How do Phillies rebound this week against the Mets?

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ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 30: Carlos Santana #41 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates hitting an RBI sacrifice fly during the eleventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on March 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 30: Carlos Santana #41 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates hitting an RBI sacrifice fly during the eleventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on March 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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The Phillies had a series to forget against the Atlanta Braves. How do they respond this week when they go to New York to face the Mets?

(Monday night’s game has been postponed due to snow)

In just their third game of the year, the Phillies were forced to use a position player to pitch. That is where they were when Pedro Florimon entered to mop up what was then a 13-2 game. He allowed two more runs before the eighth inning ended in a game that nearly every fan had turned off by that point.

Between Florimon having to pitch and a communication mishap that led to Hoby Milner being forced to pitch without ever getting his warmup jacket, it was a game to forget to end a series to forget. Confidence in the team has hit rock bottom, leaving us with only the words of Axl Rose: Where do we go now?

The team got a day to decompress and try to move on from a terrible series against the Braves. Hopefully, manager Gabe Kapler will use this time to recalibrate and find a way to use his bullpen without setting a record for the most pitchers used through four games.

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The Phils head to New York for a three-game series with the Mets. They are coming off a series win over the Cardinals. They will send Matt Harvey, Seth Lugo, and Noah Syndergaard to the mound. Meanwhile, Philadelphia will deploy Ben Lively, Aaron Nola, and Nick Pivetta.

If Philadelphia is going to win this series and get their record back to .500, they desperately need their starters to go deeper into games.

That means Kapler needs to let Nola go six or seven innings if he is pitching well. He simply can’t get

Lively will make his 2018 debut Monday. He won the spring battle for the last spot in the rotation with a 3.13 ERA in six outings. Lively had a decent season last year, posting a 4.26 ERA and 1.286 WHIP in 15 games. He went six or more innings in 10 of those starts, which would be a godsend for a bullpen decimated by injury and overuse in the first three games.

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Pivetta will be looking for a bounce-back start. He allowed three runs on five hits and two walks in his 2018 debut Friday night against the Braves. He threw 78 pitches in four innings before being pulled. Pivetta struggled to last deep into games last year, and he hasn’t shown the ability to do so yet this season.

Some players are off to a hot start this year and need to stay hot to get this team in gear. Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, and Cesar Hernandez all have batting averages over .300 and an OPS over 1.000 so far. Kapler better keep them all in the lineup and they better stay hot to deal with pitchers like Harvey and Syndergaard.

Other expected offensive contributors have not started the year off well. Nick Williams, Maikel Franco, J.P. Crawford, Odubel Herrera, and Maikel Franco all have just one hit so far this year. They desperately need to get going offensively. Facing off against Lugo Tuesday may help do so.

Next: Phillies fire manager Gabe Kapler, Mackanin back

The Phillies are in desperate need of a rebound to get this season going. They still have expectations of a wild-card contender, but they need to perform far better than they did in games one and three. Hopefully, the Braves series was just a hiccup and they can jump-start their season against the Mets.

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