Phillies hoping to bounce back in series against the Mets

Phillies Dylan Covey
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Dylan Covey is taken out of a baseball game in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, May 28, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Let’s face the facts. The New York Mets owned the Phillies in 2022. The Phillies won just 5 out of 19 meetings with a -37 run differential. Of course, the Phillies got the ultimate revenge by securing the National League Pennant over the San Diego Padres who bounced the Mets from the playoffs.

In 2023, both the Mets and Phillies have started the season with lackluster showings. The Phillies are 3 games under .500 at 25-28 while the Mets are 27-27, sitting at the .500 mark.

The Mets are coming off of back-to-back losses to the lowly Rockies, giving up 10+ runs in each loss. The Phillies are coming off an embarrassing loss but still splitting a 4-game set against the Braves.

Who will secure some much-needed momentum in this 3-game set in NYC? Let’s look at the matchups.

Game 1: Ranger Suarez vs. Kodai Senga

Ranger Suarez is still looking for his first quality start of 2023. Heck, he’s looking for his first decent start of 2023. Ranger has pitched just 11 innings through 3 starts this season after his delayed start. He is currently sporting a 9.82 ERA.

There is reason for optimism as Ranger had a 2.72 ERA between 2021-22 and a 1.23 ERA in the 2022 Postseason. There are even some silver linings in his 2023 starts. He’s currently striking out 10.6 batters per 9 IP and he made it through the 5th inning in his last start.

Kodai Senga is the Japanese mercenary that the Mets brought into their rotation during their offseason spending spree. Overall, Senga has been solid in his stateside debut. He has a 3.94 ERA in 48 IP with 61 K. He has had some issues with free passes as he’s walking over 3 batters per start. His forkball has been devastating as batters are only hitting .125 against it.

Game 2: Aaron Nola vs. Carlos Carrasco

Aaron Nola got shelled against the Braves in his last start. He is currently allowing the highest rate of homers in his career with a 1.4 HR/9 mark. That’s combined with the lowest strikeout rate of his career, 7.9 K/9.

Could he turn things around in New York? Well, Nola has had success in Citi Field. In 12 career starts, he has a 3.47 ERA in 70 IP with 89 K. His ERA against the Mets in general is 3.30.

Aaron Nola Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Carlos Carrasco has been disappointing since signing with the Mets. He has posted an 84 ERA+ with a 1.364 WHIP since 2021. With the Indians, Carrasco had a 114 ERA+ with a 1.196 WHIP in 11 seasons. He pitched against the Phillies just once in 2022. He allowed 5 ER over 5.2 IP. The Phillies would gladly take a repeat performance.

Game 3: Taijuan Walker vs. Max Scherzer

There’s something about revenge games that make victory all the sweeter. Granted, victory is never guaranteed in baseball, especially when facing Max Scherzer. The almost-certain Hall of Famer is having a down year. For him, that means a 3.54 ERA in his first 8 starts. He is striking out under a batter per inning for the first time since 2011.

Possible revenge will be waiting for former Met Taijuan Walker. Walker played 3 seasons as a Met. He was an All-Star in 2021 with them. There’s probably not any animosity there but who knows? Walker is also having a down season. For him, that means a 5.57 ERA.

Walker is coming off his best start of the season. He went 6.2 IP against the powerful Braves, securing a win.

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson