The final week of the first half is upon us, and the New York Mets (35-51) probably can’t wait for it to end. The Mets’ season has spiraled completely out of control as they have gone just 24-50 since an 11-1 start, effectively ending their season before we even reach the All Star Break. There is still a lot of baseball left to be played for the Mets, including their next series, a four gamer against the first place Philadelphia Phillies (49-38). That series begins with a straight doubleheader today, with first pitch for Game 1 scheduled for 4:10 pm at Citi Field. Game 2 will begin roughly 30-40 minutes after the conclusion of Game 1.
The Mets will send right hander Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.36 ERA) to the mound in Game 1. Wheeler was strong again in his last start, allowing two runs in 6.1 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays last Tuesday, but was stuck with a no decision after the bullpen blew a huge lead after his departure. The Mets went on to lose that game 8-6. The Phillies will counter with a Zach of their own, righty Zach Eflin (7-2, 2.97 ERA). Eflin recorded his sixth consecutive victory last Tuesday, holding the Baltimore Orioles to two runs in seven strong innings.
Rookie righty Corey Oswalt (0-1, 7.94 ERA) will start for the Mets in the night cap. Oswalt was much sharper his last time out, allowing two runs in four innings against the Blue Jays last Wednesday, setting the stage for a 5-2 Mets’ victory. The Phillies will send one of their best starters, newly minted All Star Aaron Nola (11-2, 2.41 ERA), to the hill to match up with Oswalt. Nola earned a third straight win last Wednesday, limiting the Orioles to one run in seven innings of work.
New York Mets Lineup (Game 1):
- CF Brandon Nimmo
- RF Jose Bautista
- 2B Asdrubal Cabrera
- LF Michael Conforto
- 1B Dominic Smith
- C Devin Mesoraco
- 3B Jose Reyes
- SS Amed Rosario
- SP Zack Wheeler
- The Mets are 3-1 against the Phillies so far this season, but split a rain shortened two game series in Philadelphia back in early May the last time they met.
- The Mets are 2-0 against the Phillies at Citi Field this season, sweeping another rain shortened series in the first week of April.
- Today’s doubleheader is the result of a rainout from back on April 2nd.
- Wheeler is 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA in eight career starts against the Phillies.
- Eflin is 0-2 with a 4.96 ERA in three career starts against the Mets.
- Oswalt has never faced the Phillies before.
- Nola is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts against the Mets this season.
- After sitting out of yesterday’s game, Jose Bautista and Amed Rosario are back in the Mets’ lineup for Game 1. Bautista will play right field and bat second while Rosario mans shortstop and bats eighth.
- Devin Mesoraco will catch the first game of the double header and bat sixth, leaving the night cap to Kevin Plawecki.
- Jacob Rhame has been recalled to serve as the 26th man for today’s doubleheader. Infielder Ty Kelly has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas with Todd Frazier headed to the disabled list with a rib injury, while P.J. Conlon was also recalled to add a long man to the bullpen. Chris Flexen, yesterday’s starter, was optioned to AAA Las Vegas to make room for Conlon on the roster.