Mets(courtesy of mlb.com)
“It’s going to be another challenge. We’ll be ready for it,” said Santana of squaring off against Gallardo. “We’ve been playing good baseball. Even though on the road our record doesn’t show that, we’re playing pretty good. I think we have good momentum right now, and we can just continue carrying that over and hopefully have a nice road trip this time.”
Santana, who has just one win in his past five starts, has completed at least six innings in seven of his past eight starts. The left-hander has allowed three earned runs or less in seven of his first 10 outings. Santana pitched into the eighth inning and held the Yankees to one earned run in his last outing, breaking a nearly month-long stretch without a victory.
“There were a lot of question marks for us at the end of last year,” said Santana. “We’ve got the right guys. I think the addition of [Rod] Barajas and [Henry] Blanco has made the whole difference for all of us. Everybody feels that they’re very important for what they want to accomplish and that’s the way we’ve been doing our job. … Trying to be consistent and throw strikes and get ahead in the count. That’s the philosophy that we’ve got around here — just throw the ball over the plate and someone will make a play.”
The Mets made it official that Fernando Nieve would start on Saturday. He has a 1-2 record with a 5.32 ERA, but his performance lately could be attributed to overuse. The 27-year-old has worked out of the ‘pen this season but made seven starts for the Mets in 2009.
“If he does well, he will continue to get the ball,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “And if we come into a situation where we have too many starters, I think that’s all good, too.”
Brewers(courtesy of mlb.com)
Gallardo will be tasked with cooling down the Mets’ bats, and right now, that means slowing the resurgence of leadoff man Jose Reyes, New York’s energetic catalyst at the top of the lineup. Need proof? The Mets are 16-4 when Reyes scores a run. On Thursday night, Reyes sparked the offense with three hits and two RBIs a night after hitting a solo homer.
Gallardo has logged three straight no-decisions and hasn’t lost since April 10. Santana, meanwhile, will be charged with carrying his team’s momentum. New York’s starting pitchers have gone 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA over their last nine games.
Manager Ken Macha remains cautiously optimistic that outfielder Jim Edmonds will be able to return when he is eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday. The veteran has been on the disabled list since May 18 with a strained left oblique. Edmonds completed soft toss and took some early swings in the cage before Thursday’s game.
“That’s encouraging,” said Macha, referring to Edmonds’ progress. “He’s feeling optimistic, so I trust Jimmy because he let me know at the beginning of the year. He said, ‘I’ll be ready.’”