Even a victory brings with it bad news these days for the New York Mets.
The Mets try to overcome yet another injury Thursday night as they begin a seven-game road trip with the first of four against the San Diego Padres.
Expected to be a playoff contender, New York (51-56) hasn’t had much of a chance to compete with a healthy team.
The Mets have played much of this season and are still without regulars Carlos Beltran(notes) (knee), Carlos Delgado(notes) (hip) and Jose Reyes (calf), while starting pitchers John Maine(notes) (shoulder), Oliver Perez(notes) (knee) and Fernando Nieve(notes) (quadriceps) and setup man J.J. Putz(notes) (elbow) have also missed time. Perez is the only member of that group currently healthy.
That lengthy injury list got a little longer Wednesday as rookie pitcher Jonathon Niese(notes) was lost for the season with a torn right hamstring suffered while covering first in a 9-0 win Wednesday over St. Louis.
“An MRI this afternoon revealed a complete tear of the right upper hamstring tendon from the bone,” the Mets said in a statement. “He will undergo surgery for its repair. Niese is out for the remainder of the season and is expected to be ready for spring training.”
Manager Jerry Manuel said Castillo is day to day.
Left fielder Gary Sheffield(notes), just off the disabled list last weekend, aggravated a hamstring injury while rounding first after a sixth-inning hit and came out of Wednesday’s game to avoid a setback.
“It’s going to turn around,” Sheffield told the Mets’ official Web site. “When you go through something like this, there’s got to be something good at the end.”
With several of the team’s top run producers sidelined, David Wright(notes) has been left to pick up much of the slack for New York, which has lost five of seven. Wright had a two-run homer among his three hits Wednesday, and is batting .422 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in his last 13 games.
The last-place Padres (44-65) were unable to overcome a poor start from Chad Gaudin(notes) in a 6-2 loss to visiting Atlanta on Wednesday. San Diego pitchers allowed 14 hits, one day after giving up 17 in a 9-2 defeat to the Braves.
The Padres took two of three from the Mets at Citi Field in April and have won five straight at home against New York.
Livan Hernandez(notes) (7-5, 4.77 ERA) looks to win his third straight decision for New York. The right-hander has pitched very well in his last three starts, going 2-0 with a 3.15 ERA after he lost his four previous outings with an 8.57 ERA. Hernandez limited Arizona to two runs and four hits over six innings Friday but did not receive a decision in the Mets’ 3-2 loss.
Hernandez is 12-5 with a 4.31 ERA in 24 starts against the Padres.
Clayton Richard(notes) (0-0, 1.59) makes his second start for San Diego after an impressive debut with his new team. The left-hander, acquired from the Chicago White Sox on Friday in the Jake Peavy(notes) deal, pitched into the sixth inning after not allowing a hit until the fifth against Milwaukee on Saturday before leaving without a decision. He gave up one run and two hits in 5 2-3 innings.