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Saturday, July 30, 2011
W2W4: Mets at Nationals (Saturday)

By Mark Simon

Jason Marquis Stat 2 Watch 4
Three prominent hitters in the Mets lineup have great numbers against Jason Marquis. David Wright (.406), Jason Bay (.372) and Jose Reyes (.355) all sport batting averages of .350 or better.

Most notable among those numbers is the five in the home run column for Bay versus Marquis.

That matches the most home runs Marquis has allowed to any batter. He’s also allowed five to Andruw Jones and Derrek Lee. It also matches the most homers Bay has versus any pitcher. He also has five against Aaron Harang and Carlos Zambrano.

Bay hasn't homered in his past 64 at-bats overall, though he's swinging the bat well -- 5-for-8 in the past two games.

Interestingly, one player Marquis might have been OK with facing is no longer with the team. Carlos Beltran is 3-for-20 in his career against Marquis.

R.A. Dickey Stat 2 Watch 4
R.A. Dickey has allowed nine home runs to left-handed hitters this season, after allowing only four in 2010.

The lefty for him to be wary of is Rick Ankiel, who has put the ball in play in all 14 of his at-bats against Dickey in his career, netting five hits.

They Can Hit Too
Both these pitchers can do notable things with the bat. Dickey is 5-for-10 in his past five games, with only one strikeout in that span.

Marquis' career batting average presently stands at .199, hampered by his current 0-for-16 slump. He has five career homers, the most recent being a grand slam against Jonathon Niese and the Mets on Sept. 22, 2008.

Dickey actually has trouble getting opposing pitchers out. They are hitting .264 against him over the past two seasons, and hit .310 (9-for-29) in 2011.

The Line-Drive Parade
The Mets weren't quite as line-drive happy on Friday as they were in a four-game sweep against Cincinnati earlier in the week. But they added four more to their ledger, based on our video review -- hits by Daniel Murphy, Bay, Angel Pagan and Reyes on Friday.

In the past five games -- all wins -- the Mets have hit 40 balls classified as line drives. Their opponents have only hit 22. Murphy leads the team with nine in that stretch.

Double Your Pleasure
After hitting three doubles on Friday, the Mets enter the day with 65 doubles in July -- matching the team record for most in a calendar month, previously set in June, 1990.

Down With D-Wright
We have technology that allows us to review pitcher and hitter performance based on Pitch F/X tracking (cameras in every ballpark that mark the location of every pitch) and that provided us with an amazin' stat on Wright.

Since coming back from his back injury, Wright is 11-for-14 with two homers on an at-bat that ends with a pitch in the lower-third of his strike zone or below -- essentially a pitch located just below the height of his belt. He is 9-for-11 when putting such a pitch into play, excluding the two homers he's hit, but including his first inning near-homer against Chien-Ming Wang.

Prior to the injury, Wright totaled 12 hits, no homers and 17 strikeouts in the 53 at-bats ending with pitches to that spot, meaning his batting average when he put the ball in play was .333.

Who Closes?
Jason Isringhausen earned the save for the second straight game on Friday, so it would seem likely he will be unavailable Saturday. But you have to wonder whether Terry Collins would use him for one batter, particularly a right-hander.

Right-handed hitters are 10-for-71 against Isringhausen this season, including 1-for-20 in the month of July.