What do the Mets have in store for an encore?

Can they even duplicate what transpired against the Phillies?

Let’s not get carried away here—after all, it’s not every series that you sweep with a shutout.

But who said the Mets can’t at least come close to shutting out the Brewers in tonight’s first game of a weekend series?

The Mets will have their ace on the mound, as Johan Santana will oppose Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo.

The last time Santana was on the mound was Sunday night against the Yankees. In that game, after pitching brilliantly for 6 2/3 innings, he tired, being taken out after 7 2/3 innings when it seemed early that he might go the distance.

He’ll try and help the Mets extend their winning streak to six games and help the Mets inch ever so closer to the first-place Phillies.

The Mets just finished off a 5-1 home stand, improving to an incredible 19-9 at home. Problem is, they can’t take Citi Field on their road flights. On the road, the Mets are an NL-worst 6-14.

If there’s any team the Mets can feast on to get healthy on the road, it’s these Milwaukee Brewers. Not only are the Brewers a bad ballclub, they are shockingly God-awful at home.

While most teams do their winning at home, the Brewers own the least amount of home wins in all of baseball. They are 6-15 at home, so if the Mets don’t at least take two, then questions will rise about why the Mets are so good at home compared to the road.

The Mets have to eventually win road games. Even if they win 55 home games, they’d need at least 35 road wins to have 90 and a shot at the playoffs.

The Brewers being so bad at home gives the Mets the perfect opportunity to finally win some games away from Citi Field.

Earlier in the season, the Mets had an eight-game winning streak. They’d love a sweep of the Brewers to accomplish that again, before heading to San Diego, the best NL team.

If you want to spin things in a positive way, you can say on the Mets last road trip—when they got swept four games in Florida—they didn’t have the real Jose Reyes nor the real Jason Bay.

They were still getting starts out of Oliver Perez and John Maine, whom both worked their way out of the rotation on that trip.

Now, the Mets will be entering this series with Santana, Fernando Nieve, and efficient knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

On the other end, the Brewers’ pitching has been bad this season. Maybe their only bright spot has been ace Yovani Gallardo, who’s 4-2 with an ERA of 3.20 in 10 starts.

The 24-year-old Gallardo has had an injury plagued, but when healthy, fine career. In 2007, and 2009, he’s pitched great. In 2008, he hurt himself on a play covering first base.

This game may be a pitchers’ duel. If so, the Mets should have the advantage. Not because I’m a homer and just want to say so, but because the Mets have the better bullpen and starting pitcher.

If the Mets can turn this around and start to win games on the road, then they’re cooking with gas.

The Mets will enter the game two games behind the Phillies, having gained five games over their last five games.

Johan Santana vs. Milwaukee (career)
4-3, 3.53 ERA, 66.1 IP, 55 hits, 16 BB, 86 SO

Yovani Gallardo vs. New York (career)
0-1, 0.69 ERA, 13 IP, 10 hits, 4 BB, 19 SO

2009 season series (New York vs. Milwaukee)
Series was split 3-3

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