Phillies: Kyle Gibson will start against the Mets, who wanted to acquire him
The Philadelphia Phillies series against the New York Mets will be interesting in more ways than one.
For one thing, they can overtake the Mets for first place in the NL East if they win the opener on Friday night. And if they do, one of the biggest reasons will be a shoe that could’ve ended up on the other foot.
Kyle Gibson, who will start for the Phillies on Friday, was a Mets trade target just last week.
Gibson was one of the more underrated starters available at the deadline. At the time, he had a 2.87 ERA over 19 starts. He’s no deGrom, but he held opposing batters to a .224/.300/.326 slash line, .626 OPS, and 94 strikeouts over 113 innings. The Mets have multiple starters on the IL: deGrom, David Peterson, and Joey Lucchesi.
The Mets contacted the Rangers about Kyle Gibson before the Phillies acquired him at the deadline
According to Mike Puma and Buster Olney, the Mets were interested in acquiring Gibson but were rebuffed.
The Phillies acquired Gibson, Ian Kennedy, and one of the Rangers’ top pitching prospects, Hans Crouse, and $4 million from Texas in exchange for Spencer Howard, and pitching prospects Kevin Gowdy, and Josh Gessner.
Instead of Gibson, the Mets acquired the 17-year MLB veteran Rich Hill from the Tampa Bay Rays. He has a 3.92 ERA over 22 starts this season, including three starts for the Mets (4.20 ERA over 15 innings). They also found out hours before the deadline that deGrom’s injuries would require him to be shut down for at least two weeks, and that added a level of uncertainty to their deadline plans.
Can Kyle Gibson help the Phillies take first place from the Mets?
Gibson’s debut last weekend included a season-high 113 pitches over 6 2/3 innings. He assured fans that they’ll see him going deep in games all season long, something the Phillies have sorely lacked from most of their starters this season.
Since the deadline, the Phillies have surged while the Mets have struggled. Since the deadline on July 30, the Mets are collectively hitting .210/.304/.314 with a .619 OPS, 12 doubles, four home runs, and 22 runs scored in seven games.
Over that same timespan, Phillies batters have combined to slash .275/.349/.454 with a .803 OPS, 21 doubles, eight homers, and 45 runs overall. Bryce Harper alone had two home runs in the Nationals series this week. This weekend series is theirs to lose.
Last Friday, the Mets were interested in adding Gibson. This Friday, they’ll have to face him to stay in first place.
Gibson pitched six innings of one-run ball to help the Phillies overtake the Mets and move into first place atop the NL East.
He also drove in his first RBI in his career to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.