Game 1 Preview: Diamondbacks at Mets, Tonight at 7:10 PM


The New York Mets (6-13) avoided another sweep yesterday with a whomp of a win, defeating the Astros 9-1. The Mets will now take on the Arizona Diamondbacks (8-9), who have also had their fair share of disappointments. The question is, which team will have more disappointing moments?

STARTING PITCHERS
Game 1: 4/22/11 (7:10 PM)
Mike Pelfrey (0-2, 9.72 ERA, 2.34 WHIP, 0.90 K/BB): Big Pelf has been nothing short of horrendous so far in 2011. The righty has been extremely hittable (15.7 H/9 IP) and his control has been atrocious (5.4 BB/9 IP). There have been whisperings of a possible demotion to Triple-A, but then again, Pelfrey’s problems are dominating Major League hitters, not Minor League ones. (Career vs. Diamondbacks: .308/.400/.438 line with a 6.69 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, and 1.37 K/BB)

Joe Saunders (0-2, 6.32 ERA, 2.10 WHIP, 0.60 K/BB): The former 12th overall pick put himself on the radar in 2008, when he posted 17 Wins, a 3.41 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 1.94 K/BB. Since then, however, his hittability caught up with him. Saunders, who came over to the Diamondbacks as part of the Dan Haren trade, posted a respectable 4.25 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, and 2.63 K/BB in 82.6 IP for the D’backs, but the lefty hasn’t quite looked like the same pitcher in 2011.  The southpaw can certainty eat innings (196 IP/year from 2008 to 2010), but the quality of those innings can vary from mediocre to bad. (Career vs. Mets: no record)

DIAMONDBACKS HITTING OVERVIEW:
When Kevin Towers took over as General Manager, his main goal was to cut down on strikeouts. The result? Bye, bye Mark Reynolds. Even without Reynolds, the Diamondbacks have a plethora of talented, young hitters like Miguel Montero, Stephen Drew, Kelly Johnson, Justin Upton, and Chris Young. However, the key to their success depends on the performance of the latter two.

Justin Upton swatted 26 home-runs in 2009, but only hit 17 last season. The former first overall pick is off to a good start in 2011, posting a .269/.351/.522 line with 4 HR, 10 RBI, 13 R, and 2 SB, but the 23 year-old is known to be a bit streaky. Similar to Upton, Chris Young too shares the rare ability to hit for power and take a base. The right-handed hitter smacked 32 home-runs in 2007, but unfortunately lacks the ability to get on-base (not to mention his astounding strikeout totals). After posting his third consecutive low-OB season and declining power numbers in 2009, many baseball folks wrote him off. However, Young bounced back in 2010 with a .341 OB, 27 HR, 91 RBI, 94 R, and 28 SB season. Young is still struggling with his K/BB ratio (19 K’s to 3 BB’s in 2011), but there’s plenty of talent still there.

Aside from Upton and Young, Miguel Montero is slowly but surely proving to be one of the better offensive catchers in baseball. The right-handed hitter enjoyed his first season as a full-time starter in 2009, posting a .294/.355/.478 line with 16 HR, 59 RBI, and 61 R in 470 PA’s. Primed to build on his career year, the catcher unfortunately tore his right meniscus, leaving him on the disabled list for a good chunk of 2010. Montero bounced back in the second half, however, and posted an overall .266/.332/.438 line with 9 HR, 43 RBI, and 36 R. With the injury now fully healed, Montero has blasted out of the gate in 2011, displaying a .358/.452/.585 line with 2 HR, 7 RBI, and 9 R. While most of the Diamondbacks hitters tend to be all-or-nothing, Montero might prove to be the most reliable of the bunch.

STARTING LINEUPS


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