October 2, 2023

Series Preview: Phillies at Mets, May 27 – 29


Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi removes starting pitcher Aaron Nola, right, for relief pitcher Corey Knebel during the ninth inning of the team's baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

Once again, the Phillies are headed to New York! After a series split in Atlanta, the Phillies will try to keep chipping away at their final goal—dethrone the New York Mets. Considering how well they have been playing, this will be no easy task. They come into Friday night’s game with a record of 29-17. While this alone exemplifies how well the Mets have played, they have also done all of this without Max Scherzer, as they lost him to the injured list. With the absence of Scherzer, this is an excellent time to gain some ground in the NL East. But like I said, it will not be easy. Even without Scherzer, the Mets still have one of the better rotations in all of baseball, so the Phillies’ offense better be prepared.

Last time they met

The Phils and Mets have met up quite a few times so far this season, but this will be the last time that they meet until August.

At the beginning of May, the Mets took a trip to the Bank and ultimately won two of the three games played. It was supposed to be a four-game series, but two were postponed due to rain. They were able to make up one in the weekend, but they could not fit the fourth game in.

In the first of the three games, the Phillies suffered through one of the worst ninth innings in the franchise’s history. With a 7-0 lead in the top of the ninth, the Phillies’ bullpen could not hang on and get three more outs to seal the win. James Norwood was pulled with a 7-3 lead, and Corey Knebel relieved him. Knebel ended up allowing three earned runs and only recording two outs. Edwin Diaz shut them down in the ninth, and the Phillies were embarrassed in front of their fans.

The Phillies split the doubleheader, but they still lost the series after letting an easy win go down the drain right under their noses.

Since then, the Phillies are 9-9. They had a very impressive road trip where they went 5-2 against the Mariners and the Dodgers, but the Phightins slowed down when they returned to Citizens Bank Park. The offense is still inconsistent, and the pitching is always a wild card. The Mets have lost two straight, but they are still 6-4 in their last 10 games.

Don’t jump the gun

The Phillies and Mets met the last few times the Phillies’ offense was very aggressive, and it was not working one bit. They were swinging at a lot of first pitches and popping them up or weakly rolling them over to third base. When they were no-hit, you saw how unprepared and unfocused the Phillies were. In this series, the Phillies will have to read and react to pitches much better, and they will have to have more consistent plate discipline. This will expose more of the Mets’ pitching, and the Phillies’ hitters will have the opportunity to wait for a pitch to drive.

Alvarado to be optioned

The Phillies announced that Bailey Falter will start game one of this series in New York. In the big leagues, he has a 3.75 ERA over 12 innings in 2022. He made a spot-start in Seattle at the beginning of the month, and he threw 4.1 solid innings of one-run baseball.

Falter was not on the 26-man roster, so Jose Alvarado was optioned to Lehigh Valley AAA. Alvarado has struggled immensely in 2022. In thirteen innings, he has allowed 11 earned runs. His fastball can reach 101 miles per hour, but he has not had anything else working for him this season.

Brad Hand is now the lone left-hander in the Phillies’ bullpen.

Thanks, Noles

This series has not yet begun, and Aaron Nola has already contributed. With a shorthanded bullpen, Nola had his best start of the season on Thursday night. The Phillies’ bullpen has been used a lot over the last two weeks, and the Phils did not have their usual off-day on Monday. Nola stepped up and threw 8.1 innings and allowed just one run. Corey Knebel came into the game to record two outs and only ended up throwing 15 pitches. Nola’s excellent start allows for the entire bullpen to be available for Friday night’s contest. This is very important, as we now know that Joe Girardi will not pitch a guy three days in a row no matter the situation.

Pitching matchups

Game 1: Bailey Falter (LHP, 0-1, 3.75 ERA) vs Carlos Carrasco (RHP, 4-1, 3.5 ERA)

Game 2: Zach Eflin (RHP, 1-3, 3.65 ERA) vs. Taijuan Walker (RHP, 2-0, 2.7 ERA)

Game 3: Zack Wheeler (RHP, 3-3, 3.38 ERA) vs. TBD

The numbers

  • Run Differential:
  • Phillies: 13
  • Mets: 45
  • Runs Scored Per Game:
  • Phillies: 4.53
  • Mets: 4.83
  • Runs Allowed Per Game:
  • Phillies: 4.24
  • Mets: 3.85

Game times and broadcasts

  • Friday, May 27, at 7:10pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Saturday, May 28, at 7:15pm ET on Fox, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Sunday, May 29, at 7:08pm ET on ESPN, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP

Game coverage will be provided on Philly Sports Reports’ Twitter page.

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