Found August 21, 2012 on The Daily Stache:

The Mets and their woeful offense continue their homestand at Citi Field tonight as they host the Rockies in the second game of a four-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. and the game can be seen on SNY or heard, as always, on WFAN 660AM. Join the conversation on Twitter by following @dailystache or yours truly, @DevOnSports.

With last night’s loss the Mets fell to eight games under .500 for the first time this season, which seems to be spiraling out of control. They are now tied with Philadelphia for third place in the division with the cellar-dwelling Marlins are getting closer by the day, something needs to invigorate the team or they’ll likely be in the basement by the end of the week.

Chris Young makes the start tonight as they look to even the series with the Rockies. Young was ineffective in his last outing, but managed to work out of every jam he created to escape the game without allowing a run. With the New York offense scuffling, they’ll need more of that smoke and mirrors from Young to say in the game tonight.

Young will be opposed by Jhoulys Chacin, who returns to the Rockies after a three-month stint on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. He is said to be limited to 75 pitches in tonight’s outing and it’s anybody’s guess what the Mets will see tonight from a recovering pitcher with a history of wildness.

Mets Lineup:

Baxter – Tejada – Davis – Wright – Murphy – Valdespin – Torres – Thole – Young

Small Sample Stache: David Wright has not homered since July 27, a span of 22 games over which the Mets have had nine different players hit a total of 14 homers.

Rockies Lineup:

Blackmon – Pacheco – Fowler – Hernandez – Colvin – Brown – LeMahieu – Herrera – Chacin

Small Sample Stache: Dexter Fowler is 2-for-4 lifetime against Young with two walks and five stolen bases in two games.

Pitching Matchup:
NYM: Chris Young (3-6, 4.50 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 46 K) – If the pattern over Young’s last four starts is any indication, tonight should be a clunker. Since July 28, CY has jumped back and forth between bad start (6 ER in 4 IP vs. Arizona, 7 ER in 4.1 IP vs. Miami) and good start (1 ER in 7 IP vs. San Francisco, 0 ER in 5.2 IP vs. Cincinnati).

That last start against the Reds offered signs both positive and negative. Young walked a season-high four and gave up eight hits, but worked out of every jam, something he is capable of. But when things unravel for Young they seem to do so in bunches, so the big inning will always be a worry. Young is 5-3 with a 4.02 ERA against Colorado in his career, but only three players in tonight’s Rockies lineup have ever faced him.

COL: Jhoulys Chacin (0-3, 7.30 ERA, 1.86 WHIP, 22 K) – Chacin returns from the disabled list to make tonight’s start, his first in the majors since May 1. The righthander had been sidelined for more than three months, but completed a rehab assignment by throwing 25 innings over five starts at three levels.

Chacin had been solid for the Rockies over the last two seasons, compiling an ERA under 4.00 despite pitching his home games at Coors Field, an accomplishment in himself. However he is one of the wilder pitchers in the majors and he walked a league-leading 87 last season. Before being sidelined earlier this season Chacin made five starts and allowed 20 runs on 31 hits with 15 walks in 24.2 innings. It’s impossible to tell if he’ll be the same pitcher after three months rest, but if he is, the Mets offense has a golden opportunity to breakout tonight.

Stache Keys to the Game:

  1. Chase Chacin – A wild pitcher on a pitch count would appear to be exactly what this Mets offense needs to see in their current state of ineptitude. Of course there’s always the chance Chacin comes out strong and twirls six shutout innings anyway. This offense is that bad.
  2. Somebody Get Hot – The thing about good teams is that even when one guy is slumping, there are plenty of other good hitters to pick him up. The Mets don’t have that right now as it seems everyone on the field is in a slump. They need a hot streak, even from an unlikely source, to get out of this funk.
  3. Ink Well– The Mets got into the Rockies pen after just four innings last night, but weren’t able to do anything against a combination of five Colorado relievers. However well Chacin does tonight, he probably won’t pitch deep into the game because of his shoulder, so the Mets must capitalize off the pen this time.

This Date in Mets History:
Happy 61st birthday to former Mets player and coach John Stearns. Stearns was a four-time All-Star for the Mets from 1975-1984. But I remember him most for the 2000 National League Championship Series when the FOX sound crew caught him yelling “The Monster is out of the cage!” after an RBI double by Mike Piazza.

Happy 69th Birthday to Felix Milan. A three-time All-Star during his early years with Atlanta, Milan played just five seasons with the Mets, but was a key cog in the run to the 1973 World Series, hitting .290 during the regular season and .316 in the LCS.
On this date in 1977, Tom Seaver made his return to Shea Stadium for the first time after the midnight massacre and twirled a gem. Seaver allowed just one run in a complete-game six-hit effort with 11 strikeouts to lead his Reds to a win. The Mets drew 46,265 at Shea for that game. The next day, just 10,247 showed up to watch them beat the Astros.

On this date in 2001, Piazza hit a second inning solo home run off former battery-mate Mike Hampton in a 5-2 win over the Rockies. The home run was Piazza’s 300th as a catcher. Tonight would be a great night for David Wright to hit his milestone 200th homer against the same team.

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