The Phillies had a rough weekend against the New York Mets. Taking one of the three games was not a positive outcome against their division rivals. After getting no-hit on Friday’s game, the Phillies responded well on Saturday night with a win. A second straight weekend of being featured on Sunday Night Baseball finished with the same result, a loss. Following the series in New York, the Phillies are now 2-4 on the year against their rivals. Following a two-game series sweep by the Rangers, the Phillies have lost three in a row and are hosting the Mets for a four-game series.
Wake Up Offense
The Phillies were constructed to have one of the best offenses in baseball this season. While the club is tied for the seventh most runs scored this season, the offense, in large part, has been inconsistent. The Phillies need to wake up, and if they want to compete with the Mets this weekend, they will have to swing the bats well.
Manager Joe Girardi needs to find a lineup and stick with it. Each day the club has thrown out a new lineup, and there have been mild consistencies. Letting this squad find a spot in the lineup and getting comfortable needs to occur soon. While Girardi is just trying to find a mix that works, switching the order has not worked thus far. Below is the lineup that I believe the Phils should roll out and leave together for a week. Give the same lineup a chance and see what happens.
- Kyle Schwarber L
- Alec Bohm R
- Bryce Harper L
- Nick Castellanos R
- Rhys Hoskins R
- JT Realmuto R
- Didi Gregorius L
- Jean Segura R
- (Insert Center Fielder)
Beat the Mets
The New York Mets have started 2022 strong under new manager Buck Showalter. The Mets are one of the best teams in baseball and have taken a commanding lead in the National League East. The Phillies have to beat their rival if they want to try and compete for the division title.
The next four games can be significant in determining the champion of the East. These two teams play each other nineteen times during the regular season. Following this series in South Philadelphia, there will only be nine games remaining against one another. If the Phillies can win the series, something they have done just twice thus far in 2022, they can tighten the gap between the clubs. Failure to win this series, or even split, can potentially sink their chances of catching up to New York as the season unfolds.
Aaron Nola (1-3, 3.90 ERA) vs. Taijaun Walker (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Aaron Nola has pitched well to start the 2022 season. In order to control the game and slow down the potent Mets offense, Nola will need to pinpoint the location of his pitches tonight.
Taijuan Walker has not pitched many innings so far this season. Through two games, Walker has thrown just seven innings. Working counts and making Taijuan throw for high pitch counts will allow the Phillies to get to the Mets’ bullpen early in this game and series.
Kyle Gibson (2-1, 2.93 ERA) vs Max Scherzer (4-0, 2.61 ERA)
Kyle Gibson has been the best pitcher the Phillies have had this season. Gibson has kept the Phils in every game he has started, and he is going to need to have his best against the Mets again on Friday.
Max Scherzer got rocked by the Phillies on Sunday Night Baseball, and the team has nothing to show for it. After two Kyle Schwarber home runs and a solo shot from Bryce Harper, the Phillies did not take advantage of Max’s poor outing. Scherzer is still one of the best in the game, and the Phils need to strike when the opportunity is there.
Zach Eflin (1-2, 4.50 ERA) vs Chris Bassitt (3-2, 2.61 ERA)
Like much of his Phillies tenure, Zach Eflin has been a tale of two pitchers. When Eflin has his stuff going for him, you can see why the Phillies greatly value him. When Zach doesn’t have his best, he struggles greatly. If the Phillies want to win this series against New York, the Phils need Eflin to have his best stuff.
Chris Bassitt has been a fantastic acquisition for the Mets so far. The former Athletics’ ace has fit in nicely in Queens, and the Phillies need to give him his first meltdown as a member of the Mets. Bassitt will control the game if the Phils let him. Strong plate discipline and pitch selection are crucial against Chris, and our struggling offense will have to prove they are up to the task.
Ranger Suarez (2-0, 4.63 ERA) vs TBD
Do not give up on Ranger Suarez quite yet. Ranger has been decent in 2022, but he has also been the victim of some poor defense and lucky hits by opposing hitters. Suarez was probably never going to be the same guy we all witnessed in 2021. Giving him a chance to settle into a starter’s role and allowing Ranger to go out and pitch will be beneficial in the long run. Each time he toes the rubber, Ranger looks to compete, and the Phillies seemingly lack guys who show up each night ready to go to war.
The Phillies go into the opening matchup as -160 favorites over the Mets, with the run total being set at 8. If Nola can find his groove here against a pitcher who may be unable to handle a heavy workload, then this should have a Phils win written all over it to kick off a grueling series.
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire