Phillies (3-4) vs. Mets (5-2)4:05 p.m. CSN
Vance Worley (0-0, 1.50 ERA) starts for the Phillies. Worley pitched well in Pittsburgh in the opening series (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) and exited the game in line for a win. The Phillies bullpen blew the lead and the Pirates won on Andrew McCutchens walkoff single.
Jon Niese (1-0, 4.50 ERA) makes his second start of the season for the Mets. New York signed the 25-year-old lefty to a five-year, 25.5 million deal last Saturday, and he responded by pitching six no-hit innings against the Braves. Shoddy Mets defense resulted in a final line for Niese that belied his overall performance.
The Mets took Game 1 of the series Friday night, 5-2, behind seven crafty innings from knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. The Phillies tallied 11 hits but managed just two runs, one on the first major-league home run by Freddy Galvis and another on a two-out error to score Carlos Ruiz.
The Mets got on the board early with three runs of Cliff Lee in the first inning. Jimmy Rollins was 3 for 4 for the Phils.
The Phillies are 32-23 against the Mets since the start of 2009 and 18-10 at Citizens Bank Park.
Worley has more appearances (six) and starts (four) against the Mets than any other team. He is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 24 innings. Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner and Josh Thole are a combined 11 for 26 off Worley with three doubles and seven RBIs.
Niese is 3-4 vs. the Phillies with a 4.07 ERA in eight starts. But dont be fooled those numbers are uglied by two rough starts at Citizens Bank Park in which Niese allowed 14 runs in eight innings. In his other six starts against the Phils, Niese has a 1.77 ERA in 41 innings. Placido Polanco has hit Niese well, he is 9 for 21 (.429) with four doubles. John Mayberry has had success against the southpaw, as well, going 5 for 14 with two homers and a double.
Rollins is 8 for his last 17 with seven singles, but has just one steal and two runs scored.
Galvis is 5 for 10 with a home run and two doubles since starting the season 0 for 12.
Placido Polanco is batting .192 and has gone hitless in three of his six starts.
Mets first baseman Ike Davis is 1 for 23 (.043) with nine strikeouts.
The Phillies look to return to .500 and avoid a series loss to the Mets, who at 5-2 are off to their best start in six seasons.
The Phillies have allowed 0.7 runs per game in three wins and 4.5 runs per game in three losses.
Mets leading hitter David Wright was cleared to play by a hand specialist on Thursday, but Wright sat out because, according to the third baseman, he functionally cant grip a bat or grip a baseball.
The Phillies didnt hit Dickey on Friday night, a pitcher who has had a handful of great starts against them and several clunkers. Will they get to Niese, a pitcher who has had similar Jekyll & Hyde experiences against them?
E-mail Corey Seidman at firstname.lastname@example.org