Citi Field Weekend

(A special Phillies Insider was posted last evening after Carlos Ruiz was traded. It now follows today’s post, in case you missed it).

Pitching can be so fragile. Among the clubs that are experiencing that this season are the Phillies and Mets who begin a three-game weekend series tonight in Citi Field.

The Mets made it all the way to the World Series a year ago with a rotation of Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese and Steven Matz. A chance to win the pennant again went out the window as Harvey and Matz wound up on the DL; Niese was traded, returned and is on the DL and deGrom has struggled lately. They’ve been hit hard with injuries at other positions, too, losing 3B David Wright and 1B Lucas Duda for the season. So, a pennant chase has been replaced by a scramble for a wildcard berth.

The Phillies’ year of building centered around a couple of veteran starters, Jeremy Hellickson and Carl Morton, and the young arms of Vince Velasquez, Aaron Nola and Jeremy Eickhoff with three more young ones coming into the mix, Adam Morgan, Zach Eflin and Jake Thompson. Only Eickhoff has remained healthy and hasn’t missed a start. Morton, Nola and Eflin are done for the season. Velasquez, Morgan and Thompson have had struggling starts.

Phil-Ins
The Phillies are 4-5 vs. the Mets, 2-1 at Citi Field. Those three were the Mets first home games, April 8-9-10 . . . Two teams have a four-game series in Citi in September and close the season with three games at Citizens Bank Park . . . Cesar Hernandez is 12-31, .387, in his brief career at Citi Field . . . Ryan Howard has 10 HR, 42 at Citi and had 12 HR, 30 RBI at Shea Stadium . . . ICYMI: Kevin Stocker is pinch-hitting for LA on the Phillies radio broadcasts this weekend.

5 Things
Five things to know about the Mets.
**fresh from winning 2 of 3 in StL; bullpen pitched 16.1 innings in the series
**487 runs scored rank 13th in the NL.
**3.66 ERA ranks 3rd best.
**17-22 since the All-Star Game.
**Granderson has 20 HR, 34 RBI.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (78-54), International League North Division. 2nd place, 5 games behind Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Season ends September 5.

Riding 4 home runs, LV won 6-1, in Pawtucket. WP: Phil Klein (4-1), 7.2-5-1-1-1-7. HRs: 1B Darin Ruf (20), LF Cody Asche (4), C Logan Moore (4), DH Brock Stassi (12); Ruf also had 2 1B . . . David Buchanan (8-8), 7:05 tonight in Buffalo.

Postseason: South winner meets West winner; wildcard (non-division winner with best winning percentage) meets North, best-of-5. Winners advance to the Governor Cup Championship, best-of-5 . . . IronPigs have 4.5 game lead over Rochester for the wildcard berth.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (83-47), Eastern League Eastern Division. 2.5-game lead over Trenton with 11 games remaining. Season ends September 5.

Ended 4-game losing streak, 6-1, over New Hampshire. WP: John Richy (4-3), 8-4-1-1-0-4. CF Roman Quinn, 1B, 2b (12), HR (6), 2 RBI, 2 R . . . Tom Eshelman (4-4), 7:05 tonight vs. New Hampshire.

Postseason: The top two teams in each division, best-of-5. Winners advance to championship round, best-of-5.

Clearwater Threshers (37-23), Florida State League North Division. 3rd place, 2 games
behind, 2nd half; 10 games remain. Season ends September 4.

Defeated Brevard County, 5-2. WP: Elniery Garcia (11-4), 7-3-2-2-1-7; retired 1st 11 hitters. SV: Ulises Joaquin (9). LF Jiandido Tromp, HR (8), 2 RBI; hit 9 HR at Lakewood before promotion . . . Luke Leftwich (3-3), 7:05 tonight in Daytona Beach. 8 of last 10 games are on the road.

Postseason: 1st and 2nd half division winners, best-of-3. Winners advance to championship, best-of-5. To qualify, Clearwater needs to win the 2nd half. They finished 2nd in the 1st half.

Lakewood BlueClaws (36-23), South Atlantic League North Division. 1st place, 4-game lead; 10-games remain in 2nd half. Season ends September 5.

Won 7th in a row, 16 in last 20 games, 4-2, over Greensboro. WP: Alberto Tirado (6-1), 4th straight W, 5-3-1-1-4-11; career-high in SO. SV: Sutter McLoughlin (11). 4 BlueClaw pitchers combined for 20 strikeouts. CF Mark Laird, 2 H, R, 2B, RBI; hitting .417 in last 10 games. LF Cornelius Randolph, 2 H, R, 3B, RBI, BB; 6-game hitting streak. 2B Grenny Cumana, 2 H, R; 8-13 in last 3 games. SS Emmanuel Marrero, 2 H, R, RBI; .367 in last 10 games . . . Seranthony Dominquez (3-2), 7:05 tonight in West Virginia. 3 weekend games there are the final road games. Lakewood’s 22-13 road record is best in the SAL.

Postseason: 1st and 2nd half division winners, best-of-3. Winners advance to championship, best-of-5. Lakewood, which finished in 6th place in 1st half, needs to win the 2nd half to qualify for the postseason.

Williamsport Crosscutters (33-31), New York-Penn League Pinckney Division. 2nd place, 9.5 games behind State College. Season ends September 5.

Lost, 4-3, in 10 innings in West Virginia. ND: Cole Irvin, 5-3-3-1-3-3. LP: Will Hibbs (3-3). CF David Martinelli, 2 H, RBI, SB. 2B Luis Espiritu Jr. atoned for 3 errors with 2-run double that tied the game T9 . . . JoJo Romero (2-1), 7:05 tonight vs. Brooklyn.

Postseason: Three Division winners and one wildcard team, best-of-3. Winners advance to championship, best-of-3. In the wildcard race, Cutters are in 4th place, 4 games behind.

Gulf Coast League Phillies, (40-14), Northwest Division. 1st place, 2 games ahead of the Blue Jays. Season ends September 1.

Defeated Blue Jays for 2nd straight day. This time, 7-2. 6th straight win, 9th in last 11 games. 19-4 this month. WP: Jordan Kurokawa (1-2). CF Mickey Moniak, 1B, 2 2B (11), 3B (4), RBI, 3 R. C Lenin Rodriguez, 3 H. 2B Jose Antequera, 2 H, R, BB. 3B Danny Zardon, 1 H, 2 R, 2 RBI . . . 12 noon today Tigers West at Carpenter Complex. 10 a.m. tomorrow vs. Tigers West in Lakeland. After that 4 games remain.

Postseason: Division winner with best record meets division winner with the lowest record and the other two division winners meet in a 1-game playoff. Winners advance to championship, best-of-3. Phillies need to win the division to quality for the postseason.

This Date
August 27, 2002
LHP Dan Plesac records 1,000th strikeout in the seventh inning of 4-3 Phillies win over Montreal at Veterans Stadium. The next night, Plesac appears in 1,000th game.

August 28, 1971, 2nd game
RHP Rick Wise (14-10) hits a solo home run in the fifth inning and a grand slam in the seventh in defeating San Francisco, 7-3, in the second game of a Vet Stadium doubleheader. It is Wise’s second two-home run game of the season, tying a major league record for pitchers.

Twitter
@ShenkLarry

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