After a much-needed off-day following their brutal (but fruitful!) stretch of 24 games in 23 days, the Phillies invade Citi Field for the final time this year for a weekend series against the fourth-place Mets, hoping to extend or at least hang onto their one-game division lead. The Phightins have gone 2-4 in Citi so far this year. The bad news: all four losses were shutouts and the Phillies have only scored seven total runs in the six games. The good news: whenever they've scored, they've won.
Game one of the series features a matchup between the Phils' all-world ace Roy Halladay and the Mets' 20-year-old rookie righthander Jennry Mejia. Halladay is Halladay - you know about him. Mejia is a good live arm who came into the season as Baseball America's 56th-best pro prospect and was the subject of much controversy when the Mets' front office, in its infinite wisdom, chose to keep him with the big club as a middle reliever out of spring training instead of continuing his development as a starter in the minors. The Mets finally wised up and sent him down in mid-June, and this is Mejia's second game back in the majors (both starts) since returning when the rosters expanded on September 1. His minor league stats suggest that he has strikeout stuff and is excellent at inducing grounders, but will also walk you if you let him.
Although Mejia is talented, this is clearly a matchup that favors the Phillies in a good-teams-beat-the-teams-they're-supposed-to-beat kind of way, and it is imperative that they take care of business as nobody wants to depend on Kyle Kendrick to prevent a losing streak in game two tomorrow afternoon.