The Mets took two out of three games from the Reds this week, no small achievement except for the fact that they almost blew a 6-0 lead on Thursday. These two clubs lock horns once more Friday, when Round II of the Subway Series revs up at Shea Stadium.
Heading into one more weekend of packed houses and the intracity rivalry, there's no doubt who holds the edge – the Bombers improved to 26-13 all-time against the Mets last weekend in the Bronx, sweeping the third day-night doubleheader between these two clubs on Sunday.
But although the Mets were blown out 8-1 in the first game of Sunday's double-dip, they played tight in the other two contests last weekend. They'll need those memories heading into Friday's contest, when they'll see Mike Mussina for the second time in less than a week.
The Mets hit Mussina hard – Richard Hidalgo blasted a pair of solo homers off of the Moose, and Mike Cameron added one as well – but they didn't hit him with runners on base, and Matt Ginter dug the Mets a 6-0 hole after one inning when the Yankees batted around against the rookie, who has recently come back down to earth.
With Scott Erickson having finally turned in a decent performance at Triple-A Norfolk and panting for a Major League return, Saturday could present a last opportunity for Ginter to impress.
A two-pitch pitcher, Ginter had gotten by with a fastball and a wicked slider in his first five starts with the Mets, but he's given up 14 earned runs over his last three starts and has suddenly fallen to the bottom of the barrel in the Mets rotation alongside Jae Seo.
In fact, after Al Leiter threw on Thursday against Cincinnati and manager Art Howe lined up Tom Glavine to pitch against the Florida Marlins next week, the Mets head into the Yankees series without their two best pitchers.
CAMERON QUESTIONABLE: Mike Cameron (left knee) was left out of Thursday's lineup against the Reds and may not play Friday either. Cameron tweaked the knee in the thick outfield grass at Great American Ballpark this week.