Series Preview: Mets @ Phillies
I’m not going to lie, I’m writing this during the busiest time of my career. A week from this Sunday, in 12 different cities across our state we will have over 10,000 people walking for a cure to stop a terrible disease. With that comes a lot of hustling for me over the next week or so. So I apologize for the shortness here.
The Mets head into Philadelphia, and whenever these two teams play it adds a little fire for all of us. Nobody here likes the Phillies, and it’s especially true now that they are just so darn good.
While many of us spent the last few days worrying about Wright’s Pinky, or whether the Mets will honor Chipper Jones, the Mets front office was working on a plan to honor Pat Burrell when the Phillies come out to Citi Field. Okay, that’s not true.
Friday, 7:05 pm – R.A. Dickey v. Cliff Lee
Dickey has pitched very well against the Phillies, though he only has 2 wins to show for it, but an ERA of 2.61. This Phillies lineup is a shell of what it truly is. We won’t see Howard or Utley, which makes Hunter Pence probably the most dangerous hitter, and Dickey has had a lot of success against him (.167 average in 14 chances).
Lee absolutely dominates the Mets. He’s got an ERA under 0.50 against them which is just silly. The thing about Lee is he throws strikes. So you know you have a chance to hit off of him, so it’s about not swinging at the junk.
The question of whether Wright will play or not bothers me a bit. If he does play, I feel he may alter his swing a bit, and that is how he got in trouble last year with the back injury even after he healed. If he doesn’t play, negative fans will just say he’s being a wuss etc. I personally hope he doesn’t play if he has any pain. I’d rather him get healthy.
Game 1 is going to be tough, no question about it. Ike Davis has to break out of this dreadful slump, and a guy like Cliff Lee isn’t exactly a great matchup for him.
Saturday, 4:05pm – Jon Niese v. Vance Worley
Niese has struggled against the Phillies in the past. This is a nice test for him to see if he’s improving with experience or the same old Niese. He’s got an ERA over 4.00 against them, and guys like Polanco, Ruiz, and Mayberry have owned him.
Worley managed to get 3 wins against the Mets, which is odd when you consider guys like Murph, Turner, and Thole beat up on him pretty well. The problem is Wright and Ike are barely existent against Worley. So going back to the Wright injury, so far that is 2 very unfavorable matchups for him when healthy, let alone an injury.
Sunday, 1:35 pm – Mike Pelfrey v. Cole Hamels
If you’re Hamels, you hate facing the Mets, but you love facing them when Pelf is on the mound. Hamels has a 3-10 record against the Mets, while Pelf has an even 7-7. Pelfrey’s ERA though is almost an entire run higher at 5.37.
This could be a very interesting game, especially if you love offense. Pence, Victorino, Ruiz, Rollins, Murphy, Ike, Hairston, Bay, Turner and Wright all have very good numbers against the opposition.
Every series seems like a big win for this team right now. Can they bounce back from dropping 2 straight to Washington at home? A dream opening home stand turned sour quickly, now can they overcome the adversity and march into Citizen’s Bank and show the Phillies the NL East is a 5 team race?
The Mets have the luxury of not seeing Halladay here, so they have a legitimate chance at taking 2 of 3.
OVER/UNDER RUNS: Tonight’s game is set at 6.5. I like the under tonight, but for the series with both Pelfrey and Niese going I’d set the overall over/under at 20.5 when you consider the Mets have been able to hit Worley and Hamels in the past. As a side note, both series’ I’ve sent the Over/Under within a half run of the final result. (Season Record 1-1)
METS POTS: I think if the Mets win this series, we’ll be thanking Frank Francisco.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON: Chooch Ruiz is a guy who seems to always play well against the Mets, and with everybody focused on Pence, Ruiz is a guy who can hurt you.
I’LL BE DRINKING A: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale most likely. Had one (or 3) last night for the first time, and I found them to be rather delicious.
Enjoy the series, and Let’s Go Mets!
About the Author: Michael J. Branda
My time with MMO began in July of 2009 when I wrote a Fan Post defending Omar Minaya (before it was cool to do that.) I grew up a Mets fan with the mid 1980's teams. My favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, I like to think I meet in the middle. I believe thinking of new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the same way has not produced results. However, I think over-thinking certain situations can get you into trouble. I'm excited for the new regime, because I believe they have pieces in place to focus on several aspects of the Mets organization. I've waited this long for a World Series, waiting a few more years for another chance isn't going to kill me.
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