It’s already been a remarkable week for New York Mets pitchers even though they haven’t even sent their ace to the mound yet.
The Mets didn’t allow a run in a three-game series with the NL East’s top team, and they have every reason to expect another strong pitching effort as they give Johan Santana(notes) the ball against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
New York (25-23) made quite a statement in sweeping first-placing Philadelphia, drawing within two games of the division’s top spot. It was the extraordinary manner in which the Mets earned the victories that really stood out.
New York recorded three straight shutouts for the first time since 1988, and it came against a hard-hitting lineup.
Mike Pelfrey(notes) went seven innings before yielding to the bullpen in the Mets’ 3-0 win Thursday night. He followed up sharp efforts by knuckleballer R.A. Dickey(notes) and Japanese newcomer Hisanori Takahashi(notes).
The last team to shut out another club in a three-game series was when Santana and Minnesota shut down Kansas City in 2004. A shutout Friday would make New York the first team with four straight since the 1995 Baltimore Orioles closed that season with five consecutive shutouts.
Now the Mets will go with their most established starter as they open a three-game set with the Brewers (19-28). Santana (4-2, 3.41 ERA) is 1-0 with a 1.25 ERA in his last three outings.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s 1-0 or 10-0 or 10-9,” Santana said. “As long as you win, that’s what matters.”
The left-hander surrendered one run in 7 2-3 innings to earn a win in the Mets’ 6-4 victory over the Yankees on Sunday night.
Santana is 4-3 with a 3.41 ERA in nine starts versus the Brewers.
Gallardo is 0-1 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts versus the Mets, striking out 19 in 13 innings. Milwaukee, though, failed to give Gallardo any runs to work with in those contests.
Gallardo is coming off a subpar outing, giving up four runs in six innings of an 8-7, 12-inning loss to Minnesota on Saturday night. He went 4-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his previous six outings.
After losing 11 of 12, the Brewers have won three of four and are coming off their first home series win since taking two of three from Colorado to open the season.
“When things aren’t going your way, sometimes you get a sense of urgency, you find yourself pressing sometimes and things like that,” Weeks said. “But, we’re a pretty resilient ballclub.”
Milwaukee had 12 hits, bouncing back after being limited to five in a 5-0 loss the previous day.
“Guys are still having great at-bats and by no means are rolling over in any situation,” third baseman Casey McGehee(notes) said. “They are fighting for every at-bat they can get. That’s the only way you can really turn something around.”
Weeks is batting .342 with five homers in 20 games versus the Mets.
New York and Milwaukee tied last season’s series 3-3. The Brewers are 1-8 against the NL East this year.