The Mets have rejuvenated RHP Aaron Heilman starting on Monday. He is 3-2 with a 4.19 ERA. Once considered a first-round flop, Heilman has changed his delivery and struck out 28 in 34 1/3 innings this season. The Indiana native attended Notre Dame and expects a large crowd of family and friends at the game.
RHP Kris Benson will start on Tuesday. He went 4 2/3 innings and struck out six on Thursday in his first game after coming off the disabled list. His pitch count limit has been elevated to around 100. Benson had been sidelined with a strained muscle on the right side of his chest.
Piazza was hitting a shocking .198 after going 0 for 3 on Wednesday. He is 6 for 9 with three home runs and six RBI since. For the first time in his career he homered in three consecutive at-bats.
"This game, you can't explain it," Piazza said. "You have to be philosophical about it. I was picking up some bad habits because I was pressing, but then you come full circle and you bounce back."
Piazza said he has kept his hands back, allowing him to wait on pitches and pull the ball with power. Both of the home runs Friday night were line drives to left field.
"One little thing," Piazza said. "I just know when I have it and I know when I don't. Hopefully you keep the momentum and ride it as long as you can."
Piazza has 383 home runs, 49th all-time.
Benson went 4 2/3 innings in his first game of the season, allowing two runs in New York's 7-5 victory over Philadelphia. He allowed five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Out all season with a strained muscle on the right side of his chest, Benson was on a tight pitch count. The Mets hoped he would get through five innings. But when Benson hit Pat Burrell with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the fifth, he was lifted.
Benson threw 88 pitches, three more than the Mets wanted. But he said there was no lingering soreness and he expects to throw around 100 in his next start.
What if Seo had thrown a no-hitter?
"It wouldn't have mattered," manager Willie Randolph said. "OK, I might have had second thoughts. Maybe a perfect game."
Randolph was joking. But Seo wasn't fooling around with the Philadelphia hitters. He threw seven shutout innings, allowing one hit as the Mets beat the Phillies 3-2.
It wasn't a perfect game. But for Seo it was his best performance in his four years with the Mets.
Seo matched his career high with eight strikeouts and allowed only one hit, a single by David Bell with two outs in the fifth. In the 11 days since he was called up, Seo was 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA.
"The management has to make their decisions. I did the best I could," Seo said. "Hopefully I will get another chance."
Count on that. Seo has learned to expand the strike zone on two-strike counts rather than giving the hitter something to work with. He also has developed better command of his fastball, which in turn improves his changeup.
"I've felt good for five, six, seven days now," said Cameron, who has been sidelined with a sore left wrist. "We'll see how I do." Cameron hasn't played right field in a major league game since 2000, when he was in Seattle.
"Physically I feel fine," Benson said. "I don't feel like I should have any problem pitching as much as they want me to."
BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- Number of home runs Carlos Beltran has hit in the seven games Pedro Martinez has started. "I need to start helping out the other pitchers," he said. "I can't explain it."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Everything is clicking, everybody knows their roles. There are a lot of positives. We're not going to say anything; we're going to just keep going." -- RHP Pedro Martinez on the Mets' success.
ROTATION: 1. RHP Pedro Martinez 2. LHP Tom Glavine 3. RHP Kris Benson 4. RHP Victor Zambrano 5. RHP Aaron Heilman BULLPEN: RHP Braden Looper (closer) RHP Mike DeJean RHP Heath Bell LHP Dae-Sung Koo RHP Roberto Hernandez RHP Manny Aybar LINEUP: 1. SS Jose Reyes 2. 2B Kazuo Matsui 3. CF Carlos Beltran 4. C Mike Piazza 5. LF Cliff Floyd 6. RF Mike Cameron 7. 1B Doug Mientkiewicz 8. 3B David Wright RESERVES: C Ramon Castro INF Miguel Cairo INF Chris Woodward INF/OF Marlon Anderson OF Eric Valent OF Victor Diaz
April 22: LHP Kaz Ishii, pulled muscle in left side, 15-day DL.
April 19: LHP Felix Heredia, strained left thumb, 15-day DL.
April 8: RF Mike Cameron was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 1, because of tendinitis in his left wrist.
RHP Kris Benson, strained pectoral muscle, 15-day DL.
RHP Steve Trachsel underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back on March 19 and will miss at least three months.
RHP Tyler Yates, who showed promise as a reliever, was lost for the season when he had shoulder surgery in February.