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Phillies bring 3-game skid into opener against Mets

Sportsnaut
May 1, 2022; New York City, New York, USA;  New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (2) hits an RBI double in the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

After being swept in a two-game series by one of the weaker teams in Major League Baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies now will open a four-game series against one of the best.

The Phillies will look to avoid a four-game losing streak when they host the National League East-leading New York Mets on Thursday night. This series marks the third already between the rivals this season.

Philadelphia fell 2-1 in 10 innings to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday and dropped three games below .500.

“We’re all upset about this,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “We have the ability to do it, and I believe we’re going to do it.”

Nick Castellanos had three hits Wednesday, but Alec Bohm, Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto combined to go 0-for-15. The Phillies went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Castellanos had the only extra-base hit, a double. To be fair, it could have been a solo home run if not for fan interference over the wall in right field.

“We just have some guys that are not really clicking,” Girardi said. “I think these guys are going to hit during the course of the season. We have some guys struggling, and we have to find our way out of it.”

The Phillies will hand the ball to right-hander Aaron Nola (1-3, 3.90 ERA). Nola holds a 9-5 record with a 3.32 ERA in 22 career starts against the Mets.

In Nola’s last start, last Friday against the Mets, he tossed six innings and gave up seven hits and three runs to go with nine strikeouts and no walks. The Mets combined for a no-hitter in that game.

The Phillies are 2-4 against the Mets this season.

After a solid start, the Mets produced a rare flat effort in a 9-2 loss Wednesday to the Atlanta Braves.

The Mets had won their first seven series before splitting four games with the Braves.

“We’ll take the two wins (Tuesday) against a very good team and move on to another very good team in Philly,” New York manager Buck Showalter said.

Right-hander Taijuan Walker (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Mets on Wednesday. He has tossed seven shutout innings in two starts this season – both against the Phillies.

Walker is 1-2 with a 2.75 ERA in eight career starts against the Phillies.

The Mets’ bullpen will be a bit thinner for at least the next four weeks as Trevor May is sidelined with a stress reaction in his right humerus bone.

“It’s a thing you have to learn what that means to you,” May said of pitching through pain. “You’ve got to be like, ‘OK, what does sore mean? What does hurt mean?’ The longer you go, the more experience you have working through things.

“I know myself, and I know the other guys down there. We’re a pretty good group of guys that are all really, really focused on going out there and being available every day.”

Adam Ottavino allowed two hits and three runs without recording an out while pitching for the third consecutive day.

“That wasn’t it,” Ottavino said of struggling after throwing for three straight days. “They asked me before the game if I was good to go, and I said yes. The walk, that’s unacceptable. I felt good. I like to pitch. I like to pitch a lot. I have good numbers on the third day in a row. It’s immaterial to me.”

–Field Level Media