After a rare off day, the New York Mets (28-23) prepare to host Carlos Beltran and the St. Louis Cardinals (27-24) in a three-game series that kicks off Friday night and Citi Field. Game time is scheduled for 7:10. This marks the first time Beltran has returned to Citi Field since being traded to San Francisco last July. Beltran is back to form in the early going, batting .294 with fifteen home runs and 42 RBI, totals that would lead the Mets in long balls and RBIs by a significant margin (David Wright has seven homers and 30 RBI). It will be interesting to see the reception Beltran receives from the Mets faithful after playing the role of scapegoat much of his tenure in Flushing.
The Mets will get Josh Thole back for the weekend series, he has been out since May 8 with a concussion suffered in a home plate collision with Philadelphia's Ty Wigginton.
Mets Starting Lineup
- LF Mike Baxter
- CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
- 3B David Wright
- RF Lucas Duda
- 2B Daniel Murphy
- 1B Ike Davis
- C Josh Thole
- SS Omar Quintanilla
- SP Johan Santana
Both teams will send their aces to the hill, although they are each having very different seasons. Johan Santana (2-2, 2.75) gets the ball for the Mets, looking to follow up a complete game, four-hit shutout against the Padres last week at Citi Field. He'll face Adam Wainwright (4-5, 4.45) who has turned it around as of late, after a very rough start to the season. Wainwright had a four-hit shutout of his own May 22 also against the Padres, and backed it up with a six inning, one run outing in an 8-3 win over Philadelphia.
- The Mets have also recalled righty reliever Elvin Ramirez from AAA Buffalo. He will be looking to make his MLB debut. Ramirez has been lights out for the Bisons since being recalled from AA Binghamton earlier this season, having not allowed a run in 14 2/3 innings, while striking out 19.
- In corresponding roster moves, Manny Acosta cleared waivers and will be sent to Buffalo, and LHP Chris Schwinden has also been put on waivers to open up a 40-man roster spot for Ramirez.
- Josh Thole makes his return from the disabled list after being out since May 8th with a concussion. Rob Johnson was optioned back to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for Thole.
- Carlos Beltran will play center field for the Cardinals tonight. Beltran famously got moved to right field last year for Angel Pagan, so it might be a motivational ploy by Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.