Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

Bring on the Phillies!
Chase Utley. Ryan Howard. Jimmy Rollins. Cole Hamels.

They don’t live here anymore.

They’ve been replaced with Makiel Franco, Rhys Hoskins, JP Crawford and Aaron Nola. The rivalry isn’t what it was a decade ago, but they are still a team in the NL East we need to beat. The Mets started the 2018 season on a good note, taking two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals. We’ll see if we can keep the good times rolling.

It is Monday, April 2nd, but no one told Mother Nature. The opening game of the series has been postponed due to snow. The teams will make it up Monday, July 9th as part of a doubleheader.

That means we will have to wait for the season debut of Matt Harvey. Arguably the team’s biggest question mark, Harvey hopes to build on his impressive spring and erase the memories of the last two seasons.

The snow also allows Philadelphia to rest it’s beleaguered bullpen. New manager Gabe Kapler has been running his relief pitching ragged this season, using 21 pitchers in 28 innings of play! Kapler inserted a pitcher into the game who wasn’t warmed up. Infielder Pedro Florimon has thrown one more inning than the two relievers the Phillies spent $34 million on this offseaon!

The Phillies, who despite some big name free agent acquisitions this off-season are still rebuilding. The Mets need to win every series against the Phillies and Braves this year. They need to win every game against the Marlins. That’s just the reality if the Mets want to compete this year. With that being said, the Phillies do have a good lineup. Let’s get into their off-season activity.

Their biggest splash was signing starting pitcher Jake Arrieta. Everyone assumed Arrieta would be signed before the winter meetings were over.  It took until March for him to land a contract. The Phils signed Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek for some bullpen health. They also snatched up Carlos Santana to play first base.

Neshek and Hunter now find themselves on the DL. The Mets will also miss Jake Arrieta, who is currently in the minors building up his stamina.

The aforementioned Carlos Santana, along with Rhys Hoskins and Makiel Franco provide a lot of power to the Phillies lineup. Cesar Hernandez, Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera have proven to be professional hitters, and round out a pretty deep Philly lineup. Scott Kingery, JP Crawford and Jorge Alfaro are exciting young players we may see for years to come in Philadelphia.

Matt Harvey will face off against Ben Lively on Tuesday night. Seth Lugo will be skipped in the rotation as Noah Syndergaard. takes the mound against Aaron Nola Wednesday afternoon.

The strategy will be to get into the Phillies bullpen. Many questions surround Matt Harvey in what is now a 2 game series, so the offense will need to show up. Syndergaard? Well he just needs to be Syndergaard.

Huge series for the Mets as we take on the Washington Nationals later this week. After a uneven performance by Steven Matz yesterday, it would be nice to see someone other than Syndergaard or deGrom deliver a strong performance. All eyes on Matt Harvey tomorrow night.