Monday, September 23, 2013

Preview: Game 156 - Mets at Reds - Harang vs Cueto

New York Mets (71-84) at Cincinnati Reds (89-67) 7:10 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
A. Harang (R) 2 0-1 4.916.00-00.009/18SFND5.0630-216.27.02
J. Cueto (R) 10 5-2 3.025.22-02.089/16@HOUW5.0501-210.16.97


The Reds, who are trying to move closer to securing a third playoff appearance in four years, send Johnny Cueto to the mound in Monday night's series opener with the New York Mets.

Cueto (5-2, 3.02 ERA) missed the start of the 2011 season with arm trouble, then went 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA in 2012 to help the Reds win the NL Central. But after a healthy season, he left Game 1 of the division series against San Francisco after only eight pitches with pulled muscles in his side.

The right-hander was enjoying a solid start to 2013 before straining a lat muscle in a loss to Texas on June 28, forcing him to the DL. He was activated last Monday, and threw five scoreless innings in his 6-1 win over Houston.

Though Cueto said he felt fine after that outing, Baker is taking a cautious approach, especially with the playoffs right around the corner. Cincinnati (89-67) still is in the mix for a second straight Central crown while leading Washington by five games for a wild-card spot.

The Reds have won five of six after taking two of three from Pittsburgh with Sunday's 11-3 win. They're tied atop the wild-card standings with the Pirates, who they face in a three-game series at home to end the regular season.

The Mets are seeking their first four-game winning streak since July 7-10 as they send former Red Aaron Harang to the mound Monday.

New York (71-84) is coming off a three-game sweep of Philadelphia after Sunday's 4-3 victory. Rookie Juan Lagares had three hits while driving in a run, and shortstop Wilfredo Tovar added an RBI single in the seventh in his major league debut.

Harang (0-1, 4.91) went 5-11 with a 5.76 ERA with Seattle before being designated for assignment Aug. 26, though he's shown signs of improvement since signing with New York.

The right-hander gave up three runs and struck out 10 in six innings while suffering a 7-2 loss to Washington on Sept. 12 before giving up four runs and striking out eight in five frames of the Mets' 5-4 comeback win over San Francisco on Wednesday.

Harang, who went 75-80 for the Reds from 2003-10, is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts against his former team. He gave up two runs in six innings to beat Cincinnati 4-2 while with the Mariners on July 5.
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