Series: Game 3 of 4

NY Mets leads 2-0 (as of 7/29)

Game 1: Monday, July 27
NY Mets7
Game 2: Tuesday, July 28
NY Mets4
Game 3: Wednesday, July 29
NY Mets
Game 3: Thursday, July 30
NY Mets7
Game 4: Thursday, July 30
NY Mets2

7:10 PM ET, July 29, 2009

Citi Field, New York, New York 

Starting Pitchers

Colorado: Hammel (10-8, 4.33 ERA)

New York: Santana (13-9, 3.13 ERA)

Rockies-Mets Preview


The New York Mets' ownership may be dissatisfied overall, but it has to be somewhat pleased with a four-game winning streak. Having ace Johan Santana on the mound against the Colorado Rockies at home could extend that run.

Santana will try to rebound from a rare rough outing Wednesday night when the Mets face the Rockies in the third of this four-game set.

The Mets (48-51) are still stinging from general manager Omar Minaya's bizarre Monday press conference to announce the firing of his longtime friend, vice president of player development Tony Bernazard. Minaya questioned the motives of New York Daily News beat writer Adam Rubin, who had written stories critical of Bernazard -- Minaya said the writer had "lobbied" him for a job.

Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon addressed the matter again Tuesday, apologizing to Rubin while also stating ownership's frustration with a club that entered the season with high expectations and a payroll in excess of $135 million, second only to the New York Yankees' $201 million.

"Ownership is not happy with the direction of the team," Wilpon said.

Despite the off-field distractions, New York extended its winning streak to four games by beating ace Jason Marquis and Colorado 4-0 on Tuesday, one night after a 7-3 victory in the series opener.

The Mets haven't won five straight since a season-high seven-game run May 4-10.

"I don't get involved in that," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said of the turmoil in the front office. "I don't really have enough time to entertain all these things. My job of managing 25 men keeps me busy enough."

Facing the Rockies (54-46) appears to be helping. The Mets have won 20 of the last 22 meetings between these clubs in New York, including each of the last five.

Santana (11-8, 3.12 ERA), who has never faced Colorado, is looking to rebound from a subpar performance by continuing his outstanding success at Citi Field. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is 7-2 with a 1.86 ERA in 10 starts at the Mets' new home.

He wasn't close to that effective in last Friday's 5-4 loss at Houston, getting tagged for five runs and 12 hits -- including a homer to pitcher Mike Hampton -- before getting pulled with two outs in the sixth. That outing came after he won his previous two games -- both at home -- by allowing 10 hits in 14 scoreless innings.

The Rockies are looking to avoid a third consecutive loss for the first time since a four-game slide from May 31-June 3.

"We're sputtering offensively the last couple days," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said of the team's three total runs in the two losses to the Mets. "It's tested our mettle."

Tracy will turn to Jason Hammel (5-5, 4.28) in the hopes that he can win for the first time since a 4-2 victory at Oakland on June 26.

The right-hander, who is getting his first start against the Mets, is 0-2 with a 4.45 ERA in his last five outings. However, he's received two runs or fewer of support in four of those starts, including one in each of the last two.

Hammel got the start Friday after a blister caused Jason Marquis to be skipped in the rotation, and he allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings of a 3-1 loss to San Francisco.

Hammel has been at his best on the road, going 4-2 with a 1.93 ERA in 10 appearances, eight of them starts.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Gameday Matchup

 ColoradoNew York
Current StreakL2W3
Last 106-45-5

Pitching Matchup

ColoradoNew York
J. Hammel
10-8, 4.33 ERA

Last Game:
10/4 at LA
2.0 IP, 0 ER
Dec = ND
J. Santana
13-9, 3.13 ERA

Last Game:
8/20 at NYM
7.0 IP, 3 ER
Dec = Loss

Gameday Lineups

NO.ColoradoNew York
1. D. Fowler, CF A. Pagan, CF
2. R. Spilborghs, LF L. Castillo, 2B
3. T. Helton, 1B D. Wright, 3B
4. B. Hawpe, RF D. Murphy, 1B
5. T. Tulowitzki, SS J. Francoeur, RF
6. G. Atkins, 3B C. Sullivan, LF
7. I. Stewart, 2B O. Santos, C
8. C. Iannetta, C A. Cora, SS
9. J. Hammel, P J. Santana, P