Mets @ Pirates Wednesday Game Preview

With their first losing season since 1996 now guaranteed, the New York Mets continue to play out the string tonight when they meet the Pittsburgh Pirates. Game time is 7:10 p.m, with coverage on the MSG Network. Tuesday's ugly 6-3 loss to the Pirates was the Mets' third in four games this season against Pittsburgh, one of the few teams in the majors with worse offensive numbers than New York, now 74-82 with six games remaining.

The Pirates are no better than 16th in any offensive category, and that rank comes in stolen bases. Pittsburgh is either 29th or 30th in batting average, hits, runs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.

Jason Middlebrook gets another chance to impress the Mets tonight. The right-hander is 1-0 in two starts with the Mets, with an impressive 3.09 ERA. He pitched well in his last start last Thursday against Chicago, giving up two runs and six hits in six innings, earning a no-decision in the Mets' 3-2 win.

None of the current Pirates have an at-bat against Middlebrook.

The Pirates counter with veteran Brian Meadows, who has pitched better than his 1-6 record indicates. He has allowed three or fewer runs in seven of his 10 starts for the Pirates, but has had no run support. Pittsburgh has been shut out in two of his starts and scored just once in four others.

Meadows has a 2-5 lifetime mark against the Mets in eight starts, with a 6.53 ERA. Edgardo Alfonzo has been particularly hard on the righty, going 9-for-21 (.429) with four RBIs.

-- Bobby Valentine won't be suspended for his actions in the Aug. 25 game at Colorado. Valentine, who was ejected after David Weathers hit Juan Uribe with a pitch, was originally suspended for one game, but the ban was lifted Tuesday.

Injuries


Pirates
Dave Williams - 60 Day DL as of 6/1
Pat Meares - 60 Day DL as of 3/30

Mets
Tony Tarasco - Expected To Miss Rest of Season
John Franco - Season - Arm Surgery

Last Trade Between Pittsburgh-Mets


On March 26, 1988 ...The Mets traded Randy Milligan and Scott Henion to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Mackey Sasser and Tim Drummond.

Mets On This Date Last Year


September 24 - Did Not Play, 76-74, 4.0GB Of Philadelphia
September 25 - Win 2-0 vs. Expos, 77-74, 4.0GB Of Philadelphia
September 26 - Win 5-2 vs. Expos, 78-74, 4.0GB Of Philadelphia

Previous Meetings In 2002


April
Mon. 1 @ New York: Mets won 6-2
Wed. 3 @ New York: Mets lost 5-3
Thu. 4 @ New York: Mets lost 3-2



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