The Mets (76-43) prepare for another four-game series with a division opponent as they head to Citizens Bank Park to face the Phillies (65-52). The Mets have dominated the season series this year, taking 11 out of 15 games so far, including four of six in Philadelphia.
The Mets lost three out of four to the Braves and, in the process, dropped their first series against an NL East opponent all season. The injury bug, which bit them on Sunday with Luis Guillorme’s injury, reared its ugly head again, as Carlos Carrasco had to exit Monday’s start with an oblique injury after getting his start interrupted by inclement weather in the second inning. He returned to finish the second but was spotted in the dugout clutching his left side, and we learned a day later that the right-hander would be forced to miss 3-4 weeks—all things considered, it could have been significantly worse. As for the rest of the game, the Mets lost 13-1, so there’s not much else to say about it. Darin Ruf’s two inning scoreless relief outing and Jeff McNeil’s four-hit game were the two main highlights.
Tuesday’s game was not much better, as Taijuan Walker had to exit after two scoreless innings with back spasms. This forced the Mets to call upon R.J. Alvarez, who was called up to inject a fresh arm into the bullpen. Alvarez, making his first major league appearance since 2015, allowed three runs (two earned) in his 2 1⁄3 innings and was handed his first major league loss. For the second straight night, the Mets’ offense was nowhere to be found as they were shut out 5-0. The good news after this stinker was that Walker’s injury does not appear too serious, though he may miss his next scheduled start (to be determined).
The Mets called upon Bretty Baty, their Number Two ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and it paid immediate dividends, as he became the fifth Mets rookie to homer in their first career at-bat. Starling Marte hit two homers, and Francisco Lindor added a homer of his own, while McNeil had another big night at the plate. On the mound, Max Scherzer was interrupted by a third inning rain delay, but he came back firing after a rough third, retiring 13 consecutive batters between the fourth and the seven innings. However, he lost command of the zone in the seventh and was pulled with the bases loaded. Adam Ottavino allowed all three inherited runners to score, plus one of his own on a Robbie Grossman three-run homer, but escaped the jam when James McCann threw out Ronald Acuña Jr. for the third out. The Mets added some insurance in the ninth thanks to a Pete Alonso two-run hit and a Daniel Vogelbach run-scoring double, and they hung on to take the game 9-7.
After going 14-0-2 in series against NL East opponents in 2022, the Mets lost 3-2 on Thursday, thus adding a blemish to their previously spotless record. Jacob deGrom started for the Mets and was magnificent beyond a strenuous third in which he tossed 23 pitches and allowed two runs on hits from Swanson and Riley. The Mets got the runs back thanks to a two-run homer from Mark Canha, and deGrom proceeded to retire 12 straight before surrendering an infield single to Vaughn Grissom with two outs in the seventh. Seth Lugo came in and allowed a single up the middle to Michael Harris II, and Grissom, who was in motion, scored all the way from first. The Mets would threaten in the ninth but couldn’t score against Kenley Jansen, as the Braves took three of four and cut the Mets’ division lead to 3.5 games.
The Phillies have played just three games since facing the Mets at Citi Field last weekend, taking two out of three from the Reds at Great American Ball Park. They won the first two, but lost in walk-off fashion on Wednesday by a 1-0 score.
Friday, August 19: Chris Bassitt vs. Aaron Nola, 7:05 p.m. on SNY
Bassitt (2022): 135.0 IP, 134 K, 36 BB, 15 HR, 3.27 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, 2.7 bWAR
Bassitt faced this same Philadelphia team last Sunday and kept them off the board despite running into trouble pretty much every inning. He navigated traffic expertly all afternoon and, despite allowing four hits and walking two, did not allow a run to cross the plate. He struck out five and extended his streak of not allowing an earned run to 24 innings. In three starts against the Phillies this season, Bassitt has allowed two earned runs on 11 hits in 16 2⁄3 innings.
Nola (2022): 152.2 IP, 165 K, 21 BB, 15 HR, 3.07 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 0.93 WHIP, 4.7 bWAR
Nola suffered the deGrom treatment his last time out, and appropriately, he was facing deGrom. Nola tossed a complete game at Citi Field, allowing one earned run on four hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. After surrendering a run in the first, he mowed down the Mets with surgical precision, needing just 96 innings to complete his outing. Unfortunately for him and the Phillies, his efforts were wasted, as deGrom and the Mets’ bullpen were slightly better. Philadelphia has lost all four games Nola has started against the Mets, though the right-hander has typically found success against New York, posting a 3.09 ERA with 176 strikeouts in 139.2 innings against them.
Saturday, August 20: David Peterson vs. Zack Wheeler, 1:05 p.m. on SNY
Peterson (2022): 79.0 IP, 91 K, 38 BB, 9 HR, 3.30 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 1.28 WHIP, 1.1 bWAR
With Carrasco out, Peterson will be inserted right back into the rotation for the next 3-4 weeks as Cookie recovers. With the Saturday doubleheader, Peterson would have gotten the nod in this game anyway. He was terrific in his last start against Atlanta in Game 1 of a doubleheader on August 6, shutting out the Braves on three hits over 5 1⁄3 innings. In that outing, he walked three batters and he struck out five to pick up the victory. Peterson has served a vital role this year with all the rotation’s injuries, and that will certainly continue down the stretch.
Wheeler (2022): 132.2 IP, 142 K, 29 BB, 12 HR, 2.92 ERA, 2.97 FIP, 1.06 WHIP, 4.0 bWAR
Wheeler, who is usually so dominant against his old club, was anything but in his last start. Against the Mets at Citi Field, he resembled pre-2018 Wheeler, allowing six earned runs on nine hits over 6.0 innings. He walked one and struck out five, but the Mets hit him hard, especially in a four run fourth inning. He will look for a better effort this time around against a team that has seen him pitch to a 3.03 ERA in 71.1 innings and 11 starts, including last Sunday’s stinker.
Saturday, August 20: TBD vs. TBD, 7:15 p.m. on FOX
The Mets have not yet named a starter for Game 2 of the doubleheader. Odds are that it will be Trevor Williams getting the nod for New York in place of the injured Carrasco.
The Phillies have not yet named a starter for Game 2 of the doubleheader.
Sunday August 20: TBD vs. Kyle Gibson, 1:35 p.m. on SNY
The Mets have not yet named a starter for Sunday’s game. Taijuan Walker, who suffered back spasms and had to leave his last start early, hopes to be good to go. If not, José Butto was pulled in his last Syracuse start after one inning, which could keep him in play to start this one.
Gibson (2022): 127.2 IP, 102 K, 34 BB, 17 HR, 4.30 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 1.17 WHIP, 1.7 bWAR
Gibson struck out a season high 11 batters in his last outing against the Reds. He was charged with three runs on six hits and didn’t walk a batter en route to his eighth win of the season. It was the sixth time in seven starts that he completed at least six innings of work. He faced the Mets twice earlier in the season and fared pretty well overall, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits, with six strikeouts and five walks over 10 1⁄3 innings.
Prediction: The Mets and Phillies split their four games.
How will the Mets fare in their four game series against the Phillies?
This poll is closed
The Mets feel right at home in Philadelphia as they sweep the Phillies!
The Mets continue their dominance by taking three of four against the Phillies.
The Mets and Phillies split the series.
Like they did against Atlanta, the Mets drop three of four.
The Mets leave the City of Brotherly Love reeling after getting swept.