Phillies open final series before MLB All-Star break

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Jacob deGrom takes the mound vs the Phillies on Friday night

The Philadelphia Phillies (45-42) pay a visit to Citi Field in Queens to take on the host New York Mets (39-48) on Friday night. This weekend’s three-game set between the two NL East Division rivals will be the final series before Major League Baseball takes a four-day break for next week’s All-Star Game.

Both teams enter this series cold. The Phillies have dropped four of their last six games, losing two of three to both the Marlins and Braves. The Mets have dropped eight of their last 10 games.
These two teams began the season with what appeared to be legitimate division title possibilities. In fact, in late April the Mets were in first place and the Phillies on their tails in second.
A losing 13-15 was followed by a rough 10-18 June month for New York. The Phillies bolted past them, and actually controlled the division lead for all but seven games through late May. However, both teams were not only passed, but are getting left in the dust by the defending division champion Braves. And now the Washington Nationals have also passed them both.
The Mets season appears to already be over. There are just too many teams to climb over to get into playoff position, and they have struggled with too many injuries and too much inconsistency. The losing campaign could yet cost manager Mickey Callaway his job.
For the Phillies, there is a near desperation to win this series and remain in the NL Wildcard playoff hunt. They now sit a half-game off that pace. If they can duplicate what happened just 10 days ago, when the Phillies swept out the Mets in a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park, it would be a major shot in the arm heading into the break.

FRIDAY STARTING LINEUPS

PHILLIES

  1. Scott Kingery CF
  2. Jean Segura SS
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Rhys Hoskins 1B
  5. J.T. Realmuto C
  6. Jay Bruce LF
  7. Cesar Hernandez 2B
  8. Maikel Franco 3B
  9. Vince Velasquez P

METS

  1. Jeff McNeil RF
  2. Pete Alonso 1B
  3. Robinson Cano 2B
  4. Michael Conforto CF
  5. Todd Frazier 3B
  6. Dominic Smith LF
  7. Wilson Ramos C
  8. Amed Rosario SS
  9. Jacob deGrom P

SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP

PHILLIES – Vince Velasquez: 2-5, 4.73 ERA, 1.422 WHIP, 50 hits over 51.1 IP across 19 games (9 starts), 60/23 K:BB. Back on April 24 he allowed 3 hits over 5 shutout innings with 6 strikeouts to earn his first win of the season. Over nine career starts vs the Mets, Velasquez is 2-4, 4.04 ERA, 38 hits over 42.1 IP with a 43/17 K:BB. In three starts since returning to the rotation he has allowed 11 hits over 11.2 IP with a 15/2 K:BB, with the Phillies losing all three starts.
METS – Jacob deGrom: 4-7, 3.32 ERA, 1.107 WHIP, 92 hits over 103 IP across 17 starts with a 128/22 K:BB. This will be deGrom’s first outing against the Phillies this season after winning last year’s National League Cy Young Award. He has dominated the Phillies over 14 starts during his career: 7-1, 2.20 ERA, 69 hits over 86 IP with a 91/18 K:BB. The last time the Phillies beat him was back on September 5, 2017.

PHILLIES NUGGETS PREGAME NOTES

  • The Mets have competed well this year at Citi Field, with a 22-17 home mark. They are just 17-31 on the road.
  • Phillies have won seven of the 10 games between the two teams this season. They are trying to win their first season series over the Mets since 2011. New York has won the season series the last seven straight years.
  • Bryce Harper has hit deGrom well over his career, batting .323 with two homers and seven walks.
  • Where the third-place Phillies will have only catcher J.T. Realmuto representing them at next Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game, the Mets have three NL All-Stars: Alonso, McNeil, and deGrom. The Alonso-McNeil combo are the first pair of teammates in MLB history to be named to the All-Star team within a year of their big-league debut.
  • McNeil leads all of baseball with his .349 batting average. Alonso leads all MLB rookies in nearly every major offensive category.
  • Frazier spent most of the season’s first month on the IL, but has been hitting .293 with 25 runs, six doubles, a triple, nine home runs, 27 RBI, 20 walks and a .903 OPS over his last 45 games since May 16.
  • Rosario is batting .339 with 10 runs, four doubles, a home run, six RBI, two walks, four steals and an .814 OPS over his last 16 games.
  • Phillies announced prior to the game that righty reliever Yacksel Rios has re-joined the club, with lefty Austin Davis being optioned back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Prior to yesterday’s game in Atlanta the club placed reliever Juan Nicasio on the IL.

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