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Arrieta gets ball in potentially crucial rubber match against Mets



Jake Arrieta will start for the Phillies Wednesday afternoon. (Ian D’Andrea)

It’s not a stretch to say that games like Wednesday afternoon’s Philadelphia Phillies-New York Mets matchup could ultimately be the difference between playing in the postseason or sitting at home in October. After the Mets defeated the Phillies in extra innings Monday, the Phillies rode a 10-run first inning to a 14-3 blowout victory Tuesday night. The two sides will return to Citizens Bank Park for a matinee Wednesday, and with four legitimate playoff contenders in the division, the game may very well have playoff implications.

Gabe Kapler’s squad will hand the ball to Jake Arrieta – who, based on back-of-the-baseball-card statistics, is off to an impressive start to the 2019 season. In three starts, the 33-year-old righty has twice lasted seven innings and allowed just five earned runs. While some advanced statistics suggested the way that he was pitching at in his first two starts – he struck out just seven batters total in his first 13.0 innings – wasn’t sustainable, the former National League Cy Young Award winner was dominant in his most recent start. Granted, the start came against the lowly Marlins, but Arrieta struck out eight batters and allowed just one run over seven innings last Friday.

Meanwhile, Mickey Callaway and the Mets will counter with 28-year-old righty Zack Wheeler. Once acquired in a trade return for future Hall of Famer Carlos Beltran, Wheeler showed signs of putting things together in the second-half of the 2018 season, when he went 9-1 a 1.68 ERA in 11 post All-Star Break starts. Wheeler’s dominant second-half of 2018 hasn’t carried into 2019, however, as he’s allowed 13 earned runs in his first three starts.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the final game of a three game series between the Phillies and Mets:

Phillies Lineup 

  1. Andrew McCutchen, left field
  2. Scott Kingery, shortstop
  3. Bryce Harper, right field
  4. Rhys Hoskins, first base
  5. J.T. Realmuto, catcher
  6. Odubel Herrera, center field
  7. Cesar Hernandez, second base
  8. Maikel Franco, third base
  9. Jake Arrieta, pitcher

Mets Lineup

  1. Jeff McNeil, left field
  2. Pete Alonso, first base
  3. Robinson Cano, second base
  4. Michael Conforto, right field
  5. J.D. Davis, third base
  6. Amed Rosario, shortstop
  7. Travis d’Arnaud, catcher
  8. Keon Broxton, center field
  9. Zack Wheeler, pitcher

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup

  • Zack Wheeler (1-1, 7.47 ERA and 3.91 FIP) vs. Jake Arrieta (2-1, 2.25 ERA and 4.74 FIP)
  • While Arrieta’s first season with the Phillies could be considered unsuccessful, he fared well against the Mets, posting a 2.45 ERA in three starts.
  • Prior to the July 31, 2018 non-waiver trade deadline, the Phillies reportedly showed interest in trading for Wheeler.

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  1. Over his last three games, Cesar Hernandez has five hits in 12 at-bats, with four walks to go along.
  2. Jeff McNeil enters Wednesday afternoon’s matchup with a lifetime .471 batting average in 51 at-bats against the Phillies.
  3. Bryce Harper has scored 15 runs in 2019.

Programming Information

  • 1:05 p.m. ET
  • Citizens Bank Park
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia, MLB Network
  • SportsRadio 94 WIP

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