The Mets go west

The banged and bruised Mets head west to try and continue their recent winning ways, opening a six-game road trip Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies. <P> Though the Mets' chances at the postseason are remote at best, New York did post a positive homestand on their trip back to Shea Stadium last week, faring 4-2 against the similarly disappointing Houston Astros and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

While you wouldn't say the Mets are going through the motions, they are playing extremely shorthanded: Jose Reyes (fractured left fibula), Mike Piazza (inflamed left knee) and Kaz Matsui (back spasms) all hit the disabled list last week.

Meanwhile, Tom Glavine – who lost two teeth in a scary cab accident last Tuesday – is not traveling with the team to Colorado, instead undergoing more testing and preliminary rehab work with team doctors. Glavine expects to catch up with the Mets in Los Angeles and start on Saturday against the Dodgers.

But even with the Mets' inability to stay healthy, they have several bright spots to look for as they continue on through the next month and a half.

Most immediately, the red-hot Mike Cameron needs just one home run to set a new career high, having hit his 25th homer on Friday night, and has been serving as a lynchpin of the Mets' offense recently.

In fact, with 19 stolen bases, Cameron has a possible 30-30 season in his sights – however, he could pick his spots a little better. Cameron was gunned down trying to steal third base for the final out of the seventh inning against Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks on Sunday.

On Tuesday, new acquisition Victor Zambrano – the bounty from last month's Scott Kazmir trade – goes for his third consecutive victory in a Mets uniform. In his last start on August 12, Zambrano retired the first 14 Astros to face him en route to a seven-inning, two-hit performance that boosted New York to a 2-1 victory.

News Roundup

  • In the New York Daily News, Zambrano recounts how he was changed into a starting pitcher after signing with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and admits that he misses playing every day from time to time.

  • According to the New York Post, the Chicago White Sox could have a tampering case against the Mets and GM Jim Duquette.

    Speaking on WFAN earlier this month, Duquette told the radio station that the Mets would be interested in outfielder Magglio Ordonez – a free agent to be – after this season.

  • Newsday has a fine feature on Mets first baseman Craig Brazell, who has finally earned a long-overdue call to the big leagues with the recent injury problems plaguing the team.

  • Just the way he planned it? Not quite, but things seem to have worked out well enough for Shane Spencer.

    Cut by the Mets after being nailed for a DUI offense this month in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Spencer has latched on with the Yankees and – following what figures to be a brief rehab stint at the Bombers' Tampa facility – is a likely bet to be "rewarded" for his poor behavior with a trip to the postseason.

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