After retooling their pitching staff to make a run at the playoffs, the New York Mets’ new rotation will get its first test as they open a three-games against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
St. Louis has the top record in baseball thanks to some solid pitching and one of the league’s top offenses. The Cardinals are second in the NL with 577 runs scored and 146 home runs.
Edmonds hit his 30th home run and Rolen his 26th to lead the Cardinals to a 2-1 win over the Montreal Expos on Thursday. It was Rolen’s NL-leading 97th RBI, and his first home run at home since May 27. His previous 13 homers all came on the road.
“My numbers at Busch Stadium are less than stellar, but I’ve never had good numbers here when I was with the Phillies and now that I’m here,” Rolen said. “I always seem to hit a little better on the road.”
The Mets, sixth in the majors with a 3.94 team ERA, are eight games behind Atlanta in the NL East and need to get strong pitching against the Cardinals. The Mets acquired Victor Zambrano and Kris Benson at the trade deadline to help bolster a rotation that features solid veterans Tom Glavine, Al Leiter and Steve Trachsel.
Glavine will take the mound in the opener. The 38-year-old left-hander has lost six of his last eight starts to drop his record to 8-9 with a 2.88 ERA. He has not received much run support, as the Mets have scored an average of 2.3 runs a game over his last eight starts.
David Wright gave Zambrano plenty of offensive support in his first start with New York on Thursday. Wright homered and drove in six runs, helping Zambrano win his Mets debut in an 11-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Mets won three straight against the Brewers after dropping three in a row to the Braves.