The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets are set for a Saturday matinee in the second game of their series at Citi Field
Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets
Philadelphia opened up its three-game road series against the New York Mets with an impressive 7-2 victory Friday night at Citi Field. “We’ve got to stay after it,” commented Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “If we keep playing the way we have the last five years, we’ll be fine.” The Phillies have proven victorious in seven of the 10 meetings with the Mets this season, as the offense has combined to hit for a .280 average. During Manuel’s tenure in the City of Brotherly Love, the club has posted a National League-best 269-171 record in games after the All-Star break. Philadelphia is a dominating 28-15 versus divisional foes this year and 21-9 in day games.
Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels is 11-4 with a 2.32 ERA in 19 starts this season and is coming off two solid performances. The left-hander picked up victories over the Braves and Marlins, giving up just three runs and 11 hits over 16 innings, while receiving an astounding 28 runs of support. Hamels has tallied a 5-1 mark and 2.21 ERA in eight road outings, surrendering just two home runs in 57 1/3 frames. In 15 career appearances versus the Mets, the All-Star hurler is a dismal 3-9 with a 4.22 ERA, including an even 1-1 mark and 7.45 ERA in two starts this year.
New York has dropped three consecutive games and the offense has managed to score just five runs in that span. The Mets are now at .500 for the season (46-46) and know that time may be running out for some pieces inside the clubhouse, especially since the trade of closer Francisco Rodriguez over the All-Star break. “This team has a little window to see where we’re headed,” said losing pitcher R.A. Dickey. Since 2009, the club is 2-14-1 in 17 series versus Philadelphia and has registered a losing 29-30 mark against them at home since 2005. New York is 18-24 versus clubs with a winning record this year.
Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese has a winning 8-7 record and 3.88 ERA in 19 appearances (18 starts) this season. The left-hander is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA in nine home outings, but has issued 21 walks and 63 hits in 55 2/3 innings. Niese captured a 5-3 win in Los Angeles last time out, tossing seven innings and giving up three runs on five hits. He will be facing the Phillies for the seventh time in his career, entering with a 2-3 record and 3.11 ERA.
Bettors will likely back the Mets due to their 7-1 mark in Niese’s last eight Saturday starts, while the Phillies are 2-8 in Hamels’ outings in the same situation