Inside Pitch: Mets hottest in the league

Endy Chavez and the Mets go into Philly hot.

The New York Mets are the National League's hottest team as they pay a visit to Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park Tuesday, winners of six of seven to open a 6-1/2-game lead over the second-place Phillies in the East.

Manager Willie Randolph said the Mets are better now than when they went to Philadelphia last month and lost two of three.

"The thing we've done so far is be consistent and stay away from losing streaks," Randolph said.

The Mets' longest losing streak has been two games, of which they've had six.

A sweep would open a commanding lead, but the Mets are talking of no such thing.

"We're playing well, but we can't take anything for granted," third baseman David Wright said.

"We can't rest on what we've done on this trip. We could very easily lose the ground we made in Philly."

REPLAY: The Mets were off Monday. They begin a three-game series at Philadelphia on Tuesday.

NOTES, QUOTES

  • CF Carlos Beltran was named the National League Player of the Week for the week ending June 11. Beltran led the N.L. with 12 RBI, 13 runs scored, 14 hits, 26 total bases and five stolen bases this past week, and also finished tied for the league lead with three home runs.

  • LHP Tom Glavine (9-2, 3.06) will make his 14th start of the season Tuesday at Philadelphia. Glavine is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three starts in Philadelphia's new stadium.

  • RF Xavier Nady is eligible to come of the disabled list Tuesday, but is not close to being ready. He went on the disabled list May 30, after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. When Nady is available to come off the disabled list, the Mets may entertain keeping OF Lastings Milledge on the roster and instead removing a relief pitcher, likely RHP Heath Bell.

  • LF Cliff Floyd, who hasn't played since spraining his left ankle on June 6 at Los Angeles, is expected to be able to return to the lineup Tuesday in Philadelphia. However, with OF Endy Chavez hitting .325 over his last 13 games, manager Willie Randolph said it's possible he might ride the hot hand and determine his starter based on the matchups.

  • There is no timetable for RHP Brian Bannister's return. He's currently on the disabled list and manager Willie Randolph anticipates RHP Alay Soler could make as many four more starts before Bannister could be available.

  • RHP John Maine was activated from the disabled list and assigned to Triple-A Norfolk.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 58 -- Homers by the Mets in their last 41 games, through June 9.

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