BALTIMORE—This season, the Mets are 24-10 playing at Citi Field. That’s pretty “amazin’.” The Amazins, though, are only 8-18 on the road.

If there was ever a road trip for the Mets to fatten up on, it’s this one. Starting tonight, the Mets will play six games against two of the three worst teams in the American League.

The Orioles are first on the docket, and if the Mets can’t win a series from a team 26 games below .500, then they just don’t deserve a playoff spot, no matter how good they are at home.

Right now, a playoff spot seems realistic. The Mets are tied with the Phillies for second place in the NL East, each 2.5 games behind the Braves.

Some people don’t consider the Braves a legitimate contender, but a team that got on a little hot streak, so for those people, it’s like the Mets and Phillies are tied for first place.

The bottom line is, while the Phillies have completely lost their offense, getting shutout again last night, and with the Braves hanging around, the Mets have an opportunity against some bad teams to make some hay.

Trying to get the Mets off on the right foot will be knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Dickey has been as good as can be for his standards so far in his first four starts, posting a 3-0 record and 3.20 ERA.

He’ll kick off the series, and was actually intentionally pushed back to start this series because of the theory that a knuckleballer throws teams off for a couple of days. Not that the Orioles aren’t already bad enough.

Going for the lowly birds will be perhaps their best starter, Jeremy Guthrie. Yankees fans are quite familiar with Guthrie in the AL East, and he’s known for plunking Yankees, most recently injuring Jorge Posada.

Although he’s 3-6 this season, Guthrie’s ERA is only 3.71. Last season, Guthrie had a terrible year, going 10-17 with an ERA of 5.04.

He has been extremely consistent this season, and his couple of blemishes came against the Yankees in consecutive starts, where he lost both games, giving up 10 ER on 12 hits. Of course, when do the Orioles ever beat the Yankees? Well, maybe last night, but that’s for a Yankees column.

For the Mets, it’ll be a strange next week and a half, as they will play nine consecutive games at an AL ballpark, meaning the use of the DH in every game. This will give manager Jerry Manuel the chance to give guys a half-day off, so to speak.

Manuel has stated that he’d like to “spread” the DH job around to guys like Jason Bay, David Wright, and Jose Reyes. Other guys that could get some DH time could be Chris Carter, Jesus Feliciano, or the forgotten man off the bench, Fernando Tatis.

The Mets are entering another road bandbox, and that’s what some people have used for an excuse for why the Mets play so poorly on the road. The theory that perhaps the players leave big Citi Field and have their eyes light up to hit home runs, which throws them off their game.

No matter where they are playing the Orioles, Oriole Park or Citi Field, it’s time for the Mets to cut the excuses and play some good baseball.

If the Mets, who are four games over .500, can win some road series’ in Baltimore and Cleveland, then they’ll further increase their winning percentage and keep themselves right in the thick of the NL East race as we head towards the middle of June.

R.A. Dickey vs. Baltimore (career)
0-2, 5.19 ERA, 17.1 IP, 18 hits, 3 BB, 11 SO

Jeremy Guthrie vs. New York (career- 6/16/09)
Loss, 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 hits, 2 BB, 4 SO

2009 season series (New York vs. Baltimore)
Orioles won series 2-1

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