Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

Michael L. Stein/US Presswire, Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images, AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

The Mets do not face All-Stars Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee this weekend. Instead, the Amazin's draw (l to r) Vance Worley, Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick.

METS (46-45, third place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (57-34, first place/NL East)

Friday: RHP R.A. Dickey (4-7, 3.61) vs. RHP Vance Worley (4-1, 2.20), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jon Niese (8-7, 3.88) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (11-4, 2.32), 7:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Mike Pelfrey (5-8, 4.55) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (4-4, 3.58), 1:10 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee each entered the All-Star break with at least nine wins and a sub-3.00 ERA. According to ESPN Stats & Information: The 1986 Mets were the last team to have at least three pitchers reach those statistical benchmarks before the All-Star break. The world-champion Amazin’s actually had four pitchers accomplish it: Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Bob Ojeda and Sid Fernandez. Neither Halladay nor Lee will appear in the Mets series after pitching in Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Phoenix.

• Hamels has allowed 99 hits and 24 walks (two intentional) in 132 innings, for a 0.93 WHIP. That ranks third in the majors, behind Justin Verlander (0.87) and Jered Weaver (0.91). Hamels’ 11 wins match Halladay for second in the National League, behind Jair Jurrjens’ 12. Hamels’ 2.32 ERA also only trails only Jurrjens (1.87).

Howard Smith/US Presswire

Third baseman Placido Polanco (bulging disc) may return this weekend.

• Philadelphia’s 57 wins before the All-Star break matched the franchise record, set in 1993 in 89 games.

• Manager Charlie Manuel notched his 600th win at Philadelphia’s helm last Friday. The other managers to reach that win plateau as Phillies skipper: Gene Mauch (645 from 1960-68) and Harry Wright (636, pre-1900).

• Third baseman Placido Polanco (bulging back disc) and Shane Victorino (sprained right thumb) attended the All-Star Game but were unable to play. Polanco officially landed on the DL on Friday. Victorino is not eligible to be activated until after the weekend. Ex-Met Wilson Valdez and Rule 5 pick Michael Martinez are filling in at third base. John Mayberry is primarily handling center field minus Victorino.

Antonio Bastardo (3-0, 0.82 ERA) has shined since being thrust into the closer’s role. Bastardo has five saves in five chances and has not allowed a hit in his past 11 innings. During those 12 appearances, he has struck out 10, walked two and opponents are hitting .057 against him. Bastardo actually has not allowed a run in his past 15 innings and 17 appearances. Incumbent closer Brad Lidge (elbow) needs additional minor league rehab appearances, while Jose Contreras’ season is in jeopardy with forearm woes. Ryan Madson (bruised right hand) began a rehab assignment Wednesday with a scoreless inning for Class A Clearwater and was activated for the series opener with the Mets.

• Second baseman Chase Utley (.280, 4 HR, 18 RBI) is playing without restrictions after knee woes delayed his season debut until May 23. Utley’s .439 slugging percentage is off his .511 career mark.

Vance Worley, who originally received a rotation spot with Roy Oswalt’s injury, officially spent the All-Star break as a minor leaguer. The Phillies optioned Worley to Triple-A last week to keep him active. Worley then tossed six scoreless innings and allowed only three hits without a walk against the Washington Nationals’ top affiliate.

• Left fielder Raul Ibanez, who has had alternating hot and cold streaks, heated up again heading into the All-Star break. Ibanez hit .360 (9-for-25) with three homers and 13 RBIs in his final five first-half games. Ibanez, however, is hitting .205 in 88 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season.

Domonic Brown has been a defensive liability in right field, as has Ibanez in left field. Yet despite a modest .252 average, Brown has an inordinate share of hard-hit outs. He also has struck out a modest 24 times in 165 plate appearances.

• Benefiting from a slew of runners on base ahead of him, Ryan Howard has 72 RBIs, one shy of matching Prince Fielder’s National League-leading total.


Dickey vs. Phillies (career: 2-2, 2.25)

Ross Gload .667, 1 RBI, 3 PA

Brian Schneider .429, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 9 PA

Wilson Valdez .333, 1 BB, 2 K, 7 PA

Carlos Ruiz .333, 1 RBI, 2 K, 6 PA

Ryan Howard .333, 2 K, 6 PA

Placido Polanco .304, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 25 PA

Raul Ibanez .263, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 20 PA

Chase Utley .200, 1 BB, 1 K, 6 PA

Jimmy Rollins .143, 7 PA

Domonic Brown .000, 3 PA

Ben Francisco .000, 1 K, 2 PA

Niese vs. Phillies (career: 2-3, 3.11 ERA)

