Haren (10-6, 2.19 ERA) is limiting opponents to a major league-low .194 batting average while ranking fourth in the NL in ERA and strikeouts (146).
That success has been very evident during the right-hander’s last four road games, winning all of them while posting a 1.61 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 28 innings. He is 5-0 in nine road outings since losing his first one of the season April 17 at San Francisco.
However, the three-time All-Star’s last two trips to the mound were both in Phoenix and he wasn’t very effective, going 0-1 while allowing seven runs and 12 hits. He pitched a season-low five innings in each of those games.
Haren needed 117 pitches to get that far Tuesday in a 4-3 defeat to Philadelphia, suffering his first loss since June 24 against Texas.
He has no record and a 2.91 ERA in four games - three starts - against New York.
The kind of performance Webb used to regularly provide - he won the NL Cy Young Award in 2006 and was runner-up last year - is what teammate Jon Garland(notes) had Sunday as he threw a seven-hitter in Sunday’s 5-2 win over the Mets.
While Arizona (46-59) has won three of four, New York (50-44) has dropped three of four following a five-game winning streak. The Mets are 7 1/2 games behind San Francisco and Colorado for the wild card lead.
“I’m not discouraged at all,” manager Charlie Manuel told the Mets’ official Web site. “We have to keep winning. If we keep winning, somebody has to come back to the pack regardless. Whichever way it goes, we have to keep winning.
“This is definitely a crucial time, no question. If we don’t take care of things now, later on, we’ll be doing something for the following year. And we definitely don’t want to be in that position.”
Manuel is expected to have Gary Sheffield(notes) back in left field Monday after he entered Sunday’s loss as a pinch hitter and went 0 for 2, hours after being activated from the disabled list. A strained right hamstring sidelined him for 14 games.
Sheffield is hitting .283 with a team-high 10 homers and 36 RBIs.
The Mets will turn to Nelson Figueroa(notes) (0-1, 4.50), who is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to make a spot start Monday due to Wednesday’s rainout. The team optioned reliever Pat Misch(notes) to Buffalo on Sunday, making roster space for Figueroa.
The native of Brooklyn, N.Y., has only made one start for the Mets this season, going six innings in a 4-2 loss to Milwaukee on April 19. The right-hander was designated for assignment a month later, and went 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA in his last 10 starts for Buffalo.
Figueroa was 3-3 with a 4.57 ERA in 16 games - six starts - last season.