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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, July 18 (All times Eastern)

New York Mets (45-50) at San Diego Padres (41-54), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.99) San Diego - Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.47)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Mets will try to pick up right where they left off on Friday when they start the second half of their season with the first of three games against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

After losing seven of eight New York went into the All-Star break on a high note, as it won eight of 10 games to pull within seven games of National League East leaders Washington and Atlanta.

Now the Mets hit the road for 10 games, a stretch that may ultimately decide the fate of their season. And getting the call on Friday will be one of their best pitchers this season, righty Bartolo Colon, who is 8-8 with a 3.99 ERA. Colon, though, has lost his last three starts after six winning six consecutive decisions.

The first inning has been Colon's weakness, as he owns a 9.00 ERA in the first, but a 3.13 ERA the rest of the way. That has certainly been the case in his last five outings, during which he's allowed 11 earned runs in five opening frames (19.80 ERA) and four earned runs in the other 32 (1.13 ERA).

"Obviously the first inning is very important," Colon said through an interpreter after his most recent start. "I'm just having a little trouble and I'm going to try to work to change it."

Colon has split four starts versus the Padres and has pitched to a 1.78 ERA in those outings.

San Diego, meanwhile, will counter with righty Ian Kennedy, who has been remarkable over his last three starts. Kennedy was magnificent on Saturday in Los Angeles, as he held the Dodgers to three hits over eight scoreless innings, but did not get the decision in his team's 1-0 loss.

"He's pitching great. He really had command of the outside corner to right- handed hitters," manager Bud Black said after the game. "I thought that was the big difference tonight. He shut them down."

Kennedy's been stingy in July, with just two earned runs in 21 innings spanning three starts. He is 7-9 overall on the year with a 3.47 ERA.

His 133 strikeouts in 124 1/3 innings this season are third-most in the National League, and also second-most ever for a Padres pitcher in the first half.

Kennedy has faced the Mets seven times and is 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA.

San Diego went into the break losing seven of nine and were shutout in consecutive games to close its first half. That was the story for the Padres in the first half, as Black's team failed to score a major league worst 14 times in the first half.

They haven't been blanked in three straight since July 5-7, 1976.

"Our pitching has been really good," Black said. "We've got to get our bats going."

New York took two of three from the Padres earlier this season.

07/18 10:49:40 ET

  • ACC: North Carolina vs. Miami

    Tomorrow at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego vs. Miami

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida vs. Georgia

    Tomorrow at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Notre Dame vs. Navy

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Duke at Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on 620am

  • ACC: NC State at Syracuse

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes vs Arizona Coyotes

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tonight at 11:35

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 10
NOS 28
Final
ORL 98
WAS 105
Final
MIN 97
DET 91
Final
CLE 90
NYK 95
Final
DAL 120
UTA 102
Final
LAC 93
OKC 90
7:00pm Tonight
IND
MEM
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
CLE
 
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
PHI
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
POR
 
10:00pm Tonight
PHO
SAN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
LAC
 
Final
LOU 31
FSU 42
Final
GASO 42
TROY 10
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
CIN
8:02pm Tonight
MEM
TULSA
Final
BUF 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 3
LOS 0
Final
NJD 2
WIN 1
Final
FLA 2
ARI 1
Final
OTT 4
CHI 5
Final
TAM 4
PHI 3
Final
STL 2
ANA 0
Final
MIN 4
SJS 3
Final
COL 5
NYI 0
Final
VAN 3
MON 2
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LOS
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
NAS
 
Final
CAR 10
NOS 28