Aug 25, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay (34) delivers to the plate during the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks 9-5. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Phillies vs. Mets Series Preview

The Phillies series against the Diamondbacks had it all: Walk-off victories!  18 inning games!  Position players on the pitchers’ mound!  Home run saving catches!  Roy Halladay!

For the first time in a while, it was actually fun to be a Phillies fan.  And nothing says fun as a Phillies fan quite like beating a team from New York, so let’s hope the Phillies can continue to play well when they travel up to Citi Field to take on the Mets.

For those of you who like a little bit of meaning to your games, I have good news: The Phillies and Mets are battling it out for third place in the National League East.  This week’s series will help determine who gets to hold that distinguished honor at the end of the year.

What’s New with the Mets?

The Mets are coming in to this series on a four-game losing streak after being swept by the Detroit Tigers.  But that isn’t the worst thing that has happened to the Mets this week.  Phenom pitcher Matt Harvey was diagnosed with a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament.  The current plan is for Harvey to rest and rehabilitate the arm, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the injury ultimately required surgery.

Daisuke Matsuzaka is back! Image Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Harvey obviously won’t be pitching in this series, but that doesn’t mean that there are no intriguing storylines.  If you’re a fan of Japanese pitchers who once received a lot of unwarranted hype, I have good news for you: The Mets have signed Daisuke Matsuzaka!  Dice-K is scheduled to start Wednesday’s game, and the Phillies hope he looks just as unimpressive as he was in his first start of the season against the Tigers. (5 runs in 5 innings)

Mets Player Who Isn’t Entirely Horrible

Despite sucking for most of the season, Ike Davis has arguably been the Mets’ best hitter in August, batting .297 with two home runs.  That’s a marked improvement for a guy who was slumping so badly that the Mets sent him to the minors in June.

Mets Player Who Is Horrible

Speaking of turnarounds from early in the season, Catcher John Buck has not exactly sustained his early season success.  He hit nine home runs in April, making some people believe he was destined for some sort of Brady Anderson-like career season at age 33.  That has not turned out to be the case.  He has only hit six home runs since then (and only one since the All-Star break) and his .215 average has been a drag on the team’s offense.

Tweet of Importance

This is important for Phillies fans to remember: 2013 may be disappointing, but at least the team hasn’t put you through anything as bad as what Mets fans have had to deal with.

Tweet of Importance II

The winning pitcher in that game? Pedro Martinez.

 Final Take

Sure, we all hoped that the Phillies would be fighting for the division title this year, but that’s not going to happen.  If the best they can do is third place, then I want to see them own that third place spot.  The Race for Third Place begins in earnest tonight!

Tags: Baseball Daisuke Matsuzaka Eric Bruntlett Ike Davis John Buck Matt Harvey Mike Lacy MLB National League East New York Mets Pedro Martinez Philadelphia Phillies Phillies Series Preview Roy Halladay Series Preview

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