Phillies (Cole Hamels, 4-11, 4.05) at Mets (Zack Wheeler, 3-1, 3.54)
- Eric Young, Jr. – LF
- Daniel Murphy – 2B
- David Wright – 3B
- Marlon Byrd – RF
- Josh Satin – 1B
- Juan Lagares – CF
- Anthony Recker – C
- Omar Quintanilla – SS
- Zack Wheeler – RHP
- After dropping their first game out of the All-Star break Friday night against Philadelphia, 13-8, the Mets (41-51) will need to go 40-30 over their final 70 games to reach the break-even mark by the end of the 2013 season — even if they likely will miss the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year.
- RHP Zack Wheeler will look to build off his best start as a big leaguer when he takes the mound for the Mets on Saturday afternoon in the middle game of a three-game series against the Phillies at Citi Field. In his most recent start July 10, Wheeler earned the win after he gave up one run on three hits and three walks while striking out five over seven innings in the Mets’ 7-2 win over the Giants. It was the second straight win for Wheeler, who has allowed four runs (just two earned) over 12 innings in his last two starts. This will be his first appearance against the Phillies.
- RHP Jeremy Hefner continued to struggle against the Phillies on Friday night, when he took the loss after allowing eight runs on 10 hits and no walks while striking out three in two-plus innings in the Mets’ 13-8 defeat. Hefner had a 2.14 ERA in his previous 10 starts but gave up four runs in the first and was chased after allowing the first four batters to reach in the Phillies’ seven-run third. The eight runs allowed were a career-high for Hefner while he allowed 10 hits for the third time. He lasted less than three innings in a start for just the second time in 32 career starts. The first time was also against the Phillies last Sept. 20, when he allowed seven runs without recording an out. He has a 13.75 ERA in six career appearances (five starts) against Philadelphia and a 3.54 ERA against everyone else.
- INF Justin Turner (left intercostal strain) is expected to rehab with Class A Brooklyn through the weekend and rejoin the Mets when they open a four-game series against the Braves on Monday. There was some discussion about bringing Turner back for the Phillies series that started Friday but the Mets wanted to carry an extra reliever for the weekend. Turner went 1-for-3 for Brooklyn on Friday and is hitting .304 (7-for-23) in seven minor league games with four affiliates. Turner is hitting .266 with six RBI in 94 at-bats for the Mets, for whom he hasn’t played since June 16.
- C John Buck, who suffered a hamstring cramp during an eighth-inning at-bat in the Mets’ 13-8 loss to the Phillies on Friday night, is expected to sit out Saturday’s game. Buck was visited by Terry Collins and a trainer after he grimaced following a swing but remained in the game. Collins said he expected Buck to catch Sunday’s series finale. Buck went 2-for-5 Friday as he extended his hitting streak to seven games. He has four two-hit games in that stretch, during which he’s raised his overall average from .205 to .221.
- LHP Jonathon Niese (partial tear in left rotator cuff) continues to long toss and is close to throwing off a mound. The Mets hope Niese can come back and contribute at some point in the second half. Niese, who went on the disabled list June 21, is 3-6 with a 4.32 ERA in 14 starts.
Happy Wheeler Day!
The Mets and Phillies play game two today, and for the Mets, they hope to move past the first three innings of yesterday’s game. The Mets started the game off trailing 11-0 but then ended up losing the game 13-8. They showed a lot of fight, they were just in too big of a hole to start. Zack Wheeler looks to prevent that today while the Mets offense looks to repeat against Cole Hamels.
Wheeler is 3-1 over 5 games this season pitching 28.0 innings with a 3.54 ERA. His last two starts have been on the better side of his short career allowing only one earned run over 5.0 innings and then 1 over 7.0 innings (probably the best start in his career stuff wise). This will be the first time he faces the Phillies in his career and anyone in the Phillies organization.
Cole Hamels is 4-11 this season pitching 20 games with a 4.05 ERA and 129.0 innings. In July he’s pitched 3 games totaling 23.0 innings with a 1.57 ERA, so as of late he’s becoming the Cole of old. He has made two starts against the Mets this season. Back in April he allowed 1 run over 6.0 innings of work and more recently in June he allowed 4 ER and 7 hits over 6.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against him:
Wright 19-57, 3 2B, 3B, 4 HR
Buck 2-25, 2 HR
Murphy 7-26, 2B, HR
Davis 6-21, HR
Young 5-11, 2B
Lets Go Mets!