The Mets begin a three-game series with the Padres tonight at PETCO Park in San Diego. The first pitch is at 10:05 eastern time.The Padres have really struggled lately. After opening up the second half 7-3, including winning two of three against the Dodgers on the road, San Diego has gone just 3-7. In their last series, a four-game set against the Reds, they lost three of four.Pitching, which has been a big constant for the Padres over the last few years, has not been at the same level as years past in 2012. Last year, the Padres were third in baseball in ERA, but have fallen this year to 15th. That, combined with a less-than-stellar offense, make the Padres a very mediocre team.Speaking of the offense, are one of the worst in baseball. The Padres rank third to last in baseball in runs scored, and only have two players with ten or more home runs. Chase Headley, who has been the only threat in the Padres lineup over the past few seasons, is having a career year. He has a career-high 13 home runs. Besides Headley, the only other real power threat is Carlos Quentin. Quentin has ten homers in 50 games this season. Past those two, however, and you'll find mostly players similar to Will Venable- guys who are able to steal a few bases, but not much else. If the Mets can score four runs in each game in this series, they should at least take two of three from the Padres.If there is one real bright spot on the Padres roster, it has to be their bullpen. Led by Huston Street, the Padres have one of the better bullpens in baseball. Street has a 0.88 ERA in 30.2 innings this season. Luke Gregerson, who currently has the team lead in appearances, has a 2.81 ERA in 48 innings pitched. It should be difficult for the Mets to score runs in the late innings this weekend. They'll have to score early.Pitching Matchups:Game 1- Tonight 10:05R.A. Dickey (14-2, 2.83 ERA) vs. Clayton Richard (7-11, 4.14 ERA)Game 2- Saturday 8:35Jeremy Hefner (1-4, 5.52 ERA) vs. Edinson Volquez (7-7, 3.51 ERA)Game 3- Sunday 4:05Matt Harvey (1-1, 1.59 ERA) vs. Jason Marquis (4-6, 4.08 ERA)Notes:
  • Frank Francisco will be back and available tonight for the Mets. Francisco has been out since June 22 with an oblique injury and was rehabbing with Binghamton this week.
  •  The Mets will be wearing their 1989 road throwback uniforms tonight. Click here for a picture.
  • After Johan Santana's no-hitter on June 1, the Padres became the last team without a no-hitter.
  • Over his last ten games, Chase Headley is hitting .324 with two home runs and seven RBI.
  • Let''s go Mets!
Sorry for the short notes section this time...