Philadelphia Phillies Weekend Preview: New York Mets

Jul 7, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits a single against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 7, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits a single against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

A preview of the Philadelphia Phillies’ weekend series against the New York Mets

The Philadelphia Phillies headed into the All-Star break (which is four days long now! did we lose a war or something?) with some momentum, having won seven of their last 10 games. Will that positive energy carry over into the “second half” or will they falter against a playoff contender?

New York Mets

Record: 47-41 (Second in National League East)

Manager: Terry Collins

The last time they met

Despite being divisional rivals, it’s been a while since these teams squared off. The last meeting was in April when the Phillies squeaked out the finale of a three-game series in eleven innings thanks to an infield single by Peter Bourjos.

More from Philadelphia Phillies

What’s the deal with the Mets

Since April, the Mets have thrived and are now tied for the second NL wild card spot. The team’s strength was supposed to be its starting rotation, and that has largely been the case despite the struggles of one-time phenom Matt Harvey.

On offense, the Mets are mostly “all or nothing.” They rank second in the NL in homers, but are only 13th in the league in runs scored. In other words, if you can keep them in the park, you can shut down the Mets’ attack.

Reason to hate the Mets

Not only did they bring back Jose Reyes, but the fans actually welcomed him back with a standing ovation. Something tells me he won’t be greeted quite as warmly in Philadelphia.

Honestly, even if he hadn’t abused his spouse, I wouldn’t have expected such a positive greeting. Sure, he put up some pretty good numbers, but wasn’t he kind of the face of those Mets teams that collapsed so horribly?

Mets player who isn’t entirely horrible

For the first three and a half years of his major league career, Yoenis Cespedes was seen as a great defender and a good hitter. Since coming over to the National League in the middle of 2015, he’s been one of the best hitters in baseball.  He just earned his second All-Star berth, and will likely receive a large number of MVP votes at season’s end.

Mets player who is horrible

The Mets planned for Alejandro De Aza to be part of a platoon in center field. While he’s been an adequate corner outfielder in the past, he doesn’t seem to have the instincts to play center. He has also been a disappointment with the bat. They hoped he’d supply some pop from the left side of the plate, but he only has two home runs to go along with his .176 batting average.

Phillies player who has been awesome lately

After a very rough début, Zach Eflin has demonstrated why he was one of the Phillies’ top pitching prospects. In five post-debut starts, he is 2-1 with a 2.23 ERA. Not only did he dominate the Braves admittedly weak lineup, but he also performed well in Colorado.

Reasons for optimism

  • The Phillies will avoid facing Noah Syndergaard. While there are still plenty of dangerous pitchers on the Mets’ roster, avoiding the staff ace is always nice.
  • The Phillies’ offense was humming along before the All-Star break. Hopefully, guys like Peter Bourjos, Cameron Rupp, and Cody Asche can pick up where they left off.

  • Tommy Joseph will likely get a chance to face a pitcher who actually looks older than he does. (More on this below.) He’ll probably be so excited that he’ll hit at least two home runs.
  • Reasons for pessimism

  • The Phillies will have to face Jacob deGrom who is 3-0 with a 3.08 lifetime ERA against them.
  • The combination of a four-day break and facing a strong pitching staff might cool off the Phillies’ offense.

  • Bartolo Colon is 4-2 against the Phillies over the past two years. He’s going to somehow shut them down, and fans will once again be left to wonder how their team is being dominated by an obese 43-year-old.
  • Tweet of importance

    Maikel Franco has grown man strength.

    Next: Phillies Look To Turn Corner Post All-Star Break


    The Phillies will be stymied by deGrom and Colon, but they’ll pull out the middle game of the series.