Mets(courtesy of mlb.com)
On Tuesday, it will be John Maine‘s turn. Like Arroyo, Maine will be trying to make it two in a row. The right-hander picked up his first victory against the Dodgers on April 28 and will attempt to pick up where Perez left off.
“I think the main thing is that they both are healthy, that’s the key,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said of Perez and Maine. “As long as they are healthy and are getting repetition between starts and mechanics, those types of things, touch and feel, I feel like they’re going to be fine.
“That part of it I think is a real key for us because of the issues that they went through last year with their health. As long as they’re healthy, getting their repetitions, I think everything should work out well for them.”
That might provide little solace to the Mets who are now looking at a three-game losing streak following that eight-game winning streak. They’ve been outscored 22-7 over the past three games.
Conversely, it’s not like all the good pitching the Reds have gotten has meant automatic victories. Laynce Nix‘s pinch-hit home run on Monday gave them one, but over the past three games, the Reds’ offense has generated a grand total of six runs.
Jason Bay came into the series with a nine-game hitting streak that brought his average from .224 up to .270. That’s what happens when you hit .355 over a streak like that, and Bay also had seven runs scored, three doubles, a pair of triples, a homer and five RBIs.
It must’ve brought a smile to his face when he saw it was Cincinnati who was up next on the schedule. That’s because Bay has hit a career-best .357 against the Reds (over 74 games). He’s got more homers (21) RBIs (69) and runs scored (66) against them than any other Major League team in his career.
His history didn’t help him on Monday, however, as his hit-streak was snapped after an 0-for-4 night.
Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Jose Reyes, SS
Jason Bay, LF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Rod Barajas, C
John Maine, RHP
Reds(courtesy of mlb.com)
Bronson Arroyo doesn’t want to be the one to stop it. After all, he helped keep it going last week.
After Mike Leake’s six-inning, one earned run performance on Monday night against the Mets, the Reds rotation has gone 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA over its last seven starts. Arroyo was right in the middle of that, outdueling Roy Oswalt with six strong innings on April 29, his first solid outing since his eight-inning 2010 debut. So not only is he hoping to keep the good times rolling for the rotation, he’s looking to build off his last start — his first victory of the year — and find a personal groove to boot.
“I had probably the best [start] I’ve had all year,” Arroyo said. “I had a little bit more on the fastball, which I was looking for for a while. I had good command of my other pitches.”
The Mets’ overall streak is a little more modest, but there is cause for optimism. After getting knocked around on Saturday and Sunday, Oliver Perez stepped up on Monday with six solid frames against the Reds, allowing just two runs.
The desire to get Chris Heisey some playing time and the fact the Reds were facing lefty Oliver Perez on Monday led to the decision to give right fielder Jay Bruce a day off, though he did pinch-hit and grounded out in the ninth inning.
Don’t expect that to be more than a one-night thing. Bruce has raised his average from .180 to .250 over the last nine games (including Monday’s brief appearance). Seven extra-base hits have brought his OPS from .638 up to .812 in the process. He’s only got a pair of at-bats against Maine, but he’s got two hits and one of them was a home run.
Drew Stubbs, CF
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Joey Votto, 1B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Jay Bruce, RF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Laynce Nix, LF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Bronson Arroyo, RHP