NEW YORK: The Mets return home tonight to Citi Field against the Colorado Rockies to begin a six-game home stand.

They will try to rebound from a 2-4 road trip against the two teams in front of them in the NL East.

Not only did the Mets lose ground in the division, but they lost some players in place of a youth movement.

When the Mets take the field tonight, they will be playing guys like Fernando Martinez, Ruben Tejada, and Josh Thole, not the veterans like Luis Castillo or Jeff Francoeur.

It’s a move to audition some younger players for next season, so it’ll be difficult for the Mets to win tonight.

They’ll be facing 17-game winner Ubaldo Jimenez, who has been baseball’s most dominant pitcher of 2010. Not only is he 17-2 with a 2.61 ERA, he has allowed 44 fewer hits than innings pitched.

He did go through a rough stretch of starts from June 23-July 24. In six starts, he pitched to a 7.64 ERA, allowing four earned runs or more in five of the starts.

He has bounced back though, allowing exactly one run and four hits in seven innings in each of his last two starts. His last start was a great one against a good team in the Giants.

On Wednesday, he allowed one run on four hits, walking two and striking out nine in seven innings.

It’ll be a tough challenge for the Mets to hit him, especially with all of the inexperienced hitters now in their lineup.

Going for the Mets will be the struggling Mike Pelfrey. After getting off to an amazing start this season, Pelfrey continues to try to fine himself.

He has lost four straight decisions spanning seven starts. In his last start against the Braves on Wednesday, he allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits, he allowed two home runs and hit a batter.

He has been all over the plate recently, and his sinker has been flat without any velocity.

If the Mets are indeed thinking of 2011, they must see better things from Pelfrey, who is on the verge of giving up a spot in next year’s rotation.

The Mets are planning to rest Carlos Beltran tonight after he didn’t look well at the plate or in the field on Sunday.

It’ll be the Mets trying to beat a pitcher with two losses all season, looking for something to be positive about in front of their home crowd.

Mike Pelfrey vs. Colorado (April 15)
Win, 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 hits, 0 BB, 6 SO

Ubaldo Jimenez vs. New York (career)
2-1, 2.79 ERA, 29 IP, 20 hits, 11 BB, 18 SO

2010 season series (New York vs. Colorado)

April 13: Colorado 11, New York 3
April 14: Colorado 6, New York 5 (10)
April 15: New York 5, Colorado 0

Rockies lead series 2-1

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