Phillies @ Mets Series Preview

The New York Mets (27-24), fresh off a four-game series split with the Florida Marlins, finish off their quick 6-game homestand with a two game set against the Philadelphia Phillies (20-30). The Mets are only 5-5 in their last 10 games and are now tied with the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East. Considering the Phillies only have four road victories all season, the Mets are looking to get back on track before embarking on a 13-game road trip that starts on Friday in Florida.

Where is the revamped offense the Mets' promised with the flurry of moves they made this past offseason? In the last 9 games, the Mets are averaging exactly three runs per game. Only the Brewers, Pirates, Cubs and Padres have scored fewer runs than the Mets so far this season.

The Mets are tied with the San Diego Padres for 14th in the NL in home runs with 38 roundtrippers. 38!!! Only the Pittsburgh Pirates have fewer. We know the power has not shown up yet, but the Mets are just not even doing the little things in the batter's box. New York ranks dead last in the National League in sacrafice flys.

You want speed? So do the Mets! The trade for Roberto Alomar and the signing of Roger Cedeno was supposed to bring a ton of more speed to a slow team. Through Monday's loss to the Marlins, the Mets had stolen 24 bases this season...good for 12th in the National League.

As bad as the Phillies are, they are better than the Mets in almost every offensive category. Here are the Mets rankings in the National League:

- 14th in batting average (.240). The Phillies are 9th with a .256 average.
- 14th in on-base percentage (.310). Philadelphia ranks 9th with a .330 OBP.
- 16th (dead last) in slugging percentage (.356)! The Phils are 4th with a .420 SLG %.

The Mets' bats better wake up soon. New York begins a 13-game roadtrip on Friday. They play a 3-game series in Florida against the Marlins, travel to Atlanta to face the Braves for four games, head to Cleveland to take on the Indians for three games, before finishing off the road trip with a three-game series against the White Sox in Chicago. And if a 13-game road trip isn't enough, the Mets' next home series (after this series against the Phillies) is against the cross-town rival Yankees!

Pitching


Terry Adams(2-3, 3.75 ERA) leads the Phillies into New York to face Steve Trachsel (3-4, 3.32 ERA) and the Mets. Despite losing records, both have pitched well this season and are looking to reach the .500 mark with this game.

Wednesday's game has Brandon Duckworth (2-3, 4.42 ERA) on the hill against Shawn Estes (2-4, 4.27 ERA). The 26-year old Duckworth has struck out 65 batters in 57 innings while walking only 26. Such a strong strike outto walk ratio is a good sign of things to come for Duckworth.

A Closer Look


Unfortunately for the Mets, this is only a two game series with the Phillies, because the Phillies are bad.

"How bad are they?"

Well, actually, they are really not all that bad... until you look at their road record. At home, the Phillies enjoy a 16-9 winning record; good for fourth best in the National League. However, when the Phillies are away from Veteran's Stadium, the loveable Phillies are a measely 4-21.

4-21!

It would be a painfully sad thing if this were not the lowest road record in the majors (fortunately for those of us with a low threshold for pain, it is the lowest road record in the majors.) Using some simple math, we see that 4-21 comes out to a .160 winning percentage, or 26 (25.92) wins over the course of a season. Pathetic. Let me rephrase that... PATHETIC. If only the Philies were staying in Shea for an eight to ten game stay rather than two.

Notes


The Mets recalled LHP Bobby Jones from AAA-Norfolk and optioned reliever Mark Corey back to the Tides....Reliever Kane Davis had an MRI on his pitching elbow which revealed a partial tear in his flexor tendon. Davis is expected to miss at least 10 days....After giving up 7 stolen bases on Sunday, catcher Mike Piazza has not thrown out a baserunner since April 6, and is just 2-for-41 on the year. Piazza's personal low mark was on June 30, 1996 when the Rockies stole ten bases against him when he was still with the Dodgers.

Who's HOT!


OF Roger Cedeno is hitting .319 with 1 HR & 5 RBI in his last 12 games. Yes, this qualifies as "hot" for thet Mets. The Phillies newly acqired 1B/OF Jeremy Giambi has three home runs in his last three games.

Who's HOT!


OF Jeromy Burnitz is hitting .141 in his last 20 games with 1 HR & 3 RBI. 1B Mo Vaughn, despite hitting his 3rd HR of the season on Sunday, is hitting .214 in his last 20 games with 18 strikeouts. C Mike Lieberthal has just one RBI in his last 9 games. 3B Scott Rolen, the subject of many trade rumors and a free agent at the end of the year, is hitting .261 in his last 12 games with just two RBIs. OF Doug Glanville is just 4 for his last 34 (.118) and is in jeopardy of losing his job to prospect Marlon Byrd.

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