A welcome opponent for Mets

Hiroki Kuroda is 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA this season and is scheduled to start against the Mets on Monday night, but the Mets don't mind seeing him at all. His career numbers against them -- 15 runs and 23 hits allowed in 10 1/3 innings pitched.

The sampling's a little small, with Kuroda having made only three starts against the Mets. But if we were to rank current pitchers who have struggled the most against the Mets, he'd make the list. The rest of the starting rotation would include:

Brad Penny -- Kuroda's former teammate lost his first seven decisions against the Mets. He's 5-13 against them all-time in the regular season (he also lost to them in the 2006 NLDS opener), with a 6.38 ERA. David Wright could use a matchup with Penny to get him out of his current funk. Wright is 11-for-19 against the current Cardinal, with four home runs.

Scott Olsen -- The former Marlin and current National is 1-6 with a 4.61 ERA in 14 starts against the Mets. Olsen went 0-3 against the Mets in 2008, but pitched well enough in the final game of the season to earn a no-decision, in a game in which a Marlins victory eliminated the Mets from playoff contention and ended up being the team's last game at Shea Stadium.

Cole Hamels -- You wouldn't expect to find the Phillies' No. 2 starter on this list, but he's been surprisingly ineffective against the Mets. Since throwing eight shutout innings against the team in 2006, Hamels has endured a couple of drubbings. Hamels is 1-4 with a 4.82 ERA in his last eight starts against the Mets. He's surely happy that Carlos Delgado is no longer a Met, since Delgado was 7-for-15 with three home runs against him during his Flushing tenure.

Jason Marquis -- Many people wondered why the Mets didn't pursue Marquis more actively this past offseason. His recent performances against them didn't impress. In his last six starts against the Mets, Marquis has allowed 25 earned runs in 34 innings (a 6.62 ERA). The Mets have had four games in which they've scored at least five runs against Marquis.

The only current pitcher against whom the Mets have done that more frequently is Livan Hernandez (six times). The Mets' decision not to go after Marquis looks wiser now that he's on the disabled list after his ERA ballooned above 20 through his first three starts this season.

The one drawback for the Mets if they knock Kuroda around a bit on Monday night is that it would mean they could see the anti-Kuroda, Hong-Chih Kuo. In 26 regular-season innings against them, Kuo has allowed only one run, though the Mets did beat him during the 2006 postseason. Kuo is responsible for as many runs against the Mets as he's allowed. Remember that he homered against them, as part of a run of three straight Dodgers home runs in 2007.