What You Need To Know: Phillies – Mets
Phillies (61-67) vs. New York Mets (59-69)
The last time these teams met? Abject disaster.
On what would be the final pitch of the game, David Wright slapped a liner back to Jonathan Papelbon that crashed off his shin for a walk-off winner.
Freak play, catastrophic results.
The hangover carried them to the All-Star break with three straight losses to the Braves, one or two of which, yeah, the Phils could really use right about now.
Vengeance, and keeping this four-game win streak rolling are on the line tonight.
Meet The Mets
They're really bad. Like, "13-29 after the All-Star Break" bad. Like, "9-15 in August" bad.
Definitely good against the Phillies; they're 8-4. But bad against everybody else.
Save for divine intervention or team-wide swine flu, this run should hit seven games before the Phils board a plane for Atlanta Friday.
(Somebody) Caged The Vanimal
Far and away the best month for the team and bullpen, August hasn't treated Vance Worley (6-9, 4.06 ERA) well at all. He's 1-3 with a 4.73 ERA on the month, and lasted into the seventh just once. He's logged no more than four strikeouts in any of them.
But series with the Mets have been worse. Worley is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts against New York in 2012. He allowed six runs in four innings in an eventual 11-1 loss in his latest, on July 3. He allowed four runs in a 5-0 loss to the Mets April 14.
A year ago, Worley went 3-1 with a 2.95 ERA in four starts against New York.
Home cooking hasn't agreed with him either. At Citizen's Bank Park, he's just 2-5 with a 5.00 ERA. Elsewhere, he's 4-4 with a 2.98 ERA.
Cliff Lee cruised at home for his first such win Sunday. Here's to hoping Worley gets off his CBP schneid Tuesday.
The Other Guy
Simply, Chris Young (3-7, 4.33 ERA) is the guy you set your buddy up with after getting dumped. Pure confidence-booster. Or, one of three arms the Phils should roll through en route to the Braves.
Young has lost six of his last seven decisions. He's 1-5 with a 5.11 ERA since the All-Star break.
He should get rocked tonight. No excuses if he doesn't.
Dom Brown Back?
Charlie Manuel said Sunday that he expects Brown to be back in the lineup. You should too.
Brown had started all 23 of his games since getting sat down Saturday, hours after Brown told Manuel of left knee pain. No, not the right knee that kept him out for a month into July. (Though Brown said he's taking pain killers for that.) The left one.
In 25 games in 2012, Brown's working a .270/.343/.382/.725 slash line -- mostly because he's only drawn nine walks in 99 plate appearances -- with a home run and 11 RBIs.
Brown's been good, definitely deserving of a starting spot this and next season. But to get beyond that, he needs to practice plate patience. He's struck out 13 times.
Scott Hairston, Phillie Killer
Stomaching Hairston's production against the Phillies this season has been an exercise in self-control. Or a call for exercises in yoga. Or whatever.
A career .248 hitter who's never hit 20 home runs in a season, Hairston posted a .324/.343/.824/1.167 slash line in 12 games against the Phillies this season. He took Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee yard in back-to-back games in July.
This isn't anything new, either. In 40 career games, he's career OPS against the Phillies is 1.021. Against everyone else, it's .768.
Granted, the Phillies have already clinched the last laugh, considering the Mets decision to keep Hairston at the deadline despite a ton of interest swiftly resulted in deft failure for the rest of the season. They're 9-15 since.
Still, this needs to stop. Like, now.