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Friday, May 28, 2004

Mets-Marlins Preview 

The Mets head down to steamy Miami with a cool 23 and 23 record to play three against the boys in teal. The Marlins are currently in first place but the Mets are only 3.5 games behind them. I have only been studying for the bar exam for three days but I already need a vacation so I’m heading down there to take in the Saturday and Sunday games in person. Maybe Art Howe will use me at first base as a defensive replacement for Mike Piazza in a tie game in the 4th inning. Here’s a quick preview of what we have to look forward to.

Tonight Mr. One Hitter Tommy Glavine (6-2, 2.13) takes on Dontrelle “WhatchootalkinboutWillis (4-3, 4.38). Willis started out this season hot, going 3 and 0 in his first five starts with a 2.73 ERA but has since cooled off. In his last four starts Mr. Rockette is 1 and 3 with a 6.26 ERA. Willis must be in a good mood knowing the Mets have rolled into town. In his 3 starts against the Mets last year Willis was 3 and 0 with a 0.86 ERA. Let’s hope the 6.26 version of Willis shows up tonight and not the Willis who struck out an average of a Met per inning last season. As for Glavine, despite his well documented struggles last year he actually pitched well against the Marlins. In four games started he had a 1.65 ERA. Expect Jack McKeon, if he has half a clue, to start Mike Redmond at catcher in place of Ramon Castro, since Redmond is a career .500 hitter off Glavine in 42 at bats.

Saturday will feature Jae Weong Seo (2-4, 5.30) and Carl Pavano (4-2, 3.68). The only Met batters to have a significant number of at bats against Pavano are Cliff Floyd and Mike Piazza who combine for a .435 average in 46 at bats. Seo, who had a solid rookie season last year, was particularly good against the Marlins, going 2 and 1 in 3 starts with a 1.02 ERA.

Sunday’s finale will showcase Steve Trachsel (5-3, 2.83) versus World Series MVP Josh Beckett (4-4, 3.95). Beckett has been hot and cold so far this season but at home he’s mostly been hot. At Pro Player Stadium Beckett enjoys a 3 and 1 record, a 2.43 ERA, and opposing batters are only hitting him at a .184 clip. Trachsel, on the other hand, is quietly, and slowly, having one of the best seasons of all NL pitchers. Since getting violated in his first start against Atlanta, Trachsel has logged 60.2 innings with a miniscule 1.79 ERA and has not allowed an earned run in his last 15 innings pitched.

This should be a “meaningful” series. Let’s hope I return from Miami with a nice tan and the Mets a half game out of first place instead of me returning with a sun burn and the Mets 6.5 games out.
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