NEW YORK METS (72-58, first place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (52-79, fourth place/NL East)
PHILLIES SHORT HOPS
Chase Utley was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 19 for prospects Darnell Sweeney and John Richy. The Phillies sent $4 million to L.A. to offset the remaining $6 million on Utley’s contract. Utley waived no-trade protection to join Jimmy Rollins with the Dodgers. Utley’s departure, coupled with the trade of Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers on July 31, leaves only two members remaining from the nucleus of the 2008 World Series champions -- Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz. Ben Revere also was traded by the Phillies at the deadline, to the Toronto Blue Jays. Cesar Hernandez has taken over at second base for Utley. Sweeney, an outfielder, produced his first major league hit on Aug. 22 with a pinch-hit homer against Miami’s Justin Nicolino. The last Phillie to hit a pinch-hit homer for his first major league hit? Marlon Anderson on Sept. 8, 1998 against the Mets.
Despite getting swept in a four-game series last week by the Mets, the Phillies are 23-17 in the second half under interim manager Pete Mackanin. Ryne Sandberg resigned on June 26 with a career record of 119-159.
Philadelphia has four rookies in its rotation -- Adam Morgan, Jerad Eickhoff, Aaron Nola and Alec Asher. Eickhoff and Asher arrived from the Rangers at the non-waiver trade deadline in the deal that sent Hamels to Arlington. Asher made his major league debut on Sunday. He replaced Jerome Williams (6.06 ERA), who was reassigned to the bullpen. Morgan and Nola each have five wins, making the Phillies the only major league team with two rookie starters who have reached that win threshold this season. Along with Severino Gonzalez, five starting pitchers have made their major league debuts with the Phillies this season. That sets the franchise record.
Howard (1,130) recently moved past Del Ennis (1,224) for second on the franchise’s all-time RBI list. Mike Schmidt is the all-time Phillies leader with 1,595 RBIs.
Ex-Met Jeff Francoeur is hitting .351 (27-for-77) with six homers and 16 RBIs since the All-Star break.
Rookie Maikel Franco landed on the disabled list with a potentially season-ending fractured left wrist after getting hit by a pitch on Aug. 11. Rookie outfielder Aaron Altherr was promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Altherr began his major league career with his first seven hits going for extra bases. That streak was snapped with a single on Saturday. Altherr was bidding to become the first player in the modern era to have eight straight hits for extra bases to begin a career. Carlos Gonzalez with the Oakland Athletics in 2008 was the last player to begin his career with seven hits for extra bases. Altherr was born in Germany. His mother was in the U.S. military and his father played soccer professionally in Germany. He attended high school in Arizona.
Cesar Hernandez snapped a 2-for-21 slump with a pair of hits on Sunday, including an RBI triple.