The Phils look to finish off their listless rivals in front of a national television audience tonight, and it's Cliff Lee (2-2, 4.18) on the hill to euthanize the fallen franchise. The Mets may be hiding an ace up their sleeve though in Chris Young (1-0, 2.65), the righthander who beat the home team a month ago at Citizens Bank Park.
Young has been one of the few bright spots for New York this season, despite missing three starts with biceps tendinitis. In his Mets debut, the oft-injured righty baffled the Fightins through 5.1 innings, giving up one run and striking out seven in a 7-1 victory. Placido Polanco had the lone RBI, while Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard each went down on strikes twice.
In his last outing, Young returned from his latest stint on the disabled list to allow three runs on three solo homers over 4.2, but it was enough to help his club earn a 6-4 victory against the Nationals.
Of course, the Mets need to find some offense if they want any chance to avoid the sweep. New York has managed to muster just four runs in the weekend series, and things don't get a whole lot easier at the dish with Clifton up. The Phils' prized off-season acquisition was dinged for four runs and a loss at Arizona in his most recent appearance, but he struck out 12 and worked seven in a solid effort.
Lee is making his first start of the year against the Muts, and only the second in his career. On August 24, 2009, he picked up the W at Citi Field, not allowing an earned run and striking out five in seven frames of work en route to a 6-2 win.
For the season, the Phillies are 4-1 against New York, and 9-4 versus the NL East. With a win tonight, they can keep pace with Cleveland for the best record in baseball at 19-8.
Tonight's game has the unusual 8:05 p.m. start time as part of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball--sorry, no home TV broadcast for a second day in a row. At least the Phillies have a chance to embarrass the Mets on a stage the whole world can see.