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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Preview: Game 99 - Mets at D-Backs - Harvey's Debut

New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks 9:40 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
M. Harvey (R) 0 0-0 0.000.00-00.003/25--ND0.0000-00.00.00
W. Miley (L) 16 11-5 3.026.07-22.557/21HOUW7.0412-013.02.77

The New York Mets were initially reluctant to promote their first-round draft pick from two years ago, but desperation is setting in.

The free-falling Mets are calling up highly touted Matt Harvey, hoping that in his major league debut the right-hander can help the team to its first victory in seven contests Thursday night in the opener of a four-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

New York (47-51) arrives in Arizona to open a season-high 11-game road trip after losing 5-2 to Washington on Wednesday to cap an 0-6 homestand. The Mets, who last dropped seven in a row overall in April 2011, have lost 12 of 13 to fall seven games out in the NL wild-card race.

"Losing is one thing," third baseman David Wright said. "The way that we're going about it right now is unacceptable."

Wright finished the homestand 4 for 24 with eight strikeouts, and New York was outscored 13-5 from the seventh inning on in its last four.

"We're going to get through it," manager Terry Collins said. "You will see a different team in the next 10 days, the next two weeks."

They're likely going to have a different battery on Thursday with Harvey and catcher Rob Johnson being called up from Triple-A Buffalo.

The Mets have high expectations for Harvey, the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft, and hope one day he'll become their staff ace. The 23-year-old Harvey, who went 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 20 starts for the Bisons, says he will try to keep calm and not attempt to be a savior for New York.

"This guy's got the makeup," Collins told the Mets' official website. "He doesn't want to be just a guy, he wants to be the guy."

The Mets, who've lost six of seven on the road, begin their crucial trip at Chase Field, where they're 1-8 since 2009.

Making matters worse, New York's offense has the difficult task of facing Wade Miley (11-5, 3.02 ERA), who has permitted a single run in four of his last five starts in the desert. At home against Houston on Saturday, the left-hander gave up a run and four hits while striking out a career-high nine in seven innings of a 12-3 win to set a franchise rookie record for victories in a season.

He didn't get the win in New York on May 4, when he allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings of Arizona's 5-4 comeback victory.

Just as Miley has been stellar at Chase Field, so has Arizona's offense - its last game notwithstanding.

The Diamondbacks (49-49) were limited to five hits in Wednesday's 4-2 loss to Colorado after averaging 7.8 runs in winning their previous eight at home.

"It's discouraging," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We've been scoring a lot of runs but we didn't score enough and that cost us."

Although Arizona lost for the first time in six games overall, Jason Kubel and Miguel Montero continued their torrid hitting, each homering.

Kubel leads the NL with 72 RBIs after driving in 12 while batting .343 with seven home runs in the last eight games, and Montero is hitting .400 with 11 RBIs in the last 11. Kubel, however, is hitless in 10 at-bats against the Mets this year, while Montero is 1 for 8.

Wright, New York's leader with 67 RBIs and a .340 average, is 3 for 20 without an RBI in his last six games against Arizona.

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