Friday, September 30, 2016

Mets at Phillies: Final Series of the Season Preview


Ryan Howard, image- Jay Floyd
In a series that will wrap up the fifth straight season in which the Phillies (70-89) have failed to reach the postseason, the host club will likely see a division rival clinch a playoff berth on their home turf. The Phils will host the Mets (85-74), who hold a magic number of two to lock down a National League Wild Card spot, for a three-game set beginning Friday night.

With the Mets in the driver's seat to be able to punch their own ticket toward the postseason, the Phils will counter with something remarkable of their own, when they honor former NL Most Valuable Player and three-time All-Star Ryan Howard with a pre-game presentation on Sunday. The 36-year-old is playing his last days in a Phillies uniform as the team reportedly plans a buy out of their option on the veteran for next season. The lefty slugger has been in the Phils' organization since the team made him their 5th round draft choice back in 2001.


The Mets have been victorious in five of their last seven contests including a 17-0 rout over the Phils last Sunday which locked up a series win in New York.

The Phillies' 6.20 ERA against the Mets this year is the worst of all 20 teams that have faced them.

Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and much more from this weekend's series.

Friday, 7:05PM. Robert Gsellman (3-2, 2.45 ERA) vs. Alec Asher (2-0, 1.66 ERA). Gsellman, a 23-year-old right-hander, sports a 1-1 record with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against the Phillies. Gsellman has a 2.51 ERA in three road starts since joining the Mets this season. The California native was a 13th round draft selection by the Mets in 2011. In two career starts against the Mets, Asher has a 7.94 ERA. Asher, a righty, was a 4th round pick of Texas in 2012 and was acquired as part of last season's Cole Hamels trade. Earlier this season, Asher served an 80-game suspension due to a positive test for performance enhancing drugs.

Saturday, 1:05PM. Bartolo Colon (14-8, 3.42 ERA) vs. Phil Klein (0-1, 8.22). With playoff implications, this game was changed from an evening game time to a nationally televised afternoon affair. In 18 career starts against the Phils, Colon has tallied a 10-5 record with a 3.42 ERA. In 17 road starts this season, Colon has an 8-5 record with a 3.73 ERA. Colon has a 3.14 ERA in eight career starts at Citizens Bank Park. Klein posted a 1.13 ERA in his last six starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. Klein was claimed off waivers from Texas in June.

Sunday, 3:05PM. Noah Syndergaard (14-9, 2.60 ERA) vs. Jerad Eickhoff (11-4, 3.72 ERA). Syndergaard will throw just 25 pitches in this contest if the Mets have clinched a postseason berth in time for this start, according to manager Terry Collins. In four career starts against the Phils, Syndergaard has a 4-0 record with a 1.37 ERA. The righty has a 2.29 ERA in 14 road starts this season. Eickhoff has a 1-4 record with a 2.84 ERA in six career starts against the Mets. In 16 home starts this season, the 26-year-old righty has a 6-7 record with a 3.43 ERA. Curtis Granderson is 2-for-14 (.143 avg) with a home run in his career when facing Eickhoff.

In 19 career games at Citizens Bank Park, Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who was drafted by the Phillies, sports a .284 average with four homers and 11 RBI. d'Arnaud sports a .232/.292/.272 slash line in 35 road games this season.

In 155 games in his career against the Phillies, Jose Reyes has a .296 batting average with 19 home runs, 67 RBI and 60 stolen bases. Reyes is batting .290 in 30 road games this season.

Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has a .299 average with nine home runs and 21 RBI in 22 career games against the Phils.

Phils third baseman Maikel Franco has a .219 average with three homers and 11 RBI in 18 games against the Mets. Franco has a .235 batting average in 75 home games this season.

In 50 games at home this season, Ryan Howard is batting .200 with 12 homers and 26 RBI. Howard has posted a .263/.331/.610 slash line in 42 games since the All-Star break. Howard is 6-for-40 (.150 avg) against the Mets this season.

All-Star Odubel Herrera is a .230 hitter in 33 career games against the Mets. The 24-year-old has gone 24-for-59 (.407 avg) with 15 runs scored over his last 15 games.

Mets' team ERA in September- 3.48 (7th in MLB).

Phillies' team ERA in September- 5.12 (27th in MLB).
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