December 10, 2023

The time is now—Series Preview: Mets at Phillies, August 19 – 21


Charles Fox/Philadelphia Inquirer

The Phillies and Mets have faced off 15 times in 2022. Out of those 15 times, the Phillies have only pulled away a victory in four. The Mets have elite pitching and a powerful top of their lineup, making them the team to beat in the NL East.

But right now, the Mets are on a bit of a skid. It doesn’t happen often, but now is the time for the Phillies to take advantage of a hurt, struggling Mets team.

Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco are recently injured, and the Mets have lost three of their last four games. For Walker and Carrasco, now is not a great time to go on the shelf as the Mets are in need of starters. The Mets have six games in the next five days, so quality starts will be crucial for the New Yorkers over that span.

Last time they met

Just last weekend, the Phillies saw the Mets in New York, and the series was widely considered a disappointment despite the nail-biting victory in game one. The Phillies’ starting pitching was at its best, but the Mets’ was—unfortunately—far better. Jacob deGrom and Chris Bassitt held the Phillies scoreless, and Max Scherzer plowed through everyone in the Phillies’ lineup except Bryson Stott.

Luckily, the Phillies will miss Scherzer and deGrom this weekend, but they will face Chris Bassitt.

Can Castellanos bring his success back to his new home?

Nick Castellanos has a .934 OPS in his last seven games. Some think he is starting to find a late-season groove, but others are speculating that returning to Great American Ballpark for three days helped boost his numbers. It is possible, but Castellanos has still gained consistency over the past month, and some of his power is starting to return.

In 2021, Castellanos had a whopping 1.109 OPS in home games while only having a .260/.319/.454 slash line outside of Cincinnati.

The return of the home run leader

It has not yet been confirmed, but Kyle Schwarber is expected to return to the lineup for game one against the Mets on Friday. Schwarber has not played since the last game in the Marlins series due to a strain in his right calf.

Schwarber leads the National League with 34 home runs, and he has a .210 average and an .812 OPS in 409 at-bats.

With Brandon Marsh’s injury, Matt Vierling will likely slide from left field back to centerfield.

Pitching matchups

Game 1: Aaron Nola (RHP, 8-9, 3.07 ERA) vs. Chris Bassitt (RHP, 10-7, 3.27 ERA)

Game 2: TBD vs. TBD

Game 3: TBD vs. TBD

Game 4: Kyle Gibson (RHP, 8-5, 4.3 ERA) vs. TBD

Note that games two and three will be a day-night doubleheader. Bailey Falter (LHP, 0-3, 4.85 ERA) and Zack Wheeler (RHP, 11-6, 2.92 ERA) will both pitch, but the order has not yet been confirmed. David Peterson (LHP, 6-2, 3.3 ERA) will start one of the two games for New York. Trevor Williams (RHP, 2-5, 3.02 ERA) is next on the Mets’ depth chart, so he should start the other game. Taijuan Walker is scheduled to throw in game four versus Gibson, but Walker left his last start with back spasms. His status is still up in the air.

The numbers

  • Run Differential:
  • Phillies: 74
  • Mets: 117
  • Runs Scored Per Game:
  • Phillies: 4.62
  • Mets: 4.74
  • Runs Allowed Per Game:
  • Phillies: 3.99
  • Mets: 3.76

Game times and broadcasts

  • Friday, August 19, at 7:05pm ET on NBC 10, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Saturday, August 20, at 1:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Saturday, August 20, at 7:15pm ET on Fox, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Sunday, August 21, at 1:35pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680, 1210 WPHT

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

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