Mets Rumors & News
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With eight days left in baseball’s regular season, the playoff races have yet to be settled. While the Cubs have wrapped the National League Central, and the Dodgers are on the verge of taking home the National League West, the National League East and the Wild Card remain up for grabs. With only two spots available, three teams have their sites set on October baseball. The Milwaukee Brewers, the New York Mets, and Philadelphia Phillies all find themselves within three games of each other with just over a week of baseball left to play.

Recap of Saturday’s Action:
Both the Mets and Phillies got a boost on Saturday. The Cincinnati Reds scored 3 runs in the sixth inning off CC Sabathia (pitching on three days rest), as they beat the Brewers for a second consecutive day 4-3. Rickie Weeks went 3 for 3 with a home run, triple, and two RBI’s in the Brewers loss.

The Mets also lost last night against a Braves team looking to play spoiler. Pedro Martinez did his part, allowing 4 runs and 9 hits over six innings. He also contributed at the plate, driving in 2 with a double in the fifth. Josh Anderson went 3 for 4 for Atlanta with a clutch RBI off Martinez in the sixth inning.

The Phillies found themselves in a nail biter facing a hot Marlins team, winners of nine in a row. Greg Dobbs bloop single in the sixth inning plated Ryan Howard, and the bullpen pitched four shutout innings as the Phillies beat the Marlins 3-2. The bullpen came up big for the Phillies getting out of jams in the eighth inning (second and third, no outs), and the ninth (man on second, one out), but Brad Lidge shut the door for his 39th save of the season.

After last night’s action, the Phillies lead the NL East by a half-game over the Mets, and a three game lead over the Brewers.

Magic Numbers:

Phillies – 5 Playoffs, 8 Division
Mets – 6 Playoffs, 9 Division
Brewers – 11 Playoffs

Sunday’s Preview:

Brewers @ Reds – The Brewers need a win and they need it bad. Their September collapse has run to 4-14 and the firing of Ned Yost didn’t motivate the team to play inspiring baseball. Seth McClung (5-6, 4.22), takes the mound for the Brewers. McClung, who is filling in for an injured Ben Sheets, has been used as a reliever for a good part of his career. He last started on July 21st where he allowed two runs over five innings against the St. Louis Cardinals, while not factoring in the decision.

Taking the mound for the Reds is Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo (5-10, 4.57), has had a disappointing season in the Queen City, but has turned it around lately. He’s only allowed 3 earned runs in the month of September (20.1 innings).

Mets @ Braves – Given the up and down season the Mets have had this season, they have to be proud where they are. With the cushion they have on the Brewers, there is some comfort and a loss wouldn’t be the end of the world. Last season’s collapse is still in the mind of the Mets and every game is a must win. While winning the Wild Card could be nice, taking the division form the Phillies would be sweeter. Mike Pelfrey will take the mound this afternoon for the Mets. This season has been a success for Pelfrey as he’s started to show the Mets why he was once a top prospect. His 13 wins and 3.67 ERA rank both second on the Mets behind Johan Santana.

Rookie James Parr will start for Atlanta. Parr has had success in his limited action this season going 1-0 with a 2.20 ERA. He began his Major League career with a 12 inning scoreless streak. In his last start Parr got roughed up, when he allowed 10 hits and 4 runs over 4.1 innings against the Phillies.

Phillies @ Marlins – The Marlins are not mathematically out of contention, but four and a half games out of the Wild Card is a slim chance. In saying that the Marlins believe they can do what the Rockies did at the end of last season and make it a four-team race. The Phillies plan to put and end to that. Jamie Moyer starts for the Phillies, who is a career 10-1 with a 3.07 ERA against the Fish. His lone loss came in his last outing against the Marlins where he went five innings, allowing 2 runs.

Top pitching prospect Chris Volstad will take the mound for the Marlins. Volstad (5-3, 3.07), has looked more like a seasoned veteran this season, then a 21 year-old rookie. Volstad has faced the Phillies twice this season and is 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA.

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