Matt Harvey was the National League's starting pitcher. Image Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Phillies vs. Mets Series Preview: Can the Phillies Regain Momentum?

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The unofficial second half of the season begins on Friday when the Phillies start a three game series against the Mets at Citi Field.

Quick side rant: What’s the deal with the All-Star break being four days long now?  It used to be that we’d have a three-day break and get back to normal life on Thursday.  Now we have yet another day without sports!  Who is responsible for this?

When we last saw them, the Phillies were a hot team, having won 9 of their last 14 games.  Hopefully, they can recapture that momentum, because they have a tough task ahead of them.  While they are within reasonable striking distance of a playoff spot, they still need to make up a sizeable amount of ground.

Considering they have strong teams like the Cardinals and Tigers looming on the schedule, it would do the Phillies quite a bit of good if they could win this series against the less imposing Mets.

What’s New with the Mets?

Marlon Byrd might be a nice addition to the Phillies outfield

The Mets are still a bad team, but they have been noticeably less bad in July, going 8-5.  Their offense has been the main cause for the improvement, averaging over 5 runs scored per game this month.

One of their offensive standouts has been former Phillie Marlon Byrd.  Byrd is batting .322 with three home runs in July.  Considering that the Phillies could use another outfielder or two, he wouldn’t be a bad player to target at the deadline.  He’s certainly not a long-term option, and I wouldn’t give up anything more than a middling prospect, but he could certainly help fill the void caused by Ben Revere’s injury.

Mets Player Who Isn’t Completely Terrible

Matt Harvey is having a splendid year.  The young phenom is currently leading the National League in strikeouts and has a sparkling 2.35 ERA.

Harvey was the starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game.  This isn’t surprising because the game was played in New York, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that any event held in New York must be as much about New York as possible.  (Not saying that Mariano Rivera isn’t an all-time great, but am I the only one who thought that celebration was a little overblown?)

Sunday’s game will see Harvey face fellow All-Star Cliff Lee in what should be an excellent pitching matchup.

Mets Player Who is Terrible

The Mets hoped that a stint in the minor leagues would cure Ike Davis of his hitting woes.  So far, that hope has proven to be unfounded.  Since his recall, Davis is batting only .192.  The truly frightening thing is that his overall average has actually increased in that time, as he’s now batting a robust .165 overall.

Tweet of Optimism

@HeroldandKumar Phil’s are 6-3 vs Mets this year. Plus you will have to face Lee, Hamels and Kendrick

— Brendan Clarke (@bren_not_bran) July 14, 2013

Tweet of Pessimism

Slight postseason chase detail Amaro might be missing: The Phillies are closer to the Mets in the standings than an actual playoff spot.

— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) July 10, 2013

Final Analysis

The Phillies need to come out hot this weekend.  A slip up against an inferior team like the Mets could prove deadly to their postseason chances.

 

For more Phillies thoughts, follow me on Twitter @MikeLacy_215

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Tags: Baseball Ben Revere Citi Field Cliff Lee Ike Davis Mariano Rivera Marlon Byrd Matt Harvey Mike Lacy MLB New York New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies Series Preview

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