Brewers-Mets Preview

The Milwaukee Brewers expected to get strong performances from

Yovani Gallardo this season. R.A. Dickey’s contributions to the New

York Mets have been a big surprise.

The starters will take the mound for the final time this season

when the Brewers and Mets play a doubleheader at Citi Field on

Wednesday.

Gallardo (14-7, 3.57 ERA) continued to establish himself as

Milwaukee’s young ace this season, posting career bests in wins and

ERA.

The 24-year-old right-hander, an All-Star for the first time in

2010, is 7-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 14 road starts.

He’s been superb recently, compiling a 1.74 ERA while winning

his last three starts.

Gallardo’s strong season will come to a close in the first game

of Wednesday’s doubleheader. He was originally scheduled to get an

additional start, but a rainout Monday forced this doubleheader and

reduced his availability.

“No big deal,” Gallardo told the Brewers’ official website. “It

would be a little bit different if we were trying to make to make

the playoffs, and you could talk about going out there on short

rest.”

Another strong effort from Gallardo could help the Brewers

(73-83) rebound from a 4-3 loss Tuesday in the opener of this

four-game set.

He’s 1-1 with a 0.41 ERA in three career starts against the Mets

(77-79), including an eight-hitter in a 2-0 home win May 28.

Gallardo will be opposed by Dickey (11-8, 2.92), perhaps New

York’s most reliable starter and certainly its most pleasant

surprise of the year.

The right-handed knuckleballer totaled 12 wins over his previous

five seasons with Texas, Seattle and Minnesota, but his ERA this

season is the lowest of any qualifying member of the Mets’

rotation.

He’s benefited from spacious Citi Field, going 7-2 with a 2.09

ERA in 10 games there while giving up three homers compared to 10

in 15 road starts. He surrendered two homers at Milwaukee on May

30, while allowing four runs and nine hits in seven innings of a

10-4 win.

Dickey could have used that sort of run support Friday, when he

allowed two earned runs in six innings of a 3-2 loss at

Philadelphia.

Jonathon Niese (9-10, 3.95) will take the mound for the Mets in

the nightcap. He’s 1-5 with a 6.55 ERA in his last six starts,

including losses in his last three.

The left-hander struggled mightily last Wednesday, allowing six

runs and walking a career-high six in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-5 loss

at Florida. His only previous start against the Brewers came in his

major league debut Sept. 2, 2008. He lasted three innings while

giving up five runs in the Mets’ 6-5, 10-inning win.

Milwaukee will counter with Dave Bush (7-13, 4.70), who is 0-2

with a 4.64 ERA in his last four outings. He yielded four runs –

two earned – over 5 1-3 innings of a 4-3 home loss to Cincinnati on

Sept. 21.

The right-hander is 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA in three career starts

against the Mets.

The Mets may not have Carlos Beltran available after he left

Tuesday’s game with pain in his right knee, the same one that was

operated on in January, forcing him to miss the first half of the

season.

The center fielder will have tests Wednesday.

“Honestly, in my heart, I don’t feel like I have to worry,”

Beltran said. “I feel something. I don’t know what it is. But you

know, after being back and being able to play all these games, I

didn’t feel anything until (Tuesday). So let’s see what

happens.”