The Phillies will miss Mets aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer this weekend.
The Philadelphia Phillies offense getting shut out three times in the last four games is less than ideal, but fans should remember the team has recently faced some tough, and potential future Hall of Fame-level competition.
Two days after besting Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara last Wednesday, the Phillies lineup was tasked with going up against two New York Mets right-handers who have a combined five Cy Young Awards and 12 All-Star appearances — Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.
Phillies southpaw Ranger Suarez outdueled Scherzer in the thrilling 2-1 extra-innings Phillies win on Friday. However, the same ultimately could not be said for Aaron Nola opposite deGrom. Nola was credited with the losing decision — despite throwing a complete game and allowing just one run on four hits and a walk in the 1-0 loss. deGrom, meanwhile, struck out 10 Phillies batters and allowed just two hits across six scoreless frames.
The Phillies wound up losing two of the three games in the series, having scored just two total runs on offense. They will will get a breather for the next three days by heading west to take on the Cincinnati Reds. Entering Monday, the National League Central club is 23 games under .500 and 17 1/2 games behind interim manager Rob Thomson’s squad for the third National League Wild Card spot.
But then the Phillies will return home for another highly competitive Mets series — with four games in three days, including a doubleheader on Saturday. As luck would have it, the Phillies are currently slated to miss both Scherzer and deGrom in the rematch, as NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Corey Seidman points out:
The Mets will embark on a four-game road set against the Atlanta Braves starting Monday. The Phillies have an off day slated for Thursday, whereas the Mets will be wrapping up their series with a 7:20 p.m. contest in the Peach State.
The Mets not having an off day is significant, as it ultimately will prevent Scherzer (probable Wednesday starter) and deGrom (probable Thursday starter) from making a start at Citizens Bank Park in the upcoming weekend series.
Of course, there is always a chance Scherzer starts on short rest in Sunday’s finale, but considering the Mets have a postseason spot all but locked up at this point in the season, it would not be a smart decision for Buck Showalter.
So, somehow, someway, the Phils will play the Mets four times and escape both deGrom and Scherzer. The two rivals will not play each other for the rest of the season, unless, of course, they meet in “Red October.”
Sometimes, the “baseball gods” are on your side.