Mets look to back on track vs. Phillies
The New York Mets enter their weekend series in Philadelphia out of sorts and out of order.
The wallowing Mets will try to stay above .500 against a Philadelphia Phillies team that swept the San Francisco Giants earlier this week. The divisional foes start a three-game set at 7:05 p.m. ET Friday night.
The Mets have lost eight of their last nine games, and they made headlines for the wrong reasons in their latest defeat. New York batted out of order in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. The flub killed a potential rally in an eventual 2-1 loss that cost the Mets the series against the lowly Reds.
“It was just an administrative thing that I didn’t take care of. I got to double check, triple check and quadruple check what’s put on there and what’s put on the board,” first-year Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters. “I’m responsible for it. … It’s frustrating. It probably cost us the game.”
Gabe Kapler has also experienced managerial growing pains in his first season, but his team continues to hang around the top of the National League East standings.
The Phillies are 22-15 after sweeping the Giants and 15-5 at Citizens Bank Park. It took the Phillies until June 15 to win their 22nd game of the season in 2017.
They scored 32 runs in four games against the Giants, and they swept San Francisco without the help of their biggest offseason acquisition.
Jake Arrieta will be back on the mound Friday night for his seventh start in a Phillies uniform. The 2015 Cy Young Award winner was part of a pitchers’ duel in his last outing. Facing Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals, Arrieta (3-1, 3.15 ERA) allowed just one run on two hits and two walks last Sunday.
It was a bounce-back start for Arrieta, who gave up six runs on eight hits and failed to get through four innings against the Miami Marlins on April 30. In Arrieta’s five other starts with the Phillies, he has a 1.76 ERA and 0.88 WHIP.
Arrieta is 2-2 with a 2.30 ERA in seven career starts against the Mets.
New York will send left-hander Steven Matz to the hill Friday night. Matz is having an up-and-down start to the 2018 season but is coming off one of his best starts of the year.
Matz (1-3, 4.23 ERA) held the Rockies to just one run on three hits and struck out five over six innings last Sunday. While the Mets offense provided no run support and Matz took the loss, it was a promising start for the 26-year-old. Matz had a 6.39 ERA in his previous three starts.
“That was very encouraging. And not just the results, it was more what he was doing in between pitches that was really noticeable to me,” Callaway told reporters about Matz. “… He really did a good job of that tempo in between pitches, and that will be a big key for him moving forward.”
The Mets are expected to be without Jay Bruce in the weekend series. Bruce, who has a .697 OPS in 34 games, will be home out on paternity leave as his wife is expecting their second child, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.