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2020 Series Preview: New York Mets (9-11) at Philadelphia Phillies (5-9)

After being swept in three games by the Baltimore Orioles, the Philadelphia Phillies will look to get back on track at home against a division rival this weekend.

J.T. Realmuto has been off to an excellent start. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

At 5-9, the Phillies come into this game in last place in the National League East, but are still just four games out of first place and one game behind the third-place Mets in the standings. So while the last series was a large setback for the Phillies, they can still gain a good bit of ground with a series win against New York.

As it has been all season, the bullpen was one of the biggest concerns against the Orioles. The Phillies bullpen allowed 14 earned runs in just 11 2/3 innings in the series. Excluding (usual) position player Neil Walker, who recorded two outs without allowing a run on Thursday, that’s 14 earned runs in 11 innings flat for actual relievers, good for an ERA of 11.45 in those three games. Obviously, the production will have to improve for the Phillies to compete with the Mets or any other team going forward.

Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto have carried the Phillies’ offense early this season, and it was no different in the series against Baltimore. Realmuto homered twice on Friday, and Harper had a double, triple and home run in the series. If they can stay hot, the offense could be in good shape this series.

The Phillies will apparently get an easier go than expected against the Mets, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post has reported that Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom will not start on Friday as originally planned. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has a 2.23 ERA against the Phillies for his career.

Shibe Vintage Sports Probable Pitchers

  • Game 1: TBA vs. RHP Spencer Howard (0-1, 7.71 ERA, 7.58 FIP)
  • Game 2: LHP Steven Matz (0-3, 8.20 ERA, 7.21 FIP) vs. RHP Aaron Nola (1-1, 2.79 ERA, 2.41 FIP)
  • Game 3: RHP Rick Porcello (1-2, 5.68 ERA, 3.13 FIP) vs. RHP Zack Wheeler (2-0, 2.89 ERA, 3.72 FIP)

With deGrom being scratched, Spencer Howard should have a much better chance of earning his first major-league win in the first game of this series. Howard struggled a bit in his first career start against the Atlanta Braves last weekend, but still has the stuff to make an impact for the Phillies this year.

Aaron Nola, who will start Saturday, is coming off one of the better starts of his career. He pitched eight innings of one-run ball against the Braves, and struck out 10 batters.

Sunday will be the first start against the Mets for Zack Wheeler, who began his career in New York in 2013. He pitched in five major-league seasons with the team before signing with the Phillies prior to 2020.

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  • Harper and Realmuto are scorching hot. As pointed out by Phillies Nation‘s Jonny Heller, the duo has combined to hit 11 of the team’s 22 home runs this season.
  • Mets starter Steven Matz has given up the most home runs of any pitcher in baseball, allowing eight in four games. He is also tied for the most losses with three.
  • Phillies starter Zack Wheeler seems to be comfortable in his new home ballpark. He has a 3.16 ERA in 10 career starts at Citizens Bank Park entering this series.

Ticket IQ Programming Information

  • Game 1: Friday at 7:05 on NBC Sports Philadelphia and SportsRadio 94WIP
  • Game 2: Saturday at 6:05 on NBC Sports Philadelphia and SportsRadio 94WIP
  • Game 3: Sunday at 1:05 on NBC Sports Philadelphia, MLB Network (out of market) and SportsRadio 94WIP


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