2017 Series Preview

Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (26-51) at New York Mets (36-42), June 30-July 2

Freddy Galvis‘ profane tirade after Monday’s loss in Arizona sure worked to perfection. Galvis and the Phils took that anger to the great Northwest and swept the Mariners in a two-game set. In each of the two games, the Phils scored a combined six runs in the ninth innings to come out victorious. That’s the fight we haven’t seen since mid-April.

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What to expect

The Phils should be heading into Citi Field this weekend with some newfound swagger with a rare two game winning streak. The Phils haven’t won two straight since the first days of June, when they had a four game win streak against the Giants and Braves. The Phils’ pitching staff has come around over the last two weeks. The starters have tossed a quality starts in eight of their last 11 games, good for a 3.64 ERA. The bullpen has allowed just one earned run in their last 16 innings pitched. The hero of Wednesday’s game, Ricardo Pinto, contributed to the ‘pens’ success by recording three scoreless innings of relief. Aaron Altherr has hit in 10 straight games and is hitting .360 on the road trip. Galvis is hitting .346 on the trip.

If the Mets had a separate team called the “DL,” they’d probably be the best team in baseball. They currently have 10 players on the injury report (nine on the DL) including David Wright, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, and Neil Walker to name a few.

Phillie killer Yoenis Cespedes is hitting .328 with four doubles and three home runs in 17 games since coming of the DL. Cespedes has 12 home runs and 29 RBI in 30 career games against the Phils.

The Mets have won 15 of their last 18 series against the Phils, and are 30-14 overall since the start of 2015. New York feast on Phillies’ pitching, out-homering the Phils by a ridiculous 82-36 during that span.

Probable starters

Friday, 7:10 p.m.: Ben Lively (1-2, 3.90 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (7-3, 3.71 ERA)

For the first time in five starts, Lively did not record a quality start against the D-Backs last weekend. He went 5.1 while giving up four earned runs. We’ve come to know Lively as strictly a contact pitcher, as he’s struck out just 11 batters in 32.1 innings. The right-hander has a 7.20 ERA in the first and second innings of games compared to a 2.42 ERA in innings 3-7. It’ll be key for Lively to keep the Mets off the board in the first two innings. Nick Williams, who is batting sixth making his ML debut, will have to face Jacob deGrom, who has a 0.72 ERA in his last three starts. deGrom is 4-0 with a 2.49 ERA in eight career starts against the Phils. The Mets are a perfect 8-0 in deGroms’ starts.

Saturday, 4:10 p.m.: Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 4.40 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (3-5, 5.29 ERA)

After a tough month and a half, Hellickson has rebounded nicely his last two outings and has boosted his trade value. He’s tossed 13 innings and allowed two earned runs against St. Louis and potent Arizona lineup, respectively. Hellickson has a 7.77 ERA in his last five starts against the Mets. Cespedes has taken the Phils’ starter deep three times in his career. Wheeler is coming off his own DL stint, not having pitched since June 19 with bicep tendinitis. Wheeler has been extremely hittable in his last seven starts, surrendering 48 hits in 34 innings.

Sunday, 1:10 p.m.: Nick Pivetta (1-4, 5.40 ERA) vs. Rafael Montero (1-4, 5.63 ERA)

Pivetta threw clunker his time out against Arizona by lasting just 2.2 innings while walking five batters. The rookie has struggled with his control the entire time with the big club. He’s walked 24 batters in 45 innings compared to just two walks in 32 innings in Triple-A. This will be Montego’s fourth start of the season and is one of 11 Met starters this season. He has a career 5.30 ERA. This is the most winnable game of the series.

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