New York (62-78) at Philadelphia (77-64)

Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 32° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Sep 6, 2003
  • TV: WPSG
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Philadelphia Phillies look to take control of the NL wild-card race as they continue their series against New York Mets at Veterans Stadium.

The Phillies have won five straight against the Mets—with a three-game sweep at Shea last weekend and the first two games of this series, including 1-0 Friday night.

Philadelphia, which moved one game ahead of Florida for the lead in the NL wild-card race, has won four straight and seven of eight after a miserable August. It was the Phillies’ second 1-0 win of the season—with the first coming against San Francisco on April 27.

“I think they’re having fun out there,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. “I really like the atmosphere right now. You can hear it in their voices that they’re playing with a lot of excitement and energy.”

Jose Mesa lost his closer’s job on Thursday, after blowing two save chances in four days. Bowa said before Friday’s game that he would use a committee to finish games. Booed by fans at Veterans Stadium for most of the season, Mesa has a 7.86 ERA at home.

“He said he doesn’t feel comfortable here,” Bowa said. “He didn’t make that an excuse.”

Mike Williams, acquired from Pittsburgh in July, has 27 saves this year, including two for the Phillies. But his ERA with Philadelphia is 5.09.

“We’ve got guys that can pick up the slack,” Williams said. “Nobody’s perfect throughout the year. Everybody goes through struggles.”

Rheal Cormier has been Philadelphia’s most reliable reliever with a 1.70 ERA. He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning Friday to earn his first save of the season.

New York dropped its second straight one-run decision to Philadelphia, after losing 6-5 in the series opener on Thursday.

The Mets are now a season-high 10 games under .500 on the road.

STANDINGS: Mets - 5th place, 25 1/2 GB, NL East. Phillies - 2nd place, 11 GB, NL East.

METS PROBABLE STARTER: Jeremy Griffiths (1-1, 5.72 ERA). Griffiths was brought up from the minors for his last start, a 3-2 win over the Braves on Monday. The rookie right-hander allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings.

PHILLIES PROBABLE STARTER: Brett Myers (12-7, 4.21 ERA). The right-hander has been ineffective of late, allowing five runs for the second straight start in a 13-9 defeat to Boston on Monday. He did not figure in the decision, and surrendered five runs on seven hits in four innings, and issued a career-high seven walks. Myers is 2-1 with a 6.46 ERA in four career starts against the Mets.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Mets - Roger Cedeno, .270 avg.; Cliff Floyd, 18 HRs and 68 RBIs; Ty Wigginton, 65 runs; Jose Reyes, 13 SBs. Phillies - Mike Lieberthal, .321 avg.; Jim Thome, 39 HRs, 106 RBIs and 91 runs; Bobby Abreu, 18 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Phillies, 9-7.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Mets - Rookie SS Jose Reyes will miss the rest of the season because of a sprained left ankle. … The Mets lead the National League with 425 games started by a rookie. … C Piazza hasn’t homered in eight straight games, his longest such sretch since returning from the