All the momentum the New York Mets (27-27) built up during their last home stand went to waste during a 2-4 road trip. An 11-10 loss to the Colorado Rockies ensured the Mets lost both series and dropped back to .500 on the season. The Mets now have to hope that another six-game home stand brings back some consistency for them. That home stand kicks off tonight as the Mets welcome their National League East rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies (25-28), to town to kick off a three-game series. First pitch for the opener is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.
2022 was a crazy year for the Phillies, who got off to a slow start and fired Joe Girardi in-season. Interim Rob Thomson helped guide Philadelphia to an 87-75 finish, good for third place in the National League East, and finished 14 games back of the first-place Atlanta Braves. The Phillies did enough to grab the final Wild Card in the National League and caught fire in October, surging past the St. Louis Cardinals, Braves and San Diego Padres to secure the National League pennant before falling to the Houston Astros in six games in the World Series.
That success inspired the Phillies to take big swings during the offseason, notably landing the best hitter on the market as shortstop Trea Turner joined Philadelphia on an 11-year deal worth $300 million to re-unite with Bryce Harper, who missed the first month of the season recovering from elbow surgery. Former Met Taijuan Walker also joined Philadelphia to bolster their rotation while Craig Kimbrel and Gregory Soto were added to bolster the bullpen. Unfortunately for the Phillies, the inconsistency that plagued them during the 2022 regular season has resurfaced here, leaving them below .500 again at the end of May.
Right-hander Kodai Senga (4-3, 3.94 ERA) is set to take the mound for the Mets tonight. Senga struggled with his command in his last start, walking five batters in five innings of work against the Chicago Cubs last Wednesday, but managed to hold them to just three runs. That was simply too much on a night the Mets couldn’t muster offense, leading to Senga’s third loss of the year. The Phillies will counter with lefty Ranger Suarez (0-1, 9.82 ERA). Suarez was hit hard by the Arizona Diamondbacks in his last start, giving up five runs in five innings of work last Wednesday, but was bailed out of a loss when Philadelphia rallied for a 6-5 win in 10 innings. The end result for Suarez was a no-decision.
New York Mets Lineup:
The Mets went 14-5 against the Phillies last season, including a 7-2 mark at Citi Field.
Senga has never faced the Phillies before.
Suarez is 1-2 with a 4.01 ERA in 11 career appearances, including four starts, against the Mets.
Brett Baty and Daniel Vogelbach will sit again with the lefty Suarez on the mound. Eduardo Escobar will play third base and hit ninth while Mark Vientos serves as the designated hitter and bats fifth.
Jeff McNeil is back in the Mets’ starting lineup after sitting out with groin soreness on Sunday. He will play second base and bat seventh.
Mark Canha will get the night off. Tommy Pham will start in left field and bat eighth.
Escobar (3 for 5, 2B, HR, 4 RBI) and Brandon Nimmo (3 for 10, RBI) have done well against Suarez in the past.