The Phils (3-3, 3rd) will end their short home stand with a weekend series against the Mets (4-2, 2nd), starting with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm EDT.
The Phils, who presently own a two-game winning streak, will see if they can continue the Mets present two-game slide, as they send to the mound their number two starter, Cliff Lee (0-0, 1.50), who is presently coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on April 7, in which he pitched six innings, giving up just one run, thanks to a wild pitch, and his not being able to catch Carlos Ruiz’s throw back to him as he still had a chance to tag out the runner, on two hits and two walks, while he struck out four, in the Phils’ 2-1 extra-inning lost. Lee, who has a career record of 2-0 against the Mets with an ERA of 0.43 and seventeen strikeouts, as he pitched in 21 innings, will once again be going for his first win of the year. The Mets will counter with R.A. Dickey (1-0, 3.00), who is coming off a win against the Braves on April 7, where he pitched six innings, giving up just two runs on six hits and four walks, as he struck out three, in the Mets’ 4-2 win. Dickey, who has a caeer record of 2-3 against the Phils with a 2.61 ERA and twenty-seven strikeouts, will be trying to see if he can again give the Phils’ batters fits.
The Phils’ offense, after being able to score only eight runs in their first four games of the season, for an average of two runs per game, have scored a total of ten runs in their last two, while their pitching have allowed only two runs, after being rung up for six in the home opener. In their last two games, the Phils have cranked out a total of twenty-two hits, including six extra-base hits (2B (3), HR (3)), with Carlos Ruiz, Shane Victorino and Ty Wigginton all hitting their first home runs of the season. The offense would also have three stolen bases, with Victorino swiping his third and fourth stolen bases, and Juan Pierre swiping his second stolen base of the young season, as the team continues to use small ball, along with some timely hitting added in the second game of the series, as well as some Marlins’ fielding mistakes and some luck finally going their way. Pitching wise, the starters have had only one bad start, Cole Hamels’ opening day dud at home in which he gave up four runs, all but one of which was earned, while the rest of the staff (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Vance Worley and Joe Blanton) have allowed a grand total of four runs in thirty-four innings pitched, for a record of 3-1 for the starters, with two no-decisions, in six starts. Lee will be trying to continue the so far excellent starting pitching when he faces the Mets tonight. The Phils hope that they can extend their winning streak, while putting the Mets back in their place, before they start an early trip to the West Coast.