SAN DIEGO: It may seem hard to believe, but the Mets can actually win a road series tonight against a top NL opponent.

After the trio of Mike Pelfrey, David Wright, and Ike Davis led the Mets to a 4-2 win over the Padres last night, the Mets will send ace Johan Santana to the mound looking for a coveted road series victory.

In his last start, Santana was brilliant, but the Mets lost when they couldn’t score a run off of Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo. In eight innings pitched on May 28 in Milwaukee, Santana allowed three hits and struck out five.

Since the debacle in Philadelphia where Santana had a career-worst effort, he’s been nothing short of ace-like. In the five starts since then, Santana is only 1-0, but with a 1.69 ERA.

He will be opposed by Padres’ starter and former White Sox pitcher Clayton Richard. Also a southpaw, Richard has had very similar numbers to those of Santana.

While Santana is 4-2, 3.03 ERA, Richard is 4-3, 3.00 ERA.

In each of his last four starts, Richard has gone exactly seven innings, and he hasn’t allowed more than four earned runs in a start this season, which came in his last start.

So although the Mets will have their ace left-hander on the mound, the Padres will counter with a lefty who has been just as good as Santana this season.

There are a couple of Mets players who should be thrilled to see a lefty going against them. First off is David Wright.

He has been hot of late, and against the soft-tossing lefty LeBlanc last night, he recorded three hits including a home run.

Jeff Francoeur added a couple of hits yesterday, while Jason Bay, who is slumping again, may want to see a lefty to help him out.

Luis Castillo has been fighting multiple leg and foot problems recently, and it seems that batting from the right side is what gets Castillo going, since that’s his “power and production” side.

When a right-hander pitches, manager Jerry Manuel tends to start Alex Cora at second base, because he’s left-handed. So, it’s become kind of a second base platoon between Castillo and Cora.

Jose Reyes’ eight game hitting streak was snapped in last night’s game, as he went 0-for-5, all leading off innings. Reyes led off the five odd-numbered innings and only reached on an error.

The last game Johan Santana pitched, it was a pitchers’ duel, and those aforementioned Mets’ hitters would love to make sure they score runs for him this time around.

If the Mets can pull out a victory, all they need are a couple of runs to make it happen assuming Johan is on his game, then the Mets would return home in impressive fashion.

After getting smoked 18-6 in the first game of the series, you wouldn’t think the Mets could come back to win a road series against a first-place team.

With their ace, anything is possible, and the Mets know they can come back home with a winning record. The good thing is, even if they lose, they will come home at .500.

Meaning, as good as they’ve been at home, the Mets can be over .500 before they go on their next road trip against awful American League teams.

Even with all the turmoil that has surrounded the Mets this season, and their road woes, they’re still in pretty good shape at the one-third point of the season.

Johan Santana vs. San Diego (career)
2-2, 2.41 ERA, 33.2 IP, 24 hits, 11 BB, 26 SO

Clayton Richard vs. New York (career- 8/6/09)
Win, 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 hits, 4 BB, 5 SO

2010 season series (New York vs. San Diego)

May 31: San Diego 18, New York 6
June 1: New York 4, San Diego 2

Series tied 1-1

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