2017 Series Preview

Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (52-84) at New York Mets (58-78), September 4-6

06-21-13Mets_zps65688d3b.jpgThe Phillies are heading into Flushing hot after taking three of four against the wildcard-hunting Marlins over the weekend. The club won three low scoring games thanks to a stellar bullpen and timely hitting. The Mets, who are 20 games under .500, are in fourth place in the NL East and just six games ahead of the Phillies. A Phils’ sweep would go a long way in a battle for the basement.

What to expect

After a dreadful .242 average (29th in the league) in the first half of the season, the Phillies’ offense has come alive since the break, hitting .261, which is 14th best in the league. The Phillies will now have further reinforcements coming, when Aaron Altherr and Odubel both make their returns from the disabled list. Adding those two to Rhys Hoskins‘ surge could make this offense formidable the rest of the season. Manager Pete Mackanin should have a fun time putting a lineup card together for the first time in a while.

The Mets are floundering and can’t wait for the season to be over. They haven’t won a series since they played the Phils back in mid-August, which was Hoskins’ debut. Every time we talk about the Mets, we have to mention the injuries that have plagued the club for years on end. Five players have season ending injuries: Yoenis Cespedes, David Wright, Michael Conforto, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler. Noah Syndergaard could be added to the list pending the progression of a partially torn lat muscle.

Probable starters:

Monday, 1:10p.m., Mark Leiter (2-4 3.88 ERA) vs. Rafaeal Montero (3-9, 5.12 ERA)

Leiter has been surprisingly good in his shot as a starting pitcher for the Phils. He’s not a flashy pitcher, but seems to get the job done in a relatively efficient manner. Not known as a strikeout pitcher, Leiter has been racking them up lately, totaling 28 Ks in as many innings. Montero hasn’t been particularly good this year, especially at home, where he’s 1-8 with a 5.81 ERA in 15 games.

Tuesday, 7:10p.m., Ben Lively (2-5, 4.22 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (14-8, 3.43)

Lively has alternated good and bad outings in his three starts since returning from Triple-A. He last pitched against the Mets in June 30 and went 6.1 innings and gave up two earned runs. The 25-year-old is pitching for a spot in the rotation next year. DeGrom has easily been the best pitcher on the club, in large part because he’s been the healthiest. Unlike Montero, deGrom is dominated at home with a 2.86 ERA in 12 starts. He has a 1.37 ERA in three starts against the Phils this season.

Wednesday, 7:10p.m., Nick Pivetta (5-9, 6.28 ERA) vs TBD

Pivetta’s achilles heel has been the first inning, where he’s allowed seven runs in the first inning in his last three starts. He survived his last outing in Miami, when he went six innings and allowed just one run. The 24-year-old is also pitching for his rotation life for 2018.

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