The South Korean right-hander looks to rediscover his dominant form when the Mets meet the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle game of their series at Shea Stadium.
Seo was nearly untouchable in six starts from May 20-June 17, going 4-0 with a stingy 1.53 ERA. The stretch was capped by a 5-0 win over the Florida Marlins in which the rookie yielded one hit over 6 2-3 innings, while striking out four and walking none.
However, he has lost that form as quickly as he found it, going 0-5 with a 7.21 ERA over his last seven starts.
Yet, he’s confident he’ll end the skid.
“The past few starts when I didn’t pitch well it was all mental for me,” Seo said through an interpreter. “One thing I discovered from my start (against Montreal on July 23) was that I still had velocity in my fastball, which gave me a lot of confidence.”
He didn’t figure in the decision in New York’s 4-2 loss to Milwaukee on Monday despite allowing just two runs and five hits over seven innings. He struck out five and walked four.
“Seo did a great job,” Mets manager Art Howe said. “It was great to see him go out there and give us some quality innings. He did his job and obviously deserved a ‘W.”’
The Mets were beaten for the sixth time in seven games with Friday’s 8-2 loss to the Cardinals in the series opener.
Cliff Floyd homered for New York, which has also dropped 18 of 23. Floyd’s homer, which traveled an estimated 420 feet, was the 150th of his career.
Bo Hart had two hits in the decisive eighth, and Edgar Renteria went 3-for-4 with a double, a homer, an RBI and three runs scored for St. Louis, which is two games behind first-place Houston in the NL Central.
STANDINGS: Cardinals - 2nd place, 2 GB, NL Central. Mets - 5th place, 28 GB, NL East.
CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Brett Tomko (6-7, 5.79 ERA). A disappointment for the Cardinals this season, Tomko is 1-1 with a 5.18 ERA over his last three starts. The veteran right-hander was reached for three runs and eight hits over seven innings in Monday’s 3-0 setback to Pittsburgh. Tomko has struggled in his career against the Mets, going 2-5 with a 6.13 ERA in nine career appearances, including eight starts.
METS PROBABLE STARTER: Seo (5-7, 3.97 ERA). Seo is making his first career start against St. Louis.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Cardinals - Albert Pujols, .372 avg., 98 RBIs and 97 runs; Pujols and Jim Edmonds, 29 HRs; Renteria, 25 SBs. Mets - Jason Phillips, .317 avg.; Floyd, 18 HRs and 58 RBIs; Ty Wigginton, 55 runs; Wigginton and Roger Cedeno, 8 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Cardinals, 4-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Cardinals - OF Pujols, who robbed 3B Wigginton of a homer Friday, was 1-for-3 to stretch his hitting streak to 16 games. He is batting .413 (26-for-63) during the run with three homers and 12 RBIs. … Cardinals starters have a 2.24 ERA over their last six games, allowing just 10 earned runs and 28 hits. … CF Edmonds was out of the lineup for the seventh consecutive game Friday. Edmonds, who is battling a combination of shoulder ailments, hasn’t played since July 25 against Pittsburgh. Mets - OF Cedeno is hitting a robust .538 in 13 career at-bats against RHP Tomko. … C Mike Piazza expects to begin a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Norfolk next Friday, and Howe said Piazza could be back with the Mets by Aug. 12. … Howe said he doesn’t expect LHP Tom Glavine (right ribcage strain) to make his scheduled start Sunday.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Cardinals - 26-30 on the road; Mets - 22-34 at home.
INJURIES: Cardinals - OF Edmonds (shoulder), day-to-day; C Joe Girardi (back), 15-day DL; C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; 2B Fernando Vina (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Eli Marrero (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Morris (hand), 15-day DL; LHP Lance Painter (calf), 15-day DL; RHP Russ Springer (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Kiko Calero (foot), 60-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL. Mets - C Piazza (groin), 15-day DL; 1B Mo Vaughn (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Pedro Astacio (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Grant Roberts (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Strickland (groin), 60-day DL.