It's Game 2 of this epic weekend-long five-game set with the Mets at Citizens Bank Park, and the opener could have gone a little better. After running into an explosive Zack Wheeler (man it would be nice to have one of those in our farm system somewhere), and a fancy New York bullpen, the Phillies struck out a season-high 15 times in their 4-1 loss last night.
Tonight, the Phils will counter with their top off-season pitching acquisition, A.J. Burnett. Burnett has struggled lately, with a 6.26 ERA in his last four starts. That's on the heels of a specatcular run of pitching from April 17 to May 3 in which he posted a 0.98 ERA in four starts.
They don't necessarily need the Cy Young version of Bennett tonight, but they probably can't win with the guy who has taken the mound the last four times out there.
The Phillies will face 23-year-old right-hander Rafael Montero for the first time. Montero is 0-2 with a 4.96 ERA, making his fourth Major League start. However, he was pretty awesome last time out against the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing two hits over six innings and striking out 10.
As for the Phils' 11-game homestand, the one in which they were supposed to do some damage and make up ground, they are 3-4 through the first seven games. In order to have a winning record at the end of it (which is a modest achievement, to be honest), they will have to win three out of the next four from New York.
AND GUYS, REID BRIGNAC IS STARTING TONIGHT OMG!
|NEW YORK METS||PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES|
|Juan Lagares - CF||Ben Revere - CF|
|Daniel Murphy - 2B||Jimmy Rollins - SS|
|David Wright - 3B||Chase Utley - 2B|
|C. Granderson - LF||Ryan Howard - 1B|
|Bobby Abreu - RF||Marlon Byrd - RF|
|Lucas Duda - 1B||Carlos Ruiz - C|
|Travis d'Arnaud - C||Domonic Brown - LF|
|Ruben Tejada - SS||Reid Brignac - 3B|
|Rafael Montero - RHP||A.J. Burnett - RHP|