NEW YORK– After a road trip that finished 4-6 for the Mets, including two straight wins against the Nationals, they’ll return home tonight to open a 10-game home stand.

If the Mets had been in the playoff race, they would’ve had a major scheduling advantage. Out of the final 22 games on the season, 17 will be played at home, where the Mets have thrived.

The Mets will play 10 at home, five on the road, and finish with seven at home. The final seven-game home stand has the Mets playing the lowly Brewers and Nationals. Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t mean a thing.

Now, they could play the role of spoiler, and they’ll have a huge chance to do so on this home stand. The first-place Phillies come to town tonight, and next weekend, the second-place Braves do.

It’s a chance for the Mets to ruin someone’s hopes, although the problem is, one of those two teams will win the division.

Tonight, the Mets will get a second look at 20-year-old Jenrry Mejia as a starting pitcher.

He made his first career start on Saturday against the Cubs, and had a typical rookie outing. In five innings at Wrigley Field, Mejia allowed four runs on eight hits.

His catcher was Mike Nickeas, a minor league call-up, who caught Mejia down at Triple-A Buaffalo. It didn’t really work out, as Mejia didn’t perform, and Nickeas made some bad plays behind the plate.

It’ll be interesting to see if Josh Thole gets the start tonight instead. When Nickeas caught Mejia, it was the first time in Mets history that a catcher caught a first-time starter in his Major League debut.

Pitching for the Phillies will be Roy Halladay. That’s 17-game winner Roy Halladay, who has had a great first season with the Phillies.

In his last start against the Brewers on Saturday, Halladay allowed four runs on seven hits in seven innings. That’s not too bad–the only problem is the runs came on four solo home runs, two by Corey Hart.

Halladay has now given up 21 home runs this season, and his numbers are very similar to last season all across the board. He went 17-10 last season, and that’s his current record. In virtually every other category, he’s on pace to match up with where he was last season. His 2.36 ERA is third-best in the National League.

When he faces the Mets lineup tonight, he should be facing someone making a comeback after a lengthy period off. The Mets and manager Jerry Manuel are expecting shortstop Jose Reyes to be back in tonight’s lineup, as he’s missed 12 straight games with an oblique injury.

It’s a huge risk for two reasons. The Mets are out of the race, and Reyes has a club option on his contract for next season. If he re-injures his oblique in the final 22 games, his value would go down for next season, whether the Mets want to trade him or pick his option up and extend him.

They’d also like to see a healthy Reyes before the end of the season.

The Mets begin a three-game weekend series with the Phillies tonight, trying to get good things out of Jenrry Mejia, and play spoiler.

Jenrry Mejia this season (1 start- 9/4/10)
Loss, 5 IP, 4 ER, 8 hits, 2 BB, 2 SO

Roy Halladay vs. New York this season (3 starts)
3-0, 1.88 ERA, 24 IP, 16 hits, 2 BB, 23 SO

2010 season series (New York vs. Philadelphia)
April 30: New York 9, Philadelphia 1
May 1: Philadelphia 10, New York 0
May 2: Philadelphia 11, New York 5

May 25: New York 8, Philadelphia 0
May 26: New York 5, Philadelphia 0
May 27: New York 3, Philadelphia 0

August 6: Philadelphia 7, New York 5
August 7: New York 1, Philadelphia 0
August 8: Philadelphia 6, New York 5

August 13: New York 1, Philadelphia 0
August 14: Philadelphia 4, New York 0
August 15: Philadelphia 3, New York 1
Series tied 6-6

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