Preview: Phils Need Strong Series Against Mets

The Phillies went into New York last week looking to leave town with two or three wins under their belts. They left with one win as a resurgent Mets team took two-of-three at Shea Stadium. This week, the scene shifts to Philly and both teams need some wins after tough weekend series against division rivals. The Phillies hope too, that the Mets visit will finally be the wake-up call that gets Pat Burrell back in the swing of things.

New York Mets (22-28) at Philadelphia Phillies (27-23)

The Philadelphia Phillies, losers of four of their last six, head back home after a substandard series in Montreal over the weekend in order to take on Art Howe and the New York Mets for a three game set. The two N.L. East rivals look to gain some momentum on the first place Atlanta Braves as they clash for the second time Tuesday night inside Veterans Stadium.

It's no secret that Pat Burrell has been struggling this year; hitting just .210 with fifty-eight strike outs and just twenty-five RBIs. It's a different story when he goes up against the likes of the Metropolitans' pitching staff. On Tuesday, the left fielder went 2-for-4 with two homers and four runs batted in.

Before his first encounter with the Mets this season, he had hit seventeen home runs, driven in forty-nine runs, and was hitting to the tune of a .314 average against them since his debut in 2000.

Larry Bowa's squad will now try to rebound off a series in which they lost two of three from the Montreal Expos inside Olympic Stadium this weekend. Brian Schneider hit a three run homer off Philadelphia reliever Dan Plesac on Sunday in the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie in route to 5-3 win.

"I made a big mistake on a 3-1 breaking ball that wasn't very good,'' Plesac said to the Associated Press of his pitch to Schneider. "It pretty much decided the game."

Inside the Vet on Tuesday night veteran Al Leiter will take the mound against young stud Randy Wolf. The twenty-six year old pitcher found love in New York when he was approached by a good-looking woman looking for directions. He then lost her and is now seriously thinking about placing an ad in New York newspapers in order to locate her. In Wolf's last effort against the Mets he went five innings and allowed two runs -- one earned -- while striking out four in a no decision.

The second game of the three game series features Phillies' ace Kevin Millwood up against Pedro Astacio. Millwood won his fifth consecutive decision against the Houston Astros on Friday and is the first NL starter to reach the seven win plateau. Although Millwood did not face the Mets in the teams' first series against each other, Astacio has.

The twelve year veteran faced the Phillies last Thursday and came out with his third win after going six innings; surrendering all three Phillie runs. He has yet to reach the seventh inning in any game he has started this year, but is 10-7 with a 4.78 ERA against Philadelphia in his career.

The last game of the three game set has Steve Trachsel opposing Vincente Padilla. The Phillies' right-hander has been struggling this year, not justifying his All-Star appearance from a year ago. He is 3-6 with a 4.55 ERA and took the loss in New York after allowing eleven hits and five runs in six innings.

Steve Trachsel, who developed blisters on his right thumb and index finger in Friday night's start against the Braves, will try to improve to 4-2 when he faces the Phillies for the first time this year.

Pitching Probables
Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 7:05
NYM. - A. Leiter (4-2, 4.62 ERA) vs. PHI - R. Wolf (5-2 3.13 ERA)
Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 7:05
NYM - P. Astacio (3-1, 6.34 ERA) vs. PHI - K. Millwood (7-1, 2.84 ERA)
Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 7:05
NYM - S. Trachsel (3-2, 4.68 ERA) vs. PHI - V. Padilla (3-6, 4.55 ERA)

Injuries
New York Mets
Mike Stanton; P - DTD; inflammation and fluid in left knee
Grant Roberts; P - 60 Day; bicep tendonitis
Rey Sanchez; SS - 15 Day; can be activated Tuesday
Timo Perez; OF – Placed on DL with strained right calf
David Cone; P - 15 Day; can be activated Tuesday
Mo Vaughn; 1B - 60 Day; left knee
Jay Bell; 2B - 15 Day; strained right groin
Mike Piazza; C - 15 Day; groin muscle strain
Scott Strickland; P - 15 Day; 50 percent tear in ligament of pitching elbow

Philadelphia Phillies Bobby Abreu; RF - DTD; strained lower back muscle
Terry Adams; P - DTD; restricted list

2003 Meetings
May
Tue. 20 in New York: Phillies win 11-7
Wed. 21 in New York: Phillies lose 5-4
Thurs. 22 in New York: Phillies lose 6-3


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