The Phillies and Mets will lock horns in a three-game series kicking off later today at 7:10pm EST. The Mets are a significantly better team at this point in the season, but that doesn’t mean the series will be one-sided.
The story so far
Despite ending the series on a high against Atlanta, the Phillies will go into this matchup with their tails between their legs. They’ve dropped 6 of their last 10 games and have dropped several in absolutely brutal fashion. The fielding has been miserable, Girardi has made some inexplicable decisions, and the bullpen continues to be an issue.
The good news is that the Mets are also battling the tide. They’ve struggled to gain any real momentum over the past two weeks, and lost back-to-back games against the Giants before heading back home to host the chaotic Phils.
Carlos Carrasco (4-1, 3.50 ERA) vs. Zach Eflin ( 1-3, 3.65 ERA)
It’s start number eight for Zach Eflin who comes into this matchup looking as good as he ever has after dishing out a career-high 12 K’s in a win over the Dodgers. That series feels like it was years ago after enduring whatever happened against Atlanta, and the Phils will turn to Eflin to hopefully hit the reset switch.
Eflin isn’t just riding rin-game momentum, however. The Phillies and Eflin reached a $5.7M agreement with a mutual option for next season worth $15M, avoiding arbitration. This will come as a huge sigh of relief given the team’s recent history with arbitration. Here’s to hoping Eflin has a spring in his step today.
It is worth noting that he was bullied by the Mets earlier in the year, giving up five runs and 8 hits in a little over 4 innings.
As for the Mets, they’re sending out ‘Cookie Carrasco’. He has a 3.50 ERA this year and has allowed 46 hits in as many innings. The veteran has been solid for the Mets this season, proving he can still go deep into games, with 3 of his 8 appearances at the plate going deeper than 6 innings. However, 6 may be the magic number as he’s allowed that many hits in each of his last 5 starts.
The Phillies are underdogs coming into this matchup and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Perhaps some time to reflect on the trip back from Atlanta will prompt some proactive changes, but it’s hard to see the Phils being able to hang with a Mets team that has such a formidable batting lineup, ranks 3rd in the MLB in runs, 1st in hits, and 2nd in batting average. I’m backing the Mets here.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Todd Kirkland