Friday, April 30, 2010

Phillies vs. Mets Round 1

The rivalry rose to a new level in 2007, starting with Jimmy Rollins' declaration that the Phillies were the team to beat. Players had a battle of words, and some incredible battles on the field. The end result was a monumental collapse by the Mets, which the Phillies won the division and dominated their foes from the north throughout the season.

The last few years, the rivalry has been far less intense. The Mets have been terrible, while the Phillies obviously went on to do great things. The Mets hope they are back, as they've taken first place in the NL East, the first time the Phils have fallen out of the top spot since May of 2009. New York's first real test could come this weekend when they square off with the old thorn in their side.

The Mets are riding a seven game win streak entering tonight's contest at the Bank. The Phils are hopeful that Kyle Kendrick has things figured out and is ready to end that streak right off the bat. Kendrick (0-0 7.71) opposes Jon Niese (0-1 3.68). While Kendrick has pitched poorly, except for his brilliant outing against Atlanta that Ryan Madson blew, the team continues to have faith in him. Niese is a left-handed pitcher and has pitched pretty well this season. He's struggled to pitch deep into games, but expect him to keep the Mets in the game.

Saturday's match-up could be a spectacular one. Roy Halladay (4-1 1.80) looks to rebound from his first loss. Meanwhile, Mike Pelfrey (4-0 0.69) appears to have finally hit his stride. Like most of the Mets' rotation, Pelfrey struggled with consistency the last few seasons. While he can't keep pitching at that pace, he has been great this season and hasn't allowed a run in 24 innings. The Phillies will need to break that streak to give Halladay some run support, something they failed to do in his last start.

Two polar opposite left-handed pitchers take the mound in the finale as veteran Jamie Moyer (2-2 5-25) takes on Johan Santana (3-1 2.08). Santana is off to a good start after crowning himself as the "beast of the NL East." The Phillies will likely need to get to Santana early; it's unlikely that Moyer will be able to keep the Mets off the scoreboard.

It should be an interesting series with first place in the division on the line, albeit May.

No comments:

Post a Comment