Preview: Phillies at Mets
GAME: Philadelphia Phillies (52-80) at New York Mets (73-58)
DATE/TIME: Tuesday, September 01 – 7:10 PM EST
WHERE: Citi Field, New York City, New York
LINE: 181, -197 TOTAL: 8
The New York Mets look to continue their utter domination of the Philadelphia Phillies when the National League East rivals play the second contest of their three-game series at Citi Field on Tuesday. The Mets have outscored the Phillies by a decisive 86-44 margin en route to winning 13 of the 14 meetings this season – including 10 in a row overall and all seven encounters thus far in Queens.
Curtis Granderson belted a two-run homer in New York’s 3-1 series-opening victory to improve to 8-for-20 (.400) in his last five games, but is just 4-for-21 (.190) against Tuesday starter Aaron Harang. Michael Conforto also went deep and has recorded multi-hit performances in each of his last three meetings with the Phillies. While NL East-leading New York has won nine of its last 11 to open a 6 1/2-game advantage over second-place Washington, Philadelphia (52-80) has dropped six of eight to claim sole possession of the majors-worst record. Freddy Galvis has 16 hits against the Mets this season, but is just 2-for-15 (.133) in his career versus Tuesday starter Jonathon Niese.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Aaron Harang (5-14, 4.79 ERA) vs. Mets LH Jonathon Niese (8-9, 3.95)
Harang would love a better performance against the Mets than his last outing on Thursday, when he was fortunate to walk away with a no-decision despite allowing five runs on nine hits – including three homers – in six innings. The 37-year-old hasn’t won since July 30 and recorded a bloated 7.71 ERA (58 earned runs in 67 2/3 innings) in 12 starts since the end of May. Harang hasn’t done himself any favors with his control – or lack thereof – as he has issued seven walks in his last two outings and 14 in his last five.
Niese also didn’t pitch well in that Thursday outing versus Philadelphia, walking away with a no-decision after permitting five runs on as many hits in six innings. The 28-year-old owns a 10-6 career mark against the Phillies with a 2.97 ERA, with strong performances versus the club earlier this season. Niese allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings of a 6-1 triumph on April 15 before yielding two on five hits while striking out six in seven frames of a 3-2 victory.
1. New York 1B/OF Michael Cuddyer was given the night off in the opener, but is 19-for-38 with four homers and 12 RBIs in games against Philadelphia this season.
2. Phillies 2B Cesar Hernandez has recorded multi-hit performances in back-to-back contests after going 2-for-25 in his previous six contests.
3. Mets LH Steven Matz (lat) was activated from the disabled list late Monday, approximately an hour after allowing just one hit in 5 1/3 scoreless innings for Double-A Binghamton.
PREDICTION: Mets 8, Phillies 3