New York (48-52) at Washington (39-62)

Showers in the Vicinity Currently: Montreal, QC
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Thu Jul 29, 2004
  • TV: FSNY
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Al Leiter has dominated the Montreal Expos this season, though his record may not reflect it.

The Mets hope Leiter can earn his first win of the year against Montreal as New York tries to salvage a split of its four-game series at Olympic Stadium.

The Mets have lost nine of 12, including two of three to the Expos, falling six games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East.

Leiter will face Montreal for the third time this season. The veteran left-hander, who is 6-3 with a 2.22 ERA in 17 games overall this season, hasn’t received a decision in his first two starts against the Expos despite allowing just one run in 12 innings.

Leiter allowed three hits in five scoreless innings of New York’s 1-0 loss to Montreal in San Juan on April 11. He yielded one run and five hits over seven innings in the Mets’ 2-1 loss to the Expos at Shea Stadium on April 20.

Leiter, who has won five of his last six decisions, has the lowest ERA in the majors among pitchers with at least 10 starts. He has given up one run or fewer in four of his last five starts.

Leiter will try to cool down the Expos, who have won six of seven.

Tony Batista homered and Nick Johnson hit a go-ahead RBI double to lead Montreal to a 7-4 win over New York on Wednesday.

Shortstop Orlando Cabrera went 2-for-3, and is 6-for-14 with four doubles and four RBIs in this series.

New York catcher Mike Piazza played first base and went 0-for-4 with a walk Wednesday in his first start since spraining his wrist on July 20. Piazza is 2-for-21 with one homer since the All-Star break.

The Mets suffered another setback Wednesday when second baseman Jose Reyes left the game with a sprained right ankle. Reyes, who has been plagued by leg injuries throughout his two-year big league career, suffered the injury when his foot landed awkwardly as he approached second base while legging out a double in the third.

“It’s not even close to last year,” said Reyes. “I couldn’t even walk, now I’m walking fine. Last year it was terrible, this is a lot better. When I hit the ball and tried to run to first, something cracked so I had to stop right away. Now I’m feeling better. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”

Reyes is hitting .436 (17-for-39) with five doubles and nine stolen bases over the last nine games. He’s listed as day-to-day.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Leiter NYY vs. R. Biddle Was
10-8 Record 4-8
3.21 ERA 6.92
117 K 51
97 BB 31
1.35 WHIP 1.65