Well, Phillies folks, it is pay-back time. The red-hot New York Mets begin a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park tonight. They are fresh from a three-game sweep in Colorado and lead the pre-season favorites, Washington Nationals, by five games in the NL East.
Why the big lead? Because the Mets are 8-1 vs. the Phillies, winning the last five. Seven of the Phillies next 10 games are against the Mets who will have David Wright back. He last played on April 14.
Since the All-Star Game, the Phillies are 21-12; New York Mets, 20-12. Both teams are a lot different from their last meeting, May 25-26-27 in Citi Field. The Mets’ 3.31 ERA is third stingiest in the NL yet they have no complete games. They are poison at home, 42-21, but not so poison on the road, 25-35. Exception: Citizens Bank Park, where they have won five straight series. Pay-back time.
In winning three of our in Miami, the Phillies won their first series there in two years . . . Eickhoff won his first game for the Phillies before Hamels won his first in Texas . . . Eickhoff was the first Phillies starter not to allow a run in his first start since Cole . . . Eickhoff was the first Phillies pitcher to drive in a pair of runs while winning his MLB debut since 1922 . . . Sweeney’s first hit for the Phillies was a pinch-hit home run . . . Back-to-back home runs by Altherr and Ruf were the first for the Phillies since Byrd and Asche did the same in the same park in July of a year ago.
Morgan starts tonight. The last five Phillies wins have come from rookies: Nola, Araujo, Eickhoff, Morgan and Nola.
RHP Mitch Gueller, Williamsport. After 9-18 record over first three pro seasons, the 21-year-old has turned it around this season. Win on Sunday was his sixth in a row, boosting record to 8-1. He leads the New York-Penn League in wins and ERA (2.15). He was 5-5 last summer at Williamsport and has made the NYP All-Star team in 2014 and this year. He was selected as a compensation selection between the first and second rounds in 2012, the 54th player chosen overall.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (57-71), 5th place, North Division)
Won 2 of 3 in Pawtucket. WP in 2-0 Saturday game, Alec Asher (2-0), 7-6-0-0-0-3; Dustin McGowan had 2 saves, 11-12.
Next: David Buchanan (3-1) 7:05 tonight vs. Buffalo.
Reading Fightin’ Phils (72-54), 1st place, Eastern Division)
For the first time since July 25-26-27, Reading has lost 3 in a row, getting swept at home vs. New Britain. 1B Brock Stassi, 12th HR, 83 total RBI. SS J. P. Crawford, 6-13 in last 3 games, including sixth triple and 3 R.
Next: Nick Pivetta (1-3) 7:00 tonight in Altoona.
Clearwater Threshers (35-22, 2nd place, North Division)
Lost 2 to Brevard County before a 10-6 win over Daytona on Sunday. Sunday star: LF Andrew Pullin, 4-4, 4 RBI, including 13th-14th HR, matching his 3-year total before this season; hitting .351 in last 10 games. 1B Rhys Hoskins, 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI. WP: Harold Guerrero (2-2). SV: Alexis Rivero (2).
Next: Mark Leiter (5-1) 7:00 tonight vs. Daytona.
Lakewood BlueClaws (30-26, tie 2nd place, Northern Division)
Were swept in a 3-game series in West Virginia, getting just 8 total hits in last 2 losses.
Tyler Viza (4-9) pitched a complete game in losing 4-2 on Saturday, 8-6-4-1-0-4. He has lost last 7 games with Lakewood scoring a total of 17 runs.
Next: Day off on Monday.
Williamsport Crosscutters (39-22) 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Swept 3 games from Auburn, stretching winning streak to 4 games. CF Carlos Duran and C Austin Bossart each had 3 of Williamsport’s 18 hits on Sunday. SV: Robert Tasin (12-13). Franklyn Kilome (3-2) won on Friday, 3-2, 6-8-1-1-1-3.
Next: TBD 7:05 tonight vs. State College.
Gulf Coast League Phillies (32-20, 2nd place, Northwest Division)
Split 2 games vs. Blue Jays. WP Adonis Medina (3-1), 5-3-0-0-2-3.
Next: 11 a.m. DH today at Yankees1.