammed to the ground and then bloodied by Farnsworth ran on newsreels for days. Trachsel had one of his best outings his last start, going seven innings and giving up only one run. He will have his hands full trying to continue that streak against the Reds.

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