The Mets begin a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds tonight at Citi Field.
The Reds come into this series leading the NL Central, three games up on the once again surprising Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds have gotten huge production out of their stars this season, including Joey Votto. Votto, a former NL MVP Award winner, is hitting a ridiculous .362 this season, third in all of baseball behind only Paul Konerko and Melky Cabrera. Votto is leading the Reds in RBI (44) as well as On-Base Percentage (.485). He is also second on the team in homers with 12. He has really picked up lately, batting .444 in his last ten games to go along with 12 RBI.
The star at the top of the Reds pitching rotation has also flourished this season. Johnny Cueto, who will face the Mets in the series finale, has been dominant on the mound so far in 2012. Cueto, 26, is 7-3 this season with a 2.46 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. He has only allowed more than three runs in a start twice this season.
Here are this weekend’s pitching matchups:
Game 1- Tonight 7:10
Game 2- Saturday 7:15
Game 3- Sunday 1:10
Chris Young (1-0, 3.38 ERA) vs. Johnny Cueto (7-3, 2.46 ERA)
– Dillon Gee has struggled at home so far this season. Gee has a 4.91 ERA at Citi Field, compared to 3.78 on the road. I don’t know why he can’t pitch at home, but that’s a real concern.
– Wow is Ike Davis heating up! Ike has raised his average from .162 last Saturday all the way up to .188 coming into this series. Ike has had three straight multi-hit games and has hit safely in each of his past five games.
– Jason Bay hit his first home run since returning from the DL on Thursday. The solo shot came in the Mets’ 9-6 win over the Rays. Bay is still hitting just .187 on the season.
– Aroldis Chapman is finally getting hit. The 24 year-old Cuban sensation, who easily hits 100 MPH with his fastball, has allowed earned runs in each of his last three outings. Before that, he hadn’t allowed an earned run all season.
– The Mets played the Reds in mid-May in a brief two-game set. The Reds won the first game 6-3 behind a late-inning surge off the Mets bullpen. However, the Mets took the second game 9-4 thanks to a five-run eighth inning. Ronny Cedeno hit a three-run blast that put the game away late.