Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Totally biased Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets series preview

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This weekend, the Philadelphia Phillies will take on the New York Mets…again.

I’m so sick of seeing the Mets. I know they’re division rivals and all, but do they really have to play each other so much? Maybe I’m just bitter because the Phillies haven’t done well against the Mets, and most of the games have been painful to watch.

Regardless of my excitement level, the good people who make the schedule at Major League Baseball have decided that these teams must play again, and so that is what we shall get.

I’ll assume that you have a basic familiarity with the Mets, and you don’t need me to delve into the entire history of the team. Instead, I’ll talk about the starting pitchers who the Phillies will face and maybe some other Mets-related stuff that comes to mind.

Scheduled starters

Bartolo Colon

Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon! image Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

I know Colon is a punchline these days because he’s fat and has been around for a long time, but was he ever considered a star? I’m sure he made a few All-Star Games along the way (you don’t pitch as long as he has without having at least one good first half), but did people think of him as a genuine star?

(Briefly checks Baseball-Reference.com)

Wait…that can’t be right. Bartolo Colon won the American League Cy Young Award in 2002? Really? This happened?

If you asked me whether Colon had ever won a Cy Young, and told me my life depended on getting the answer correct, I would be a dead man.

I’d say that means that Colon was indeed a star…except that his Cy Young season was book-ended by two seasons where his ERA was over 5.00. I think I’m more confused than I was before.

Dillon Gee

I’m pretty certain he has never won a Cy Young Award. (Double checks) Yes, that is correct. Dillon Gee has never won the Cy Young Award.

Gee has been a solid pitcher thus far in his career…except when he faces the Phillies. He’s got an 7.11 ERA in 12 career appearances against the Phillies, although he has managed to win three games.

Gee probably isn’t too pleased to see Ryan Howard enter the game on a hot streak. Howard is 9-20 with six home runs in his career against Gee. That’s what you call ownage.

Zack Wheeler

Pretty ballsy of Zack Wheeler to take #45, Image Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Wheeler may possess the most generic baseball name ever. “Zack Wheeler” sounds like he might be the left fielder in a movie about a baseball team made up of a wacky group of misfits (who come together to win in the end!)

I just noticed that Wheeler wears #45. WHAT? That’s Tug McGraw‘s number! Is that allowed?

I realized that plenty of Phillies have also worn #45, but one of them was Terry Mulholland, and since Mulholland is my favorite Phillies pitcher ever, I’m perfectly okay with it.

Speaking of the Tugger, my friend suggested that McGraw was the one athlete beloved by both Philadelphia and New York fans. I’m having a tough time coming up with anyone else who fits that description.

Jon Niese

The Mets’ starters all seem to have remarkably similar statistics. It’s like they’ve managed to compile an entire rotation of #3 pitchers. (They’ve also got rookie phenom Jacob deGrom, but since he won’t be pitching in this series, I feel comfortable pretending he does not exist).

Niese may the most “third starterish” of all the third starters. He’s got a 1.0 bWAR, which seems okay, but then you see that Roberto Hernandez was at 1.4, and you stop being quite as impressed.

Want proof that the Phillies and Mets play each other too much? Niese has only been a major league regular since 2010, and this will be his 19th start against the Phillies! Dear Bud, shake up the schedule!

Another Met who deserves notice

Do you know who is currently leading the National League in hits? Unless you’re really slow, you probably guessed that it was one of the Mets, but you might be having trouble figuring out who.

The answer: Daniel Murphy! The second baseman has 142 hits, good for a .305 batting average.

Mets player who I forgot was on the team

Curtis Granderson. Image Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

So that’s where Curtis Granderson ended up! In the offseason, I thought that he might be a good bounceback candidate, but with other holes to fill, it didn’t seem worth it for the Phillies to pursue him.

The “Grandyman” is having a decent season, but with only 15 home runs, he’s a long way off from what he used to produce a few years ago.

Mets player who is most definitely not horrible

The last time I previewed the Mets, I said that Travis d’Arnaud was horrible. Naturally, he had a big series.

So I’m going to remedy that mistake by saying that d’Arnaud is awesome! (Sure, his stats could still use some work, but who among us doesn’t have flaws?)

Token Phillies note

Aug 2, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) reacts after being thrown out of the game in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Since this is a Phillies site, I suppose I should make a brief mention of the home team.

Friday night will be A.J. Burnett‘s first start since getting ejected against the Nationals last Saturday. It would be a big help to the Phillies’ bullpen if he could wait until at least the sixth inning to get thrown out of the game this time.

And it would be even better if he could pitch well. But considering he’s given up 12 runs in six innings over his last two starts, I wanted to set the bar low.

Prediction

The Phillies have played like crap against the Mets all season, so I don’t see that changing now. I’ll guess the Mets take three out of four.

 

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