John Mayberry .429, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 7 PA

Chase Utley .400, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 6 PA

Placido Polanco .389, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 20 PA

Carlos Ruiz .364, 2 RBI, 4 K, 11 PA

Wilson Valdez .357, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 15 PA

Jimmy Rollins .167, 2 BB, 2 K, 14 PA

Raul Ibanez .154, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 15 PA

Ben Francisco .143, 3 BB, 2 K, 11 PA

Ryan Howard .100, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 11 PA

Ross Gload .000, 1 PA

Pelfrey vs. Phillies (career: 6-5, 5.01 ERA)

Pete Orr .500, 8 PA

Ben Francisco .400, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 6 PA

Ryan Howard .378, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K, 43 PA

Domonic Brown .333, 3 PA

Chase Utley .313, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K, 38 PA

Raul Ibanez .313, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K, 33 PA

Jimmy Rollins .278, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 37 PA

Carlos Ruiz .227, 3 RBI 3 BB, 2 K, 26 PA

Brian Schneider .182, 2 BB, 1 K, 14 PA

Placido Polanco .158, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 21 PA

Ross Gload .143, 1 K, 7 PA

Wilson Valdez .000, 1 BB, 1 K, 8 PA

John Mayberry .000, 3 PA

Worley vs. Mets (career: 1-1, 4.50 ERA)

Josh Thole .667, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 4 PA

Daniel Murphy .600, 1 RBI, 1 K, 5 PA

Jason Bay .500, 1 BB, 5 PA

Angel Pagan .500, 1 RBI, 2 PA

Ruben Tejada .500, 1 RBI, 2 PA

Justin Turner .333, 1 RBI, 3 PA

Carlos Beltran .200, 1 BB, 1 K, 6 PA

Jason Pridie .000, 1 K, 2 PA

Nick Evans .000, 1 K, 1 PA

Hamels vs. Mets (career: 3-9, 4.22 ERA)

Jason Bay .429, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 9 PA

Ronny Paulino .364, 1 BB, 1 K, 12 PA

Scott Hairston .353, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 18 PA

Nick Evans .333, 2 RBI, 1 K, 9 PA

Justin Turner .333, 1 RBI, 2 K, 3 PA

Daniel Murphy .333, 1 RBI, 1 K, 3 PA

Angel Pagan .290, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, 35 PA

Carlos Beltran .278, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 9 K, 38 PA

Ruben Tejada .125, 1 BB, 4 K, 9 PA

Willie Harris .000, 1 BB, 4 K, 7 PA

Kendrick vs. Mets (career: 3-5, 3.07 ERA)

Jason Pridie 1.000, 1 BB, 2 PA

Josh Thole .385, 1 RBI, 1 K, 13 PA

Ronny Paulino .357, 2 RBI, 2 K, 15 PA

Carlos Beltran .316, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 21 PA

Willie Harris .313, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 17 PA

Jason Bay .231, 3 K, 13 PA

Angel Pagan .190, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 22 PA

Daniel Murphy .125, 1 K, 8 PA

Ruben Tejada .000, 3 PA

Lucas Duda .00, 2 PA

Scott Hairston .000, 1 PA

Justin Turner .000, 1 PA

Last series results

Phillies won, 2-1, at Citi Field, May 27-29 (AP game recaps)

Phillies 6, Mets 4: Francisco Rodriguez hadn't given up a run since April 17. When his streak finally ended in the series opener, the Mets couldn't recover. Domonic Brown grounded a tiebreaking single under the glove of first baseman Daniel Murphy in the ninth inning, and the Philadelphia Phillies scored three times off Rodriguez to beat the sinking Mets. Jimmy Rollins drove in three runs for Philadelphia and Roy Oswalt had an RBI single to go with six effective innings on the mound. With runners at the corners, Ryan Madson got Murphy to ground into a game-ending double play. Brown entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and singled to start the tying rally. He stole a base and scored twice. Philadelphia had dropped its last four road games. Justin Turner had a career-high four hits for the streaky Mets, who have dropped five of six after winning 10 of 14. Still missing injured boppers David Wright and Ike Davis, they tried to mount a rally in the ninth but fell short. Jose Reyes scored on an error by center fielder Michael Martinez, Philadelphia's third of the game, to make it 6-4. Jason Bay's single put runners at the corners, but Murphy couldn't come through. Antonio Bastardo (3-0) worked a hitless eighth and Madson, filling in for injured closer Brad Lidge, earned his 10th save in 10 chances. Mets starter Chris Capuano struck out his first four batters and fanned eight in six strong innings before Turner's RBI double gave New York a 3-2 lead in the seventh. Jason Isringhausen, however, couldn't hold it the first time he has coughed up a lead this season. Brown opened the eighth with a single and stole second before scoring on Rollins' double. Carlos Ruiz and pinch-hitter Ross Gload singled with one out in the ninth against Rodriguez (1-1), who began the night with a scoreless streak of 19 2/3 innings -- the longest active run in the majors. Brown hit a grounder that stayed down on Murphy, who might have had a shot at an inning-ending double play. But he started to whirl toward second without the ball and it scooted into right field for an RBI single. Rollins followed with a sacrifice fly and Placido Polanco added an RBI infield single to make it 6-3. Rodriguez, lifted in the middle of the inning, was booed as he walked off the mound.

