Phillies-Mets: What you need to know

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Phillies-Mets: What you need to know

Phillies (3-4) vs. Mets (5-2)4:05 p.m. CSN

Starting Pitchers
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.

Previous games
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.

Head-to-head
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.
Whos hot
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.

Whos not
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.

Storylines
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.
Sound off
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 cseidman@comcastsportsnet.com

Jerad Eickhoff has 'off' game as Phillies' win streak ends with loss to Dodgers

Jerad Eickhoff has 'off' game as Phillies' win streak ends with loss to Dodgers

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES — Hold your thumb and index finger about an inch apart.

That's how close Jerad Eickhoff came to pitching an excellent ballgame on Friday night.

The Phillies' six-game winning streak came to an end in a 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers (see Instant Replay).

Eickhoff took the loss, but he and his team might have had a different fate if the right-hander could have finished off innings more efficiently.

Eickhoff allowed the leadoff man to reach base in just one of six frames and he retired the first two batters four times. However, Eickhoff allowed nine baserunners with two outs and that was his downfall on an unusually windy night in Chavez Ravine.

What happened?

Simple. Eickhoff didn't have his trusty sidekick with him.

He didn't have his curveball.

"It just comes down to the curveball," he said. "I had it in the first inning and I just couldn't find that release point after that. I struggled with it.

"I was able to keep them off balance with my slider and by locating the fastball. Eight of their hits were singles and that's frustrating.

"But yeah, just the curveball. I couldn't put them away."

Seven of the nine hits that Eickhoff gave up came with two outs. He also issued two two-out walks. The Dodgers scored five runs against Eickhoff in 5 2/3 innings and four of them came with two outs. One of the four came on a wild pitch by Eickhoff. The wild pitch was a curveball that got away.

Perhaps the most frustrating sequence of the game for Eickhoff came in the fourth inning when Cody Bellinger beat the shift with a two-out bunt single then scored when No. 8 hitter Kike Hernandez lined a double over leftfielder Aaron Altherr's head to tie the game at 2-2. Altherr just missed making a running catch as the ball ticked off his glove as he raced back to the wall.

Also frustrating was the sixth inning. Eickhoff got the first two outs before allowing a single and a walk. Mackanin went to reliever Luis Garcia and Justin Turner tagged him for a two-run double as the Dodgers put the game away.

"You get two outs, you want to put them away," Eickhoff said. "You want to get the guys back in the dugout and I couldn't do it today.

"My curveball was either coming out early or I'd adjust, grip it a little tighter and I'd spike it. There was no in between. Then I'd get it over in the zone and it got put in play."

In other words, it was one of those nights.

"Eickhoff was off," manager Pete Mackanin said. "He just wasn't himself. He's allowed to have a bad game once in a while."

The Phillies' offense didn't have the best of days. Freddy Galvis improved his hitting streak to 10 games with a two-run double against Kenta Maeda to give the Phils a 2-0 lead in the third. But the Phillies got nothing else going against Maeda over his seven innings. Maikel Franco had a sacrifice fly in the eighth, but the Phils went down quietly in the ninth with Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen striking out Altherr, Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp to end the game.

Rupp had a double and a walk, but is hitting .180.

Joseph was hitless with three strikeouts in four at-bats. He is hitting .190.

"A two-run lead is really nothing when you think about it," Mackanin said. "It's nice to get a lead but you don't want to hang on for nine innings with a two-run lead. You need to add on and we couldn't. Maeda pitched well. He mixed it up. We just couldn't zero in on him and get a big inning going."

One bright spot for the Phils was the work of reliever Mark Leiter Jr. He pitched a scoreless seventh inning in his big-league debut. With his debut, Leiter and his dad (Mark Sr. pitched for the Phils in 1997 and 1998) became the second father-son duo, joining the Amaros, to play for the club.

Leiter, who grew up a Phillies fan in Tom's River, on the Jersey Shore, pitched a 1-2-3 inning. He got Chase Utley on a fly ball to left for the second out.

"That was pretty cool," Leiter said. "Growing up and watching the Phillies, I saw him contribute to a lot of great years. Anytime you face a guy you watched growing up and rooted for, it's pretty special. It was awesome, something you dream about."

Best of MLB: Mets beat Max Scherzer, first-place Nationals

Best of MLB: Mets beat Max Scherzer, first-place Nationals

WASHINGTON -- With Bryce Harper coming to the plate with the bases loaded and the Mets clinging to a two-run, ninth-inning lead, New York manager Terry Collins went to the mound and replaced closer Jeurys Familia with left-hander Josh Edgin.

"If we'd have won seven in a row, I probably would have left Jeurys out there, because that's what he's here to do," Collins said.

But the Mets had lost six in a row and 10 of 11, falling 7 games behind NL East-leading Washington.

Edgin got Harper to hit a comebacker the reliever turned in a game-ending double play as the Mets held on for a 7-5 victory Friday night (see full recap).

Yankees rally from 8 down to beat Orioles
NEW YORK -- Matt Holliday ended a thrilling duel of home run derby in the Bronx with one final thump.

Holliday hit the eighth homer of the game, a three-run shot in the 10th inning as the New York Yankees completed a stunning rally from an eight-run deficit, outslugging the Baltimore Orioles 14-11 Friday night.

"It's an amazing feeling. We're down 9-1, and then we were down 11-4," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They never quit. We have the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark and that's what we did."

Starlin Castro slipped to a knee when he tied it with a two-run drive that capped a three-run burst in the ninth off Brad Brach. Then in the 10th, Holliday hit the Yankees' fifth homer of the evening with one out off Jayson Aquino (1-1) and was mobbed at the plate (see full recap).

Red Sox get to Arrieta early, beat Cubs
BOSTON -- Against Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, the Red Sox didn't have time for a slow start Friday night -- not exactly a strength for them this season.

Andrew Benintendi helped Boston solve that issue, and the club just had to hang on from there.

Benintendi hit a solo homer off Arrieta to spark a five-run first inning and Boston beat Chicago 5-4.

The Red Sox had just seven first-inning runs this season entering Friday (see full recap).

Soto's 2-run single leads White Sox past Tigers
DETROIT -- Mike Pelfrey put his emotions aside and helped his new team, the Chicago White Sox, beat his old team, the Detroit Tigers.

Pelfrey, who was released by the Tigers near the end of spring training, started Friday's game at Detroit and left after 4 2/3 innings with the game tied. Geovany Soto then had a two-run single in the eighth, helping the White Sox beat the Tigers 7-3 at Comerica Park.

"There's no bitterness," Pelfrey said of facing Detroit. "Those guys were good to me. Obviously, spring training didn't end the way I wanted, but that's on me. I don't think I lived up to my end of the bargain," (see full recap).