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The new kings of Queens: Phillies vs. Mets series preview

The red hot Phillies head to New York for a four-game set against the Mets

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies
Andres Gimenez and the Mets couldn’t get the job done the last time these teams met
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Having won nine of their last ten games, the Phillies have surged into second place in the National League East. They’ll now travel to New York for a four-game series against a Mets team that they’ve had a lot of success against over the past two years. Seems like bad news for the Mets.

New York Mets

Record: 17-21 (Fourth place in National League East)

The last time they met

The Mets came to Citizens Bank Park for three games and left town like this:

Since then?

Things have actually gotten a little better for the Mets since they were ingloriously cast out of Philadelphia. Thanks to COVID-19 postponements, their schedule has been a bit disjointed, but they’ve gone 8-7 in the 15 games since.

Not gonna hide this time?

The last time the Mets played the Phillies, Jacob deGrom was scratched from his start. It’s understandable that he wouldn’t want to face the Phillies’ dangerous lineup, but apparently, he’s going to man up and face them this time. The bad news for deGrom is that he’ll be opposed by Aaron Nola, so he’s probably not going to get too much run support.

Pitching matchup of the year (2016)

That Nola vs. deGrom showdown sounds exciting, but the 2016 version of me is more interested in Friday night’s matchup of Rick Porcello vs. Jake Arrieta.

The 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner will face off against the 2016 American League winner, and the result is most likely to be a high scoring affair. Because it’s 2020, and neither of these pitchers is especially good anymore.

Porcello is chugging along with a 1-4 record and a 6.00 ERA. He already faced the Phillies once, and it ended in a loss for the Mets. Arrieta is coming off a shellacking at the hands of the Braves, and his ERA is an unfortunate 6.49 at the moment. The good news is that no matter who comes out ahead in this game, both men will be free agents at the end of the season.

Downfall of the dad bod

Note: This section would have been a lot more fun to right had Alonso not hit a game-winning home run on Thursday night. But will I allow that one moment of brilliance to overshadow a hugely disappointing season? No.

Pete Alonso took the baseball world by storm in 2019 with his less-than-chiseled physique and prodigious power. His 53 home runs led the National League and he was awarded the NL’s Rookie of the Year award. In 2020, the dad bod appears to still be in place, but the great hitting is not. He’s batting just .209 and his eight home runs are tied for 18th most among NL first basemen.

A year ago he was being compared to Aaron Judge. Now he’s being compared to Jeromy Burnitz.

Speaking of comparisons...At the beginning of the season, this might have seemed like a ridiculous question, but it seems worth asking now: Would you trade Rhys Hoskins for Alonso straight up?

Pointless interlude where I discuss the new Subway Five Dollar Footlong commercial

The return of sports to the airwaves has brought both good and bad things back into my life. On one hand, the Flyers and Phillies have been pretty encouraging lately. On the other hand, I’ve once again had to watch a lot of commercials during the broadcasts. And one commercial in particular has drawn my ire.

When Subway announced that they were bringing back their Five Dollar Footlong specials, I was fully on board. Not only would we get passable subs at a cheap price, but it seemed inevitable that they’d bring back the jingle that everyone loved. You know the one:

And then I saw the new commercial:

What the hell was that?

Charlie Puth - or “Weird eyebrow guy” as I called him before Yahoo! informed me of his actual name - is clearly having a good time, but I think it’s safe to say that he’s the only one. The dancing Subway guy is clearly just going through the motions, and poor Tristan, whose Tweet started all this, has probably been forced to change his name due to all the resulting hate mail that he’ll surely receive due to this atrocity.

Charlie’s happiness is especially infuriating because he doesn’t seem to realize that nobody else is enjoying this. It’s like they transformed “MIchael Scott hosts the Dundees” into a commercial, and the viewing audience are the other Dunder Mifflin employees. Read the room, Charlie!

His joy is like fingernails on a chalkboard

Perhaps the worst thing about the commercial is that you can hear the classic jingle playing in the background during the introduction. It’s like they knew what fans were expecting, and intentionally subverted it. Who the hell directed this commercial, Rian Johnson?

J.T. turnaround

J.T. Realmuto has been relatively cold at the plate lately, but that could change this weekend. His career batting average at Citi Field is .325 and he was especially good there in 2019. The Phillies’ lineup has been killing it even without a dominant Realmuto. I pity the poor pitchers who have to face them once he picks it up again.


A hot team going against a team that they’ve had a lot of success against recently? Sign me up! The Phillies are 15-7 against the Mets since the start of the 2019 season. I expect that number to be 18-8 when the four-game series is over.