Series Preview: Phillies at Mets

The NL East rivals meet for the first time at Citi Field on Monday.

It’s the New York Mets’ Opening Day and who better to open up their house with than division rivals the Philadelphia Phillies. Both teams are 3-3 and looking to get above .500.

Pitching Probable Starters:

Monday: Aaron Harang vs. Jacob deGrom

Harang had a strong season debut retiring his first 11 batters and allowing just two hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings. His eight strikeouts and 4-2 victory over the offensively dangerous Boston Red Sox gives deGrom little room for error.

deGrom also only gave up two runs in his debut, but the Mets’ offense could not get going for him, resulting in a 2-1 loss. The two runs came from a two-run homer, just his third allowed since June of last year (115 1/3 innings).

Tuesday: David Buchanan vs. Matt Harvey

This matchup may not be as close if these two pitchers throw the same way they did in their season openers.

Buchanan was smashed by Boston, giving up six earned runs on seven hits, starting his season off with an ERA of 18.00. He managed to not give up any walks, but only had one strikeout through his short three innings of play.

Harvey on the other hand was lights out. In just his first regular season game since Tommy John surgery, he made everyone forget he was ever gone. Harvey pitched six scoreless innings and only gave up four hits. His strikeout to walks ratio was 9 to 1.

Wednesday: Jerome Williams vs. Jon Niese

The final matchup of the inaugural Phillies-Mets series will go to two pitchers that had almost identical starts to their season.

Williams’ only run was off a leadoff homer in the first. He settled down from there and pitched shutout baseball through six innings.

Although Niese had three runs against him in the five innings he pitched, only one of them was earned. Similar to Williams, the only earned run Niese gave up was off the first batter he faced and it was a line drive homerun to center field. The other two runs were off of defensive errors by the Mets.

More About the Matchup:

New York is looking to get its’ first pair of back-to-back wins this season. They avoided the sweep after defeating the Atlanta Braves on Sunday 4-3.

The heart of the Mets’ lineup made all the difference with Wright and Duda combining to be 5 for 9 on the day and Michael Cuddyer nailing a two-run shot over the fences to get the offense going in the first. It also marked Cuddyer’s first homerun of the season.

The Phillies were in the opposite position this past weekend. They were not able to close out the sweep over the Washington Nationals as they fell to the Nats on Sunday 4-3 in 10 innings.

Philadelphia was a dismal 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position and team slugger Ryan Howard is 3 for 20. However, his history against the Mets is dangerous. He has three homeruns and 13 RBI’s in his last 15 games against New York.

Chase Utley is also off to a slow start for the Phillies with just two hits in 19 at-bats.

The Phillies have lost five of their last seven games at Citi Field, but it’s a new season and anyone can get hot at any time.

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