The Phillies faced the Mets last weekend and scored a modest two runs in winning the opening game. That number dropped to zero over the follow two games, and unsurprisingly, the Phillies lost both games.
The Phillies haven’t fared well against the Mets this season, and if they want to change that this weekend, they should try changing their strategy. Instead of not scoring runs, the Phillies’ offense should score a lot of runs. I have a feeling that might work out a little better for them.
I also have a feeling that they’ll have a better chance of successfully implementing that strategy this time around.
New York Mets
Record: 76-43 (First place in National League East, 3.5 games ahead)
The last time they Met
As mentioned, it was last weekend. The Phillies pulled out an exciting extra-inning win on Friday, but then struggled at the plate against Jacob deGrom and Chris Bassitt in losing the final two.
The Mets lost three out of four to the Atlanta Braves. While I’m always in favor of the Mets losing games, it's not a good thing that the Braves are winning them.
Pete Alonso always seems to vex the Phillies, but he’s hasn’t done much vexing of anyone over the past week. In his last seven games, he’s batting just .125 with no home runs.
It should be noted that the Mets’ series win last weekend was mostly due to their pitching. Ranger Suarez and Aaron Nola both held the Mets’ lineup in check, and while they did some damage against Zack Wheeler on Sunday, there wasn’t a plethora of hard-hit balls in that game.
Not facing the A team this time around
Going against deGrom, Bassitt, as well as Max Scherzer in a single series is a tough task, and it wasn’t much of a surprise that the Phillies’ offense struggled. This time around, they’ll thankfully avoid deGrom and Scherzer (as well as Carlos Carrasco). Instead, they’ll be facing Bassitt, David Peterson, Trevor Williams, and another starter yet to be determined. (Saturday is a doubleheader which tends to cause chaos to pitching rotations)
It’s possible that Taijuan Walker makes one of those starts if he feels sufficiently recovered from a bulging disc. Otherwise, the Mets may call up someone from the minors or go with a bullpen game.
The Mets have an exceptionally deep rotation, so these aren’t necessarily easy matchups - We just saw what Bassitt can do - but it’s certainly easier than facing guys who have five Cy Young Awards between them.
Speaking of depth
The Phillies’ outfield depth has been tested lately. They haven’t had Bryce Harper available to play the outfield most of the season, but they’ve also been without Kyle Schwarber for most of the past week. Once Brandon Marsh went down with an injury, they were forced to pretty much throw anyone with two working legs out there. (And hey, Nick Maton actually did okay in left!)
Nick Maton, who has never played the outfield in a major league game, just made a diving catch in left. He was pretty pleased with himself. pic.twitter.com/HQrb6GX6BW— Alex Carr (@AlexCarrMLB) August 17, 2022
It seems strange that a team that once had Odubel Herrera, Roman Quinn, and Mickey Moniak as centerfield options (albeit not good options) was forced to scour the waiver wire and bring in Bradley Zimmer just to have a person who could capably play center.
Zimmer is bad, he does however bat left handed (though you don't want him batting) and can play a pretty decent center field. This steal means you are relying on Matt Vierling at bats and probably Nick Maton in the outfield. But you now have a second person who can stand in CF https://t.co/mUWr60M4VF— Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman) August 18, 2022
Fortunately, Schwarber is expected to play this series. That should not only help their lineup - who knew that removing the two best left-handed power hitters from a lineup could cause negative effects - but also the outfield defense. An outfield of Schwarber, Matt Vierling, and Nick Castellanos isn’t going to save too many runs, but it shouldn’t be a complete disaster either.
Phlashback of ineptitude
In which we look back on a not-so-great Mets player from yesteryear. You may remember Jason Bay as an All-Star outfielder with the Pirates. Like most good players, he eventually left the Pirates to earn more money, and in 2009, he had a strong season for the Red Sox in which he finished in the top ten of MVP voting.
The Mets decided to “buy high” on Bay, and signed him as a free agent, only to watch his performance drop sharply upon arriving in New York. His OPS dropped in every season he was with the Mets, bottoming out at .536 in 2012. His 26 home runs across three seasons in New York were ten less than he hit in 2009 alone.
He is not remembered fondly by Mets fans.
What is the worst (and funniest in hindsight) sports jersey u ever bought? Mine is on my pic right here. Can't imagine worse than Jason Bay Mets jersey.— damnllama B (@Damnllama) July 30, 2022
Please retweet would love to hear answers.
I have a Jason Bay Mets jersey. How cursed is that?!— double v (@foxdad_) August 18, 2022
Genuinely shocked to be reminded that Jason Bay had a hit with the Mets https://t.co/q7H8AbX7z2— JT Terán (@jt_teran) August 9, 2022
It isn’t a good sign for Mets catcher James McCann that the fans have been comparing him to Bay.
James McCann is entering a scary territory of free agent acquisitions: Jason bay level i hope he turns it around. I know he hasn’t played much. I wanna be optimistic with a full sample this season. #LGM— Zey (@zey97) August 6, 2022
Last series’ answer: The Phillies only home run in the 2010 NLDS came off the bat of Chase Utley in game three. SLDH was first with the correct answer.
This series’ question: Since 2012, there have been four visiting players to hit five or more home runs at Citizens Bank Park in a single season. One of them played for the Mets. Who was it?
I liked the first episode of She Hulk, but I’m slightly worried about the series going forward. The stuff with her and Bruce Banner - and this is not a spoiler since almost all of it was in the trailers and commercials - was fun, but are we going to spend the rest of the series wishing Banner was there?
I hope I’m wrong and that the series is able to stand on its own without “he Hulk.” I also hope that the series can avoid the same problem that many Disney+ series have suffered from, and there isn’t one episode in the middle that felt completely unnecessary.
It would be really nice if the Phillies could win one lousy series against the Mets this season. If the Phillies do make it to the playoffs, they’ll probably have to cross paths with the Mets, and it would be nice knowing they are potentially capable of winning such a series.