Tony Gwynn: Mets success started in spring training
At 10-2, the New York Mets have the best record in baseball and are off to the best start in team history. They look to continue both trends when they host the NL East rival Atlanta Braves on Tuesday in the second game of a three-game set.
The Mets’ newly acquired trio of first baseman Delgado, right fielder Nady and catcher Paul Lo Duca combined to go 8-for-11, while the rest of the team managed just one hit in 20 at-bats.
Delgado looks to extend his hitting streak to 12 consecutive games. The two-time All-Star is hitting .375 with five homers and 14 RBIs, both leading the team. He joined New York in a trade with the Florida Marlins in November after hitting .301 with 33 homers and 115 RBIs in 2005.
Lo Duca, who was involved in another deal with the Marlins, has started the season hitting 14-for-38 (.368) and has scored a run in seven of his last eight games.
New York hopes the offseason acquisitions can continue their good play, as it may be without its 2005 home run leader Cliff Floyd, who suffered a strained ribcage scoring on a single by Nady.
“It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be,” said Floyd, who had 34 homers and 98 RBIs last season. “I’m not really looking forward to missing any games, especially with Carlos (Beltran) out. … I was a little bit more scared than anything because I did it last year, too.”
Beltran sat out Monday’s win with a tight right hamstring and his status is also uncertain.
The Mets send Victor Zambrano to the mound for his second start of the season. The right-hander earned the win and allowed three runs in five innings of a 13-4 win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday.
He has not earned a win against the Braves since June 28, 2003, as a member of the Tampa Bay Devils Rays.
The 22-year-old right-hander was charged with the loss, gave up six runs and nine hits, including four homers. Five of the runs and three of the homers came before the first out of the game.
He also had a shaky first inning in his first outing of the season, allowing three runs in a 14-6 loss to the San Francisco Giants on April 7.
“I was just so anxious to get out there and throw,” Davies said. “That’s not a bad thing. But you’ve got to be able to go out there and not leave balls up.”
Only one Atlanta starter, John Smoltz, has earned a win this season.
Andruw Jones, who homered and had two RBIs on Monday, has struggled against Zambrano, going 1-for-10 with an infield single as his only hit. The center fielder leads the Braves with five home runs and 18 RBIs.
The Braves will continue to be without shortstop Edgar Renteria for at least a week, after he suffered a strained ribcage in Saturday’s 2-0 win over the San Diego Padres. The team is hoping the four-time All-Star will avoid the 15-day disabled list.
Atlanta is also looking to avoid its worst start in four seasons, when the team started 6-9 after 17 games.