Kyle Schwarber jumpstarts Phillies-Mets rivalry with bold statement

Mar 30, 2022; Clearwater, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Kyle Schwarber (12) hits a base hit against the Detroit Tigers in the third inning during spring training at BayCare Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 30, 2022; Clearwater, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Kyle Schwarber (12) hits a base hit against the Detroit Tigers in the third inning during spring training at BayCare Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kyle Schwarber says the Phillies aren’t scared of the Mets’ powerful starting rotation

The NL East is going to have to contend with one of the most powerful starting rotations in recent baseball history this season, as the New York Mets brought in Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt to flame-throw with Jacob deGrom. Scherzer and deGrom own a combined five Cy Young awards.

But according to one of the newest Philadelphia Phillies, the lineup is not concerned. Kyle Schwarber says they’re more than ready to face the Mets:

"“I guarantee you, nobody in here is scared.”via The Philadelphia Inquirer"

Anyone else feel like running through a brick wall?

Schwarber hit his first home run in a Phillies uniform on Monday, just a few innings after Nick Castellanos hit his. Coming into Thursday’s game, the Phillies average 7.8 runs per game over their last five, with homers from pretty much everyone. But as manager Joe Girardi proudly noted, it’s not just about the long ball; his lineup is displaying prodigious plate discipline:

"“What I love … is how deep they get into counts. What our guys are doing to pitchers, I really like,” Girardi said. “And the hits have been extra-base hits. Put that together with some walks, and you’re going to score some runs.”"

Plate discipline was key to Bryce Harper’s NL MVP victory last season. He led MLB in slugging, OPS, and OPS+, and tied for the lead with a career-high 42 doubles. He and Juan Soto were the only batters in the National League to draw 100+ walks.

And in Schwarber, the Phillies added a guy who hit 32 home runs in only 113 games last season, including an eye-popping 16 in an 18-game span in June. In 10 games against the Mets, Schwarber slugged .395/.452/1.158 with a 1.610 OPS, and 15 hits, including a pair of doubles and nine home runs. He scored 13 times and drove in 15 more. His 44 total bases against the Mets were his most against any opponent by a wide margin.

Of Schwarber’s 153 career regular-season home runs, 13 have been hit against the Mets; he’s only homered more off three teams. He’s hit more home runs off Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker (5) than any other pitcher, and he’s also homered four times off another Met, Trevor Williams.

With numbers like that, the Mets are the ones who should be scared.

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