After losing this week’s three game series to the Washington Nationals, the Mets will travel across New Jersey to play the Phillies in Philadelphia tonight.
The Mets are coming off two straight losses to the Nationals. After winning the first game of the three-game set 4-3, thanks to a Daniel Murphy walk-off single, the Mets’ offense struggled, managing to score only two runs off Ross Detwiler and the Washington pitching staff. Dillon Gee got the start, pitching 5.1 innings, allowing four runs (three earned), while striking out five. Daniel Murphy was heavily criticized for his poor defense, which costed the Mets three double plays.
On Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of the first ever Mets game, Stephen Strasburg and Johan Santana faced off. Both were coming off of seasons in which they missed time last year, but both were very good. Santana allowed just one run on five hits in five innings. Strasburg bested Santana, throwing six innings of shutout ball. The bullpen couldn’t come through for the Mets, with Manny Acosta, Ramon Ramirez, and Miguel Batista each allowing a run. That, combined with the Nationals’ pitching staff allowing just three hits, was enough for the Mets to fall 4-0.
The Phillies, after starting off 1-3, including two losses to the Pirates, the Marlins bounced back, winning the last two games in their series against the Marlins. In the first game, Roy Halladay and Josh Johnson faced off in what was supposed to be a stellar pitching duel. It didn’t turn out that way. The Phillies knocked Johnson out after allowing six runs in 3.2 innings, while Halladay went seven innings, allowing just one run. The Phils won 7-1. Yesterday, the game was much more of a pitching duel. Joe Blanton impressed in his first start coming off a major injury, leading the Phillies to a 3-1 win.
Here are this weekend’s pitching matchups:
R.A. Dickey- Dickey struggled with his knuckleball in his last start against Atlanta, but still managed to pitch six innings while allowing only two runs. The weather will be better tonight, which should make it easier for him.
Cliff Lee- Lee started off 2012 with a bang, allowing one run over six against the Pirates. Lee is coming off a 17-8 season in which he posted a 2.40 ERA.
Jon Niese- Niese flirted with a no-no in his last start, but the wheels fell off the wagon as he entered the sixth. However, the Mets held on to win 7-5.
Vance Worley- Worley impressed in his rookie season last year, making a case for the Rookie of the Year Award, finishing with a 11-3 record with a 3.01 ERA. Worley pitched six innings, allowing one run in his first start of the season.
Mike Pelfrey- Pelfrey allowed ten hits against the Nats in his first start of the season, but allowed only three runs. He was helped out by Daniel Murphy, who hit a walk-off single in the ninth to win it 4-3.
Cole Hamels- The lefty Hamels had his lowest ERA of his career last season (2.79) and finished with a 14-9 record. He pitched 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits while striking out nine against the Marlins.
Prediction: Phillies win series 2-1
If the Mets were healthy, they’d have a legitimate shot to win this series. However, their offense is depleted and the Phillies pitching may be too much for the Mets to handle.
David Wright will likely miss the whole series and may go on the DL.