New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies: 4/11/22 Game Preview

Despite a failure to sweep the Washington Nationals yesterday, the opening weekend was a success for the New York Mets (3-1), who scored a series victory by winning three out of four. The level of difficulty is going to increase significantly today as the Mets continue their National League East road trip with the first of three against the Philadelphia Phillies (2-1). First pitch for the opener of this series is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. at Citizen’s Bank Park.

The 2021 season was an interesting one for the Phillies, who got an MVP performance out of Bryce Harper but still fell short of the playoffs by going 82-80, finishing 6.5 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves. Philadelphia went on an offseason spending spree to try and end their 10-year postseason drought, signing Kyle Schwarber and Nicholas Castellanos to add some serious pop to their lineup while importing Corey Knebel alongside former Mets Jeurys Familia and Brad Hand to bolster their bullpen. The end result is a slugging team with a ton of defensive deficiencies that could hit their way to the postseason, making this an important foe for the Mets to vanquish if they want to end their own five-year playoff drought.

Right-hander Taijuan Walker (7-11, 4.47 ERA in 2021) is set to make his season debut for the Mets tonight. Walker had a rough spring as he struggled to stretch out due to a knee injury so there are questions as to how long he will be able to go in this game. The Phillies will counter with lefty Ranger Suarez (8-5, 1.36 ERA in 2021), who made a smooth transition from the bullpen into the starting rotation late last year.

Local Coverage:

Television: SNY

Radio: WCBS

New York Mets Lineup:

Pre-Game Notes:

    The Mets went 9-10 against the Phillies in 2021, including a 3-6 mark at Citizen’s Bank Park.

    Walker is 1-2 with a 3.34 ERA in six career starts against the Phillies.

    Suarez is 1-2 with a 4.20 ERA in nine career appearances, including two starts, against the Mets.

    Starling Marte is back in the Mets’ starting lineup after getting the day off. He will bat second and play right field.

    Jeff McNeil and Robinson Cano will sit with a lefty starter in Suarez on the mound. Luis Guillorme will draw his second straight start at second base and bats eighth.

    J.D. Davis will make his return to the lineup in the DH slot with a lefty on the mound and bats sixth.

    Schwarber (5 for 10, 5 HR, 7 RBI), Castellanos (2 for 6, HR, 2 RBI) and Alec Bohm (4 for 10, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) have done well against Walker in the past.

    Eduardo Escobar is 2 for 3 with a double, a home run and three RBIs in his career against Suarez.