MILWAUKEE: Things aren’t working out right now for the Mets away from Citi Field. At 6-15 on the road this season, the Mets will put their series hopes in the hands of reliever Fernando Nieve.

Last season, Nieve came up to make seven starts and didn’t do a bad job. His overall numbers last season, including one relief outing, were 3-3, 2.95 ERA.

The problem here is, he hasn’t been used as a long man this season, so how much of a big transition will it be to make a start?

His longest outing of this season came on April 17 at the Cardinals, when he went 2.1 IP. He gave up a hit and walked two in that stint.

So, Nieve, who hasn’t even pitched three innings in a game this season, will be asked to start a big game for the Mets.

It’s not as if the Mets didn’t have any other options. They could’ve went with Raul Valdes, who has not only earned it by pitching well, but has been stretched out already.

Valdes has pitched as many as five innings in relief on the night the Mets took John Maine out after only one batter.

There were also some minor-league options for the Mets such as Pat Misch, who was up with the Mets last season, or Dillon Gee.

The Mets though, for whatever reason decided Nieve was the guy, so now they’ll hope to win this game in order to give R.A. Dickey a chance to win them the series on Sunday afternoon.

For the Mets, it’s imperative that they win this series for a couple of reasons. Obviously to show that they can win some games on the road, and because of the following series in San Diego.

The Brewers will counter with left-hander Manny Parra. The 27-year-old Parra has had a strange career to say the least. He has a career record right around .500 (22-23), but his ERA by season has been like a roller coaster.

He’s working to a career-low 3.54 ERA this season, he’s only started one game, and he’s pitched to an ERA as high as 6.36 last season when he went 11-11.

More strangely, he got into a fight with his own teammate Prince Fielder in August 2008.

Today, Parra will make his second start of the season. His other one came on May 18 at the Reds, when he only went four innings, allowing a run on four hits with four walks, and he threw only 84 pitches.

So it’ll be a battle of two pitchers, entering unfamiliar roles, at least for this season.

Lost in the Mets losing last night’s game was that they do still have a major streak going. Johan Santana didn’t allow a run in eight innings, therefore, Mets’ starters have gone four straight games without allowing a run.

It’ll be awfully hard for Nieve to both not allow a run, and pitch the qualifying five innings. In all likelihood, Nieve will go as far as four innings and give way to Raul Valdes.

After scoring many clutch runs during the homestand, the Mets couldn’t continue the trend on the road. They didn’t score with the bases loaded and no outs in the third inning last night, and will have to pick it up tonight.

Mets rookie first baseman Ike Davis has finally hit the skids and it’ll be interesting to see if manager Jerry Manuel moves him down in the batting order against the lefty Parra.

Fernando Nieve vs. Milwaukee (career)
1-1, 5.11 ERA, 12.1 IP, 19 hits, 3 BB, 10 SO

Manny Parra vs. New York (career)
0-1, 4.70 ERA, 15.1 IP, 16 hits, 4 BB, 18 SO

2010 season series (New York vs. Milwaukee)
May 28: Milwaukee 2, New York 0
Brewers lead series 1-0

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