Thanks to the appearance of Tropical Storn Hannah on the East Coast of the U.S., the Saturday afternoon game between the Phillies (77-64) and the Mets (79-62) has been postponed. Instead, the two contenders for the National League East will be playing a day-night doubleheader in Shea Stadium tomorrow. These will be the final games to be played between these two rivals in Shea Stadium.
The first game of the twinbill will start at 2:15 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the 45-years old veteran Jamie Moyer (12-7, 3.80), who is coming off a win against the Cubs on August 31, where he went five and a third innings, giving up only two earned runs on eight hits (all singles), in the Phillies’ 5-3 win. Moyer has given up three runs or less in fifteen of his last sixteen starts, and plans to make it sixteen in his last seventeen, while planning to improve on his 1-1, 4.40 ERA in five starts record against the Mets. Moyer will be trying for his team leading thirtenth victory while hoping to shut down the Mets’ bats, redeeming himself for being roughed up by the Mets on August 26, only going three innings as he gave up six earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 dramatic, come from behind, extra-innings win. The Mets will be sending to the mound Pedro Martinez (5-3, 5.07), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on August 31, where he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 6-2 win. In his last start against the Phillies, also on August 26, Martinez would get a no-decision as he is forced out of the game early, as he goes only five innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 8-7 extra-innings lost. Martinez is 3-2 against the Phils since joining the Mets in 2005. His will be trying to improve his record while trying to last a bit longer than he did a week ago.
The second game of the doubleheader will be a battle between team aces that will be televised nationally on ESPN. The game will begin at 8:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Cole Hamels (12-8, 3.01), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on September 2, as he went seven and one-third shut out innings, giving up five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-0 win. Hamels has won three of his last four starts, all of them quality starts, while being dominating in the two starts that were shown before a national audience. Like Moyer, he plans to win his thirteenth start, while trying to win his third straight start in the national spotlight. The Mets will counter with Johan Santana (12-7, 2.71), who is coming off a no-decision against the Brewers on September 1, as he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 4-2 win. In his last start against the Phillies on August 27 he, like Martinez, would leave the game early, receiving a no-decision as he went only six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, in the Mets’ 6-3 come from behind win. His record against the Phillies in four previous starts is 1-0 with three no-decisions. He will be trying for his second win against the Phillies while trying to keep the Phillies’ offense quiet.
The Phillies’ batters will once again try to remain patient against both Martinez and Santana, forcing them into enough deep counts so that both men will have to leave their games early and will then try to dismantle the Mets’ bullpen. At the same time, the Phillies’ starters will try to pitch long enough into the game so that they will give the bullpen a much needed rest, while hoping that the deep end of the pen won’t create another eighth inning fiasco.
The Phillies trail the Mets by two games as they go into the double header tomorrow while they presently lead the Marlins by five games as the fish prepares to meet the Cardinals later tonight. In the wild card race, the Phillies now trail the slumping Brewers by four games, while they are ahead of the Cardinals by two, the Astros by three and the Marlins by five games. The Phillies hope to come back home trailing the Mets by no worst than two games, if not in fact tied for first place, before they face the Marlins for three games and the Brewers for four.