The Mets (73-39), winners of 15 of their last 17 and six in a row heading into action on Friday, will look to keep rolling as they face the equally-scorching Phillies (62-49), who have won 13 of their last 16 games. The Mets have taken nine of their 12 games against Philadelphia this season, including five of six at Citi Field.
The Mets took care of business against the lowly Reds, sweeping their opponent to extend their recent run of excellence. The Mets took the first game 5-1, as Chris Bassitt danced around trouble all evening and ending up saving an overworked bullpen with eight strong innings. The Mets jumped out in front two batters into the game on Starling Marte’s homer, and they never looked back from there. Daniel Vogelbach added a run-scoring single in the third, and Tyler Naquin’s two-run triple brought in the fourth and fifth runs.
On Tuesday, New York prevailed by a 6-2 score. Francisco Lindor’s two-run homer in the third was the keynote, and they never trailed from there, and Jeff McNeil added his own dinger in the fourth—his first against a southpaw since September 9, 2019—along with added a run-scoring single in the sixth. Carlos Carrasco was tremendous through six scoreless frames, but he ran out of gas quickly in the seventh and served up a two-run shot to Jake Fraley, but newcomer Darin Ruff got them back with a two-run single in the bottom half of that frame.
After two relatively close games, the Mets thrashed the Reds in a 10-2 shellacking on Wednesday. Taijuan Walker was much better than he was in his previous appearance, pitching six effective innings of two-run ball. On offense, seven of New York’s nine starters recorded hits, with four starters picking up multiple hits. Among the highlights in the game: Lindor knocked in two runs in the fourth, which put him in a tie for most RBI by a shortstop in a single season in franchise history, Vogelbach drove in three more runs while coming out to “Milkshake”, Naquin contributed another extra base hit with a homer in the third, and McNeil extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
The Mets have been an offensive juggernaut in their past 17 games, which has been fueled by the contributions made by recent acquisitions. In 15 games since arriving to New York, Daniel Vogelbach has been exactly what the team has needed at the DH spot, hitting .341/.473/.568 with two homers, 10 runs batted in, a 199 wRC+, and a 0.7 fWAR in 44 at-bats. Tyler Naquin, meanwhile, has slashed .367/.387/.867 with three homers, seven runs batted in, a 246 wRC+, and a 0.7 fWAR in 30 at-bats. Of Nyquin’s 11 hits, seven have gone for extra bases, with two doubles and two triples to go along with his three long balls. Darin Ruf has produced as well, albeit in a smaller sample size, hitting .333/.333/.467 with five runs batted in, a 128 wRC+, and a 0.1 fWAR in 15 at-bats.
The Phillies entered Sunday as winners of seven straight, but their 3-0 loss to the Marlins ended that streak. Regardless, they have won seven of nine this month, and 13 of 16 since getting swept by the Cubs following the All Star Break. Since firing manager Joe Girardi on June 3, they have gone 40-20, and currently find themselves in the second Wild Card spot in the National League, which would put them on a playoff collision course with the Braves.
During this recent run of success, Philadelphia has gotten offensive contributions from up and down the lineup, as many players have stepped up in Bryce Harper’s absence. Catcher J.T. Realmuto has been terrific since July 25, slashing .354/.404/.792 with five homers, a team-best 16 runs batted in, a team-high 223 wRC+, and a 1.2 fWAR in 13 games. Rhys Hoskins, meanwhile, is hitting .291/.371/.600 with five homers, a 166 wRC+ and a 0.6 fWAR in 15 games. Alec Bolm, who expressed his displeasure with Phillies fans earlier this year after getting booed in a game against the Mets, is having a better go of it of late, hitting .356/.397/.525 with a 157 wRC+ and a 0.6 fWAR in 15 games since July 25.
Friday, August 12: Ranger Suárez vs. Max Scherzer, 7:10 p.m. on Apple TV+
Suárez (2022): 100.1 IP, 85 K, 37 BB, 10 HR, 3.68 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 1.37 WHIP, 1.4 bWAR
After missing the first half of July with back spasms, Suárez returned and didn’t allow an earned run over three July starts. In those three outings, he went 16.0 innings, allowed three unearned runs on 11 hits, walked two, and struck out 16 batters. That streak ended his last time out against the Nationals, as he allowed three earned runs on seven hits, with two walks and five strikeouts in 5 1⁄3 innings. The southpaw faced the Mets all the way back on April 11, allowing three earned runs on five hits over 2 2⁄3 innings.
