Fri, 25 Sep 2020

Battered Phillies return home for key Mets series

Field Level Media
15 Sep 2020, 15:19 GMT+10

The injury-riddled Philadelphia Phillies will look to rebound after a difficult road trip when they host the New York Mets on Tuesday.

The Phillies fell 6-2 Monday against the host Miami Marlins and dropped five games of the teams' seven-game series. As a result, the Phillies will enter this series with a 23-23 record, as well as a suddenly banged-up roster.

Philadelphia, which is already without outfielders Jay Bruce (quad) and Roman Quinn (concussion), will also be missing catcher J.T. Realmuto (hip) and first baseman Rhys Hoskins (ulnar collateral ligament). Both Realmuto and Hoskins had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests, though Realmuto isn't expected to be sidelined for more than a couple of games.

Hoskins, however, was placed on the 10-day injured list.

"It's a real concern anytime anyone gets an MRI," Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. "We want to get an idea of what exactly is going on and give us a better way of treating it."

The Phillies, who were already reeling with injuries to two-fifths of their starting rotation -- Zack Wheeler (fingernail) and Spencer Howard (shoulder) -- have lost eight of their last 12 games. And a playoff berth, which seemed likely, is now very much in question with 14 games remaining.

"Other guys have got to rise up," Girardi said. "That's all."

Philadelphia will hand the ball to veteran right-hander Jake Arrieta to potentially move back above .500. Arrieta is 3-4 with a 5.54 ERA and will be making his ninth start.

In Arrieta's last outing at Miami, he allowed five hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innings. Arrieta walked four and struck out three in a game the Phillies eventually lost after holding a 6-3 lead in the eighth inning.

In Arrieta's career against the Mets, he has pitched well, going 5-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 15 starts.

The Mets (21-26), who are 6-5 in their last 11 games, will hand the ball to Rick Porcello. This will be the 10th start for the veteran right-hander, who's 1-4 with a 6.07 ERA.

In Porcello's last outing against the Baltimore Orioles, he struggled mightily in allowing 10 hits and five runs in four innings.

For Porcello's career against the Phillies, he's 3-3 with a 4.40 ERA in eight starts -- 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts this season.

The Mets have 13 games remaining and still have the ability to produce a late winning streak to earn a playoff spot.

"Everybody knows the number of games that we have left," Mets manager Luis Rojas said. "We know that right now, we're not in the mix for the playoffs. Our focus needs to be on the game we're going to play on any given day."

With an expanded numbers of teams playing in the postseason, anything is possible in 2020. The Mets realize that they don't need to be perfect.

"You can't really look at it like we need to go out there and win every game from here on out," reliever Brad Brach said. "But I think we all know that we've got to go to the field and just try to do the best we can every single day."

Jeff McNeil left Sunday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays with stomach discomfort. It's unclear if McNeil will be available on Tuesday.

The Mets will need McNeil down the stretch as they must finish 9-4 to post a .500 record.

"We're still right there," third baseman Todd Frazier said. "But we've got to win some more games."

--Field Level Media

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