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Matchup/Game Thread Game # 135 vs. New York Mets

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Tom Glavine Wandy Rodriguez
12 - 6, 3.92 9 - 8, 5.46
Well, the good thing about playing the best is that you get to gauge your progress.

Although I think we have more than a middling shot Sunday with Oswalt facing off vs. Trachsel in the series capstone, I remain rather skeptical about the first two games of the series.

With the matchups of Sir Wandy vs. Glavine and Little Jason vs. John Maine, the 'Stros give up five combined wins, three combined losses, 6.53 points of ERA, and 1.07 WHIP-units during the first two games.

Meanwhile, the Mets lead the league in runs scored and are second in OPS. The Astros, it is true, have put a little tail on their offensive numbers lately with the hot streak, but they're still 10th leaguewide in runs scored and 14th in OPS. The spirit of those numbers holds true in more local timespans, too: The Mets were fourth in runs scored for the month of August, the Astros sixth. The Mets were fourth in OPS last month; the Astros were ninth.

The Astros have faced the Mets once already this year: in late July, they visited that august toilet they call Shea Stadium for a similar weekend three-game. Jason Hirsh got blown out in the opener, Brandon Backe had a poor start in Game Two that the team could not overcome, and Roy Oz salvaged the third game.

Call me negative, but I think that series then is a good and accurate template for what we will see from this series now.

I don't see a lot of hope tonight in that the Mets lead the NL in hitting against lefties. The fact that Mets likely to face Wandy tonight combine for a .935 OPS doesn't make me particularly optimistic either. And while the stat is hardly statistically significant, I can't call it a sign of good things to come that Carlos Delgado has a 2.50 OPS when teeing off against our dear Wandy.

Straight up, I think we're going to lose this series, mostly because we had trouble scoring runs against the 25th-rated staff in the majors vs. Milwuakee, and only a little because the Mets come in having won ten of eleven.

But, paradoxically, in a strange sense, I'm upbeat. This is a chance for me to hop aboard, where the irrational part of me most wants to be. Think of it: if the Astros DO somehow take two of three, if they knock around Maine the way they couldn't in July, or if Wandy reverses some of his career numbers against these guys, it will be an omen the meaning and import of which will be very hard to miss.

I hope the club proves me wrong, and I sincerely hope those already aboard will find room for me.