Scherzer (2022): 95.2 IP, 120 K, 17 BB, 8 HR, 1.98 ERA, 2.45 FIP, 0.90 WHIP, 3.9 bWAR
What more can be said about Scherzer? Nothing, really. Mad Max has been every bit the ace the team hoped he would be when they signed him to the highest AAV contract in MLB history over the offseason. More impressive than anything is how he has risen to the challenge against division rivals. In his last start against the Braves, Scherzer tossed seven shutout innings, scattering four hits while striking out 11 batters. It was his second great start against Atlanta over the last month. In seven starts since his return from an oblique injury, Scherzer owns a 1.37 ERA, a 1.90 FIP, and a 0.85 WHIP, with 61 strikeouts and six walks in 46.0 innings. Mad Max, indeed.
Saturday, August 13: Aaron Nola vs. Jacob deGrom, 7:10 p.m. on WPIX
Nola (2022): 144.2 IP, 157 K, 20 BB, 15 HR, 3.17 ERA, 2.84 FIP, 0.95 WHIP, 4.3 bWAR
Nola is having his best seasons since his 2018 All Star campaign, which also resulted in a third place finish in NL Cy Young voting. He has only walked 20 batters this season in 22 starts, and his 1.2 BB/9 is tops among NL starting pitchers. After being tagged for five runs against Atlanta on July 26, he has responded with strong outings against the Pirates and the Nationals. In each start, he allowed one earned run over six innings and earned a win in each outing. He has faced the Mets three times this season, allowing seven earned runs on 13 hits over 16 1⁄3 innings.
deGrom (2022): 10.2 IP, 18 K, 1 BB, 1 HR, 2.53 ERA, 1.25 FIP, 0.47 WHIP, 0.3 bWAR
deGrom was about as perfect as you could be without being perfect in his first Citi Field start in 13 months. Against Atlanta, he retired the first 17 batters he faced before tiring out and issuing a walk and then serving up a home run to Dansby Swanson. In the end, he was pulled at 76 pitches, which is the most he has thrown this year between all his rehab outings. He struck out 12, which helped him set a record for the most career strikeouts through 200 starts. He has been great so far in his return from injury, and he could be a huge weapon for the team come playoff time if he can remain healthy. More than anything, he brought a playoff-like atmosphere to Citi Field, and the fans showed him the love from the first pitch to the moment he was pulled. Plus, hearing “Simple Man” again was cool.
Sunday, August 14: Zack Wheeler vs. Chris Bassitt, 1:40 p.m. on WPIX
Wheeler (2022): 126.2 IP, 137 K, 28 BB, 11 HR, 2.63 ERA, 2.91 FIP, 1.03 WHIP, 4.2 bWAR
In his last start before the All Star break, Wheeler allowed six earned runs 4 2⁄3 innings against the Blue Jays. Since then, he has pitched to a 1.67 ERA, with 29 strikeouts in 27.0 innings. In his last start against Miami, he allowed one earned run on five hits, with eight strikeouts and three walks. He has found a lot of success against his old club, pitching to a 2.48 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 65 1⁄3 innings. That includes two outings this year, in which he allowed a combined four runs (two earned) on six hits, with 10 strikeouts in 10 2⁄3 innings.
Bassitt (2022): 130.0 IP, 129 K, 34 BB, 15 HR, 3.39 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 1.12 WHIP, 2.4 bWAR
For the second time as a Met, Bassitt completed eight innings of work. He allowed eight hits in his last outing and dealt with traffic on the basepaths in pretty much every innings, but he ended up allowing just one unearned run over those eight frames. He walked one and struck out eight, and persevered as he threw a season-high 114 pitches. In his two outings against Philadelphia this year, he has allowed a total of two earned runs on seven hits, with four walks and 11 punch outs over 11 2⁄3 innings.
Prediction: The Mets take two of three from the Phillies.
How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Phillies?
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Like they did on Memorial Day weekend, the Mets sweep the Phillies!
Like they did at the end of April, the Mets take two of three from Philadelphia.
The Mets win one, but drop two to the Phillies.
The surging Phillies sweep the Mets to cool them off.