Mets vs. Dodgers: Quick Preview

Game 1: Oliver Perez vs. Brad Penny

It’s time for Ollie to forget what he was doing in his last five starts to step it up. Though, if you watched those games, the statlines looked worse than he did on the mound. For whatever reason, he’s been the victim of some poor fielding (some of it on his part), bad bounces, and guys hitting good pitches. Still, we haven’t seen Ollie dominate like we know he can since … the last time he faced the Dodgers! Maybe tonight he can recapture the magic.

Meantime, Penny has returned to form after a tough July. The cocky sonofagun with the whiny mouth is putting up fantastic numbers — he’s one of the top three starters in the NL this year. He pitched a great game against the Mets in June, but was only so-so in his July start — though that was during his “slump”. The Mets would do best by being patient, and letting him beat himself; all it takes is one bad call by the ump and his head could leave the game. Note to Willie Randolph: please make sure Shawn Green is in the lineup, as he rips Penny.

Game Two: Orlando Hernandez vs. Eric Stults

El Duque has been a godsend this year, and let’s hope he continues rolling. Stults has five career MLB starts, and three of them are against the Mets. Therefore, the Wandy Rodriguez Effect no longer applies. Time to mash, boys.

Game Three: John Maine vs. David Wells

Maine finally put forth a decent outing in his last start, though it was still a bit under what we’ve come to expect from him. I’m greedy, and I want to see more from Maine, starting on Sunday.

Wells was just signed by the Dodgers and the rumor is that he’ll start on Sunday — he’s damn lucky ESPN changed the game time to 8:05 PM. Had it remained an afternoon game, under the bright sun and in the late summer heat, the Mets were guaranteed to knock out the heart attack waiting to happen by the second inning. Unfortunately for him, around here it stays humid at night — so he should be gone by the fourth instead. The only question is whether he’ll be leaving the mound on his own power, or if he’ll have to be wheeled off in a stretcher. Scary to see a guy start sweating and panting after walking three steps out of the dugout.

Bottom Line

The Mets lost two of three to the Padres, but I didn’t necessarily see failure. Rather, I saw a lot of fight in these pennant-smelling Mets, and I like it. The “never say die” attitude and dramatic endings have returned to Shea after a long hiatus. In other words, the magic is back! Whether they win this series is of no consequence, since neither the Phillies nor the Braves seem interested in gaining ground. Let’s keep seeing the Mets playing hard, being aggressive, manufacturing runs, getting good at-bats, mounting comebacks, and terrorizing opposing bullpens — eventually, with that formula, good things will happen.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.