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Friday, July 18, 2014

Preview: Game 96 - Mets at Padres - Colon vs Kennedy

Preview: Game 96
New York Mets (45-50) at San Diego Padres (41-54)

Probable Pitcher:
Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.99 ERA) vs Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.47 ERA)
TV - SNY - Radio - WOR 710 AM - First Pitch - 10:10 PM (EST)


Bartolo Colon will try to shake off his early-inning issues Friday night against the San Diego Padres in his first appearance at pitcher-friendly Petco Park.

New York (45-50) had dropped seven of eight before an 8-2 stretch leading into the All-Star break rekindled its outside postseason hopes. The Mets are in third place in the NL East, seven games back of Washington and Atlanta.

This three-game set in San Diego opens a 10-game trip that may determine whether the Mets remain in the hunt or unload players by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

A strong outing from Colon (8-8, 3.99 ERA) could keep the Mets rolling or at least improve his trade value, but he needs to overcome his struggles in the opening inning.

The right-hander's 18 runs allowed in the first rank behind only Philadelphia's Kyle Kendrick (26) for most in the majors. They also tie him with Dwight Gooden (1993) and Paul Wilson ('96) for the most by a Mets pitcher at the All-Star break since 1974.

Colon's troubles have been highlighted over his last four starts, a stretch in which he's given up 11 runs in the opening inning while going 2/3 with a 3.65 ERA.

Colon has a 1.78 ERA while splitting four career starts against San Diego after allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings of a 6-2 win June 13.

This outing, though, will be his first at Petco, which leaves Minnesota's Target Field as the only current stadium where he's yet to pitch.

The Padres (41-54) own the lowest batting average in the majors (.214) and have been shut out 14 times -- the most in baseball. They've shown few signs of improvement while losing seven of nine and failed to score in a pair of defeats to the Los Angeles Dodgers just before the break.

San Diego has been blanked in three straight three times, most recently July 5-7, 1976.

The offense may not need to provide much for Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.47), who has allowed two runs with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings over his last three starts.

The right-hander was victimized by a punchless lineup Saturday, failing to earn a decision despite tossing eight scoreless innings in a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers.

Kennedy, though, has lost his last two starts against the Mets, surrendering eight runs and four homers with 14 strikeouts over 10 innings.

New York slugger David Wright has gone 1 for 9 against Kennedy since 2011. Wright is also 4 for 27 with 11 strikeouts in his past seven visits to San Diego (41-54), but he was 10 for 20 with six RBIs in six games prior to the break.

Batter/Pitcher Splits:

Bobby Abreu52100110.400.500.6001.100
Andrew Brown101000007.
Eric Campbell110000001.0001.0001.0002.000
Lucas Duda61100001.167.286.333.619
Wilmer Flores31000000.333.333.333.667
Curtis Granderson63001330.500.6671.0001.667
Juan Lagares30000002.
Daniel Murphy123101302.250.231.583.814
Kirk Nieuwenhuis30000002.
Anthony Recker72100022.286.444.429.873
Josh Satin62000002.333.333.333.667
Ruben Tejada52000012.400.500.400.900
David Wright155202543.333.474.8671.340
Eric Young Jr.142000114.
Yonder Alonso41000000.
Alexi Amarista31100000.333.333.6671.000
Everth Cabrera42000001.500.500.5001.000
Chris Denorfia10000000.
Chase Headley40000003.
Cameron Maybin10000000.
Tommy Medica10000001.
Carlos Quentin73100000.429.500.5711.071
Rene Rivera31001201.333.3331.3331.667
Seth Smith30000000.
Will Venable30000010.
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