Penny, who has been one of baseball’s most dominant pitchers this season, looks to put together a rare strong start against the Mets and lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a three-game sweep Wednesday night.
A win in this game would move Penny (7-1, 2.26 ERA) into a tie for second place in the National League in that category. The right-hander has not earned a victory in his last two starts, but has gotten just five runs to work with over that span.
Penny gave up one run and five hits while striking out seven in 7 2-3 innings as Los Angeles beat Toronto 4-3 on Friday night.
Penny has been terrible in his career against the Mets, going 3-10 with a 6.16 ERA in 16 starts. It’s his most losses against any team, and his highest ERA against a club he has faced more than twice.
New York (36-27), though, has lost four straight and eight of nine, and has been particularly bad at the plate. The Mets have scored three runs or less seven times in their last nine games.
“We don’t like getting beat up like that. The bottom line is, I know we’re a good team,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said. “We’ve had our share of playing good baseball this year. The game sometimes will teach you some things, show you some things, and sometimes that’s good for you.”
Los Angeles (37-28) held New York to five hits in a 4-1 win on Tuesday night, and now has a chance to sweep the NL East-leading Mets at home for the first time since taking a three-game set from Aug. 23-25, 1996.
First baseman Nomar Garciaparra was back in the lineup for Los Angeles on Tuesday after being held out for two games. Garciaparra, who was in a 5-for-30 slump, went 1-for-4.
“It has been my experience that it’s very beneficial to a lot of (slumping) players,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said of sitting Garciaparra. “Hopefully that’s the case with him.”
Garciaparra is batting .167 (2-for-12) against Jorge Sosa (6-1, 2.64), who will get the ball for New York on Wednesday.
Sosa has won his last three outings - posting a 2.64 ERA in that span - and is holding opponents to a .187 batting average.
The right-hander is coming off his best start of the season, allowing four hits while striking out five in eight innings to beat Detroit 3-0 on Friday night.
Sosa has a 3.48 ERA and has not received a decision in one start and four relief appearances against the Dodgers.