Phillies 5, Mets 2: With Philadelphia held down by Mike Pelfrey most of the night, Ryan Howard hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning and Cole Hamels finally beat a familiar nemesis. Hamels (7-2) recovered from a shaky start to retire his final 11 batters, five by strikeout, without allowing a ball out of the infield. He struck out a season-high 10 and walked none over seven innings to win his third straight outing and improve to 3-9 in 15 career games against the Mets. The left-hander had lost five consecutive starts against New York. Jose Contreras worked a perfect eighth and Ryan Madson got three quick outs for his 11th save in 11 tries. Philadelphia pitchers set down the last 17 Mets after Ronny Paulino's fourth-inning single. Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley sparked another late rally for the Phillies, who scored three times with two outs in the eighth after Pelfrey was lifted. Jose Reyes stole two bases and scored twice for the Mets, who have dropped six of seven after coughing up an eighth-inning lead for the second consecutive night. Pelfrey took a three-hitter into the eighth and received some defensive help when Angel Pagan, activated from the disabled list for the series, dashed into right-center and went to his knees for a tumbling catch to rob John Mayberry Jr. of a leadoff hit. Pelfrey had retired 12 straight when Rollins chased him with a two-out single on his 116th pitch. The crowd of 29,337 gave the big right-hander a rousing ovation as he walked off the mound, but those cheers soon turned to boos. New York let Rollins steal second easily and Mike O'Connor (0-1) gave up a two-strike single to Utley, tying the score at 2. Placido Polanco drew a walk from Jason Isringhausen, and Mets manager Terry Collins tried his third reliever of the inning when he brought in left-hander Tim Byrdak to face Howard, who was batting .186 with 25 strikeouts in 70 at-bats against lefties this year. The slugger lined a 2-0 slider into the right-field corner to put Philadelphia up 4-2. Pinch-hitter Ben Francisco added an RBI double off rookie Dale Thayer with two outs in the ninth. Reyes got the Mets off and running with a leadoff double in the first inning. He stole third and scored on Justin Turner's single up the middle. Reyes also singled and stole second in the third before scoring on a two-out single by cleanup batter Jason Bay, who improved to 4-for-29 (.138) with runners in scoring position. New York stole a season-high five bases, all in the first three innings including one by Pagan. He tried to swipe third as well, but Hamels wised up and spun around in time for an easy pickoff.

Mets 9, Phillies 5: Jose Reyes tripled twice for the third time this season and finished with four of New York's season-high 17 hits. Jon Niese did not allow an earned run against a makeshift Phillies lineup and a refreshed Josh Thole had three hits and three RBIs. Daniel Murphy matched a career high with three hits. The Mets, held to three runs or fewer in nine of their previous 11 games, tied their season high for runs and prevented a three-game sweep. The 27-year-old Reyes, in the final season of his contract, equaled a career high with his sixth straight multi-hit game -- the longest active streak in the majors. Reyes is the first player to have three games in a season with multiple triples since Carl Crawford had four in 2004. With center fielder Shane Victorino on the disabled list, Philadelphia rested Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz. The rest of the team looked as though it might have preferred a day off, too. New York tagged an ineffective Vance Worley (2-1) for 12 hits in three innings, sending the rookie to his first loss in four major league starts this season. The 23-year-old right-hander threw six shutout innings of two-hit ball in an April 29 win against the Mets, who entered this series finale batting .087 (2 for 23) against him in two appearances. The Mets have gone a season-high eight games without a home run. But they improved to 3-6 this year against Philadelphia, which had won four straight and eight of 11 overall. Raul Ibanez hit a leadoff homer in the eighth and the Phillies scored three times off reliever Taylor Buchholz to cut it to 9-4. With a runner on, Jimmy Rollins tried to stretch a single and was thrown out by right fielder Jason Pridie to end the inning. Pedro Beato allowed a run in the ninth before finishing up. Rollins made a first-inning error at shortstop that led to three unearned runs. By the third, every Mets starter besides Niese had a hit. Handed an 8-0 lead after two, Niese (4-5) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the third and received a nice ovation when he was pulled in the seventh. He gave up five hits and four walks while throwing a career-high 122 pitches. Thole matched his career high with three RBIs. He began the day batting .182 (6-for-33) with runners in scoring position.