Pedro, Mets seek Subway Series win

Pedro, Mets seek Subway Series win vs. Yanks

It appears that having Randy Johnson pitch Friday night only has made Saturday's matchup between Pedro Martinez and Mike Mussina even more intriguing.

And, a better pitching duel.

Johnson continued his sluggish start to the 2006 season with a five-inning, eight-hit and six-run performance in the Yankees 7-6 loss.

Which sets up nicely for the M-n-M battle.

"It'll be exciting, definitely something to watch for the fans," said Mets manager Willie Randolph.

While those in attendance Friday night got a plethora of hits and runs, things should unravel a bit differently Saturday afternoon.

Martinez has faced the Yankees more because of his days with Boston and owns a 11-10 record against the Bronx Bombers with a 3.13 ERA (71 earned runs in 204 innings) and 249 strikeouts in 30 starts. More importantly, the 5-foot-11 right-hander has kept the current Yankees lineup befuddled, holding them to a combined .211 batting average with only 17 home runs allowed in 427 at-bats.

Alex Rodriguez has had the most success against Martinez with a .280 average in 50 plate appearances, but only one home run. He has held Jeter to a .250 average with three homers in 80 at-bats. Everyone else of substance is well below that.

"Moose" brings much of the same to the table. While Mussina has faced the Mets considerably less, the 6-foot-2 righty has still stepped up to the challenge.

Mussina has compiled a 5-2 record in eight games with a 4.01 ERA. But, in his last three starts against the Mets, he has faltered a bit with a 1-2 record, most recently the 8-5 loss last year in which he gave up four earned runs in six innings.

But Mussina is back in sharp form this year, starting out the season on a tear with a 6-1 record and a 2.56 ERA. And, more importantly, in this series against the Mets, Mussina has kept the current lineup on its heels. The Mets have managed a combined .224 batting average against him with 11 home runs in 224 at-bats. Mussina also owns a 2-1 record at Shea Stadium.

Add to the factor that they have nearly identical records against each other, Mussina at 3-3 and Martinez at 3-4, and the matchup only looks that more colorful.

"It's a little bit different," said Martinez, comparing his days with the Red Sox to the Mets. "But, it's still the Yankees and it will still be fun."

Pitching matchup
NYM: Pedro Martinez (5-0, 3.19 ERA)
Martinez made short work of the Yankees last season in his two outings, picking up a win and a no-decision in 15 innings. Martinez, who has held the current Yankees lineup to a career .211 average, allowed two runs and six hits in the Mets' 6-4 win last year and one run and four hits in a 5-3 loss.

NYY: Mike Mussina (6-1, 2.56 ERA)
The Moose has made three starts against the Mets in the last two seasons with a 1-2 record in those games. The Yankees lost last year, 8-5, when Mussina pitched six innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs with seven strikeouts. But Mussina has compiled a 5-2 career record against the Mets in eight games with a 4.01 ERA.

Player to watch
Carlos Beltran is the only current Met close to positive production against Mussina, with a .292 average in 24 at-bats. Five of Beltran's seven hits, though, have been for extra bases, with a triple and a home run.

Interleague by the numbers:
All-time record versus Yankees: 20-29
All-time club Interleague record: 75-74

On the Internet
Gameday Audio
Offici al game notes

On television

On radio
• WFAN 660 AM, WADO 1280 AM (Español)

Up next
• Sunday: Yankees (RHP Aaron Small, 0-1, 8.71 ERA) at Mets (LHP Tom Glavine, 6-2, 2.43 ERA), 8:05 p.m. ET
• Monday: Off-day
• Tuesday: Phillies (RHP Gavin Floyd, 4-2, 5.71 ERA) at Mets (RHP Steve Trachsel, 2-4, 4.33 ERA), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Wednesday: Phillies (LHP Cole Hamels, 0-0, 3.18 ERA) at Mets (TBA), 7:10 p.m. ET

Chris Girandola is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.