It has been awhile, Phillies. It’s good to be back writing about my favorite sports team.
Philadelphia Phillies (46-59) @ New York Mets (50-55)
Monday at 7:10 ET – A.J. Burnett (6-9) vs. Bartolo Colon (9-8)
Tuesday at 7:10 ET – Dillion Gee (4-3) vs. Cole Hamels (5-5)
Wednesday at 12:10 ET – Kyle Kendrick (5-10) vs. Zack Wheeler (5-8)
Our Phightin’s have had a rough stretch through the middle third of the 2014 season. A sale of the team’s assets is certain, the question is who will go where? Jonathan Papelbon’s last few impressive appearances have pretty much sealed his destiny to be shipped off to a contender. My thought is he’ll end up with the Dodgers–especially because they have minor leaguers to shop with–but the Orioles have been in the conversation as well. The others–Marlon Byrd, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels–have had rumors thrown around but I think only one of those will actually be dealt: Byrd. While the team needs to dump a lot of salary dollars, Lee hasn’t been back long enough to make a good case and I think Ruben Amaro will want to rebuild around Cole.
Onto the series at hand. The Phils finally won a series–the first at Citizens Bank Park since early June–taking two of three from the D-Backs. Coming into this series, the Phillies will continue to want to bridge the gap in the division. Sitting 11 games out of the Wild Card is an extremely tough hole to climb out of so the Phillies will try to win as many ball games as possible now. The key to getting to the Mets will be to get to their starters as early as they can. Being in the bottom-third in all major offensive categories will make that tough for the Phils as the Mets are 6th in the league in Quality Starts. The Mets come in having gone 5-5 since the All Star Break and because of a hot Marlins team, New York has fallen back into 4th in the NL East. Don’t expect the Mets to be in any of the trade talks over the next few days–they are a young team that is a couple years away from being phenomenal. As much as that pains me to say, it’s true. The Mets are missing a couple pieces, specifically at shortstop, that don’t need to be addressed now. The Mets currently lead the season series 6-3 however the Phils took two of the only three games in New York. The Phillies have been much better on the road this season, hopefully that can continue over the next three days.