Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (26-17) at New York Mets (22-23)


 

After a less than stellar homestand (3-4) where the offense went missing again, including behind two losses from Roy Halladay; the Phillies will begin a nine game road trip against their foes of the National League East. Facing also Florida and Atlanta, today will be the first trip up to Citi Field of the season. In their last meeting with New York, the Phillies took two out of the three game series.

 

GAME ONE: Jamie Moyer (5-3) at R.A. Dickey (0-0, 3.00) 

The surprising thing about Moyer this season is that despite biting the injury bug last season, and a most uncertain future in the offseason; the 47 year old has gone six innings in his eight starts this season. In his past three starts, he is 2-1 with a 2.42 earned run average. In his last outing against Chicago, Moyer went seven innings, allowing just two runs on four hits and seven strikeouts.  While he didn’t pitch particularly well against the Mets earlier this season, he did earn the win and one incredible walk off of ace Johan Santana.  The current Mets lineup is batting .361 against Moyer going 87 for 268 with 11 home runs and 33 runs batted in. David Wright has the hot bat against Moyer; he is batting .420 going 21-50 with four home runs and 14 RBIs. For the Phillies, they will face their second knuckleballer after being blanked by Tim Wakefield Sunday in Dickey. This will be Dickey’s second start of the season, and first at Citi Field. In his last start against Washington, Dickey went six innings giving up two earned runs while earning the no decision. It will be his first career start against the Philles, however he has faced a number of Phillies in the past. Most noteably Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, and Placido Polanco. The Phillies that have faced him are batting .281 with nine hits in 36 plate appearances. They have one home run (ibanez) and four RBIs, two each from Ibanez and Polanco. 

GAME TWO: Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.06) at Hisanori Takahashi (3-1, 1.53) 

After pitching well since coming off the disabled list, Blanton finally got some run support last week in a 5-4 against Chicago, which he earned the no decision for. He allowed three runs on five hits over seven innings, adding to the strong performances of the Phillies starters during the month of May. The Mets lineup is batting .291 against him going 30-103. They’ve hit no home runs and only six of those hits were for extra bases. Takahashi will be making his Major League starting debut tonight – unfortunately, it’s against one of the most dominant offenses in baseball. In his last outing, he held the Yankees to six scoreless innings; throwing 101 while said to be on a strict pitch count. He has faced the Phillies earlier in the year in relief allowing one run in one and a third innings of work. 

GAME THREE: Cole Hamels (5-2, 3.92) at Mike Pelfrey (6-1, 2.86) 

Ladies and gentlemen, Hamels seems to be back. In his last start Friday night against Boston, Hamels continued his excellent starts in May with another; going seven innings allowing just one run on three hits, with one walk, and eight strikeouts. Fun fact? Hamels’s ERA has not been under four this late in the season since 2008. This month, he is 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA. Against Hamels, the Mets are batting .287 going 41 for 143 with three home runs and 17 RBIs. With a rotation in flux, Pelfrey has stepped up big time behind Santana this season. In his last start against the Yankees Saturday, his ERA dropped under three, while allowing just one run over six innings against the Yankees. However, Pelfrey’s only loss this season is against the Phils, where he allowed six runs in four innings. Lifetime, Pelfrey is 4-3 with a 5.43 ERA. The current lineup is batting .292 against him; with 49 hits in 168 at bats. They have eight home runs and 27 RBIs. Hot bat off Pelfrey? Look no further than the second baseman they named the corner for in New York. Chase Utley is batting .320 with four home runs, eight RBIs, three walks, and one hit by pitch in 29 plate appearances. 

** 

One final note: Jimmy Rollins and J.A. Happ headed down to Clearwater today to begin rehab assignments. 

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