If you think about where the Mets were on April 30 and where they are now, it’s almost unexplainable.

On that Friday night, April 30, in Philadelphia, the Mets had just crushed the Phillies 9-1 and won their eighth-in-a-row.

People were wondering, how can the Mets go in to Philly and spank around the two-time defending National League champions? What’s up with this new-look Mets team coming off of a 9-1 home stand?

Well, the Mets haven’t been doing a whole lot of winning since then. They are 4-10 since that fateful Friday night and the turning-point game seems to be getting shutout 10-0 to Roy Halladay the following day.

What were the Mets doing in that stretch?

They had fantastic starting pitching every night. Right now, their starting pitching is anything but fantastic, especially the last two games.

Now, having lost the first three games of the four-game setter to the Marlins, the Mets hand the ball to on-and-off rookie Jon Niese. After a three-start period in which Niese was solid, allowing one run or less in each start, he has taken a step back like his fellow starters.

In his last outing on Tuesday against the Nationals, he went only 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on six hits, he walked five, and gave up a home run. That was his worst start to date.

In order for the Mets to have any confidence in their starting pitchers, they’ll have to receive a decent outing out of Niese, otherwise they’ll be banking solely on Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey to get the job done.

Meanwhile, Mets manager Jerry Manuel flipped his leadoff and third place hitters last night. He placed Reyes leadoff and Angel Pagan third. Reyes actually wreaked some havoc on the basepaths when he laid down a bunt hit and went to second on a fielding error.

It looks like more lineup changes are coming for this game as Manuel said after last night’s game that Jeff Francoeur will get a day off. He said Chris Carter will take his place in right field since Francoeur is really struggling right now.

The Marlins will send out Ricky Nolasco who, for the most part, has had a good season. The Mets can’t be swept in this series. They still have four more intra-divisional road games on their trip and the Yankees and Phillies to follow that when they come home.

Teams are starting to heat up now and if the Mets start to really falter, it won’t look good. Last season the Mets faded away in June and finished 23 games out of first place. They need to stay in the race until Carlos Beltran returns.

Jon Niese vs. Florida (April 8)
Loss, 6 IP, 3 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 3 SO

Ricky Nolasco vs. New York (April 7)
ND, 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 SO

2010 season series (New York vs. Florida)

April 5: New York 7, Florida 1
April 7: Florida 7, New York 6 (10)
April 8: Florida 3, New York 1
May 13: Florida 2, New York 1
May 14: Florida 7, New York 2
May 15: Florida 7, New York 5

Marlins lead series 5-1

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com