While New York’s Bartolo Colon has shined aside from one rocky outing, Philadelphia’s Kyle Kendrick is still mired in a lengthy losing streak despite coming off a decent start.
With the visiting Mets looking to take both games in the set, Colon tries to build on another solid outing as Kendrick seeks his first win in 13 starts Wednesday night.
New York (15-11) and Philadelphia (13-13) used solid pitching to win six of eight leading up to their brief series at Citizens Bank Park, but only the surprising Mets were able to continue that trend in Tuesday’s opener.
Jonathon Niese allowed one run over seven innings in a 6-1 victory as New York moved four games over .500 for the first time since July 2012. The Mets have posted a 2.07 ERA while giving up more than three runs only once during this 7-2 stretch.
"We’ve got guys that have tremendous stuff," catcher Anthony Recker told the team’s official website. "We’ve got guys that have tremendous experience."
That certainly describes the 40-year-old Colon (2-3, 4.50 ERA). He’s allowed four runs with 14 strikeouts over 14 innings in his last two starts after giving up a career high-tying nine earned runs – and four homers – in five innings of a 14-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on April 13.
Outside of that poor showing, Colon has posted a 2.33 ERA with 23 strikeouts and one walk in four starts. He snapped a two-start losing streak Thursday when he surrendered one run and four hits over seven innings in a 4-1 home win over St. Louis.
The right-hander has gone 1-2 with a 4.65 ERA in five career starts against the Phillies, though he hasn’t faced them since 2008 while with Boston.
Ryan Howard, who went 2 for 4 Tuesday, is batting .412 with four homers over a nine-game hitting streak versus New York. He’s also homered in each of his two career at-bats versus Colon.
The Phillies had batted .281 with 19 doubles in their previous eight games before they were held to five hits – including Marlon Byrd’s home run – in the opener. Byrd, who hit 21 homers with the Mets last season, is 9 for 21 in his last five contests.
Although Kendrick (0-2, 3.52) has given up three runs or less in four of his five starts, he hasn’t been able to snap his winless streak thanks in part to an offense that has given him just 13 runs of support.
The right-hander has gone 0-7 with a 4.87 ERA since his last win Aug. 6. He surrendered a season-high 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, but limited Los Angeles to two runs and the Phillies scored four runs in the ninth for a 7-3 win.
Kendrick had won four straight starts versus New York before allowing five runs – one earned – over six innings in a 5-0 loss at Citi Field on Aug. 27. He’s 5-2 with a 2.78 ERA in his last seven starts against the Mets.
Daniel Murphy (5 for 27), Lucas Duda (3 for 16), Chris Young (3 for 15) and Ruben Tejada (4 for 19) have struggled when facing Kendrick, but David Wright is 9 for 19 with a home run against him since 2011.
Murphy, Young and Tejada went a combined 6 for 11 with four RBIs and four runs Tuesday as the Mets won for the 15th time in 20 meetings in Philadelphia.