The New York Mets may be coming off a sweep of one of the most hyped teams in baseball, but they're also dealing with a major blow to their rotation.
The Mets will try to begin filling that void and match their longest winning streak of the young season Friday night when they open a three-game road set against the Colorado Rockies.
New York (11-8) continues to be one of the more surprising teams, and the club pulled off another impressive feat by sweeping a three-game series from Florida after scoring twice in the ninth for a 3-2 win Thursday. Justin Turner drew a bases-loaded walk off closer Heath Bell before Kirk Nieuwenhuis delivered a walkoff RBI single.
The Mets outscored the Marlins 10-4 in the series.
"Obviously, it starts on the hill," manager Terry Collins told the team's official website. "We got great pitching - tremendous pitching - this series."
While the staff compiled a 1.33 ERA over the last three games, it was also dealt a major blow as New York learned Thursday that Mike Pelfrey has a partial tear in his right elbow. He's "99 percent" certain he will have reconstructive Tommy John surgery.
Pelfrey has been a big part of the rotation over the past four years, leading the team with 45 wins in that span.
"Everything was working," Collins said. "To have this happen is a true shame."
With Pelfrey out, New York is expected to recall Chris Schwinden from Triple-A Buffalo for his 2012 debut. The right-hander was 2-2 with a 2.05 ERA in his first four starts for the Bisons.
He made four starts for the Mets in September, going 0-2 with a 4.71 ERA.
Nieuwenhuis and Josh Thole have been pleasant surprises at the plate for New York. Nieuwenhuis has at least one hit in 11 of the last 13 games, batting .354 with three RBIs and eight runs during that span.
The rookie center fielder had three hits, including his first career triple Thursday.
Thole is tied with David Wright for the team lead with a .362 average, and has put together a career-high nine-game hitting streak.
Wright might play a role in helping the Mets match their season-opening four-game winning streak. The third baseman has a .364 average with eight homers and 29 RBIs in 26 visits to Coors Field.
New York has won three of the last four there.
While the Mets are surging, the Rockies (9-9) have dropped three of five following Wednesday's 5-1 loss at Pittsburgh after winning the first game of the doubleheader 2-1.
Colorado is hitting .200 over the last five games and .167 while dropping two of three to the Pirates.
"Our bats need to come to life, and we all believe that we're going to get hot and put up numbers and score a lot of runs for the pitchers," said left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who was 0 for 7 during Wednesday's twin bill. "We just need to start winning more series."
Gonzalez is a career .185 hitter with three homers and nine RBIs in 15 meetings with the Mets, but Troy Tulowitzki has been far more productive.
The shortstop is hitting .457 with five homers and nine RBIs in the last nine matchups with New York.
Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 6.75) gets the ball for Colorado looking to build on his most recent start. After a dismal season debut, the rookie left-hander limited Milwaukee to two runs and two hits over five innings Saturday before leaving without a decision in a 9-4 loss. He walked three and struck out a career-high six.
The Associated Press News Service
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