Today is an important game for the Mets. Of course, when you’re fighting your way back from a 5-13 start, every win, every inch closer you move back towards a positive record is important. But today’s victory would be a big boost for the Amazins. For one, it would mean a third straight series victory and a winning road trip for the first time this season. Second, the Mets should be beating teams like Houston Astros, whose record currently sits at 15-24. And finally, since that awful start, the Mets are 13-8, which isn’t spectacular, but much better than before. Going for the series victory will be a player who has looked very good as of late: Chris Capuano.
Even though he’s suffered two defeats in his past two outings, Capuano has looked much better than earlier in the season. He matched up with Tim Lincecum on May 4th, tossing six and one-third innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out five and dancing out of trouble on occasion. In his next start at Colorado, Capuano went six and two-third innings, yielding two runs on five hits and three walks while fanning four. In those two starts, he also had a ground ball to fly ball ratio of 1.10 and threw 64% of his pitches for strikes. He lost those games by the scores of 2-0 and 2-1, respectively. The offense has been more productive in the four games since his loss to Colorado, so hopefully Capuano will receive some more run support.
Cap’s best start of the season actually came against the Astros back on April 21st. In that game, he went seven innings, surrendering just one run on six hits while walking two and striking out four, throwing 68 out of 100 pitches for strikes. In addition, Carlos Lee was 0-2 with a walk and Hunter Pence was 1-3 with a double off Capuano. In order to be successful, the southpaw will need to keep the two best bats in Houston’s batting order at bay.
Capuano has done a decent holding Lee and Pence in check during his career. Lifetime, Lee is 2-11 with a walk against Cap, although Pence is 3-8, and neither have a home run. With the short porch in left field in Minute Maid Park, it’s essential for Capuano to get these hitters, as well as others, to keep the ball on the ground, something he’s done with a 45.4% success rate in 2011. The lefty will need to utilize his changeup against Lee and Pence, a pitch that, despite being spotty at times this season, has looked better recently and will help induce ground ball outs vs. righties.
If Capuano can turn in another good start, it would be another great boost to the pitching staff that has seen Chris Young depart for the year. Furthermore, it would push the team’s record 19-21, just two games under .500 for the first time since April 27th and would let the Amazins return to Citi on a high note. They may be small steps, but enough of them will have the Mets back to over .500 and maybe even inspire some fan confidence
Tags: Amazins Capuano Vs. Astros Carlos Lee Changeup Chris Capuano Chris Young Citi Field Colorado Rockies Groundball Houston Astros Hunter Pence Lefty Matt Kaufman Mets Mets Chris Capuano Mets Win Series Minute Maid Park Momentum New York Mets Rising Apple Road Trip Run Support San Francisco Giants Southpaw Strikeout Tim Lincecum