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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

  • PGA: Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASL: RailHawks at Ft. Lauderdale

    Tonight at 7:30 on WRAL-2

  • PGA: Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Coca-Cola 600

    Tomorrow at 6:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls at Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders

    Tonight at 6:50 on Buzz Sports Radio

  • ACC: NC State vs. Virginia

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC Baseball Tournament Championship

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 4
SWB 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
SWB
 
Final
NYM 1
PIT 4
Final
PHI 1
WAS 2
Final
TEX 10
NYY 9
Final
SEA 4
TOR 3
Final
HOU 2
DET 6
Final
BAL 8
MIA 5
Final
CIN 3
CLE 7
Final
ANA 12
BOS 5
Final
OAK 2
TAM 5
Final
MIL 11
ATL 0
Final
MIN 2
CWS 3
Final
SFG 11
COL 8
Final
STL 0
KAN 5
13th
CHC 4
ARI 4
 
Final
SDP 1
LOS 2
1:05pm Today
TEX
NYY
 
1:07pm Today
SEA
TOR
 
4:05pm Today
NYM
PIT
 
4:05pm Today
PHI
WAS
 
4:08pm Today
HOU
DET
 
4:10pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
4:10pm Today
MIL
ATL
 
4:10pm Today
MIN
CWS
 
4:10pm Today
OAK
TAM
 
4:10pm Today
SFG
COL
 
7:15pm Tonight
BAL
MIA
 
7:15pm Tonight
ANA
BOS
 
7:15pm Tonight
STL
KAN
 
9:10pm Tonight
SFG
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
CHC
ARI
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
 
Final
CLE 94
ATL 82
9:00pm Tonight
GSW
HOU
 
Final
NYR 5
TAM 1
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI
 
Final
DUR 4
SWB 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
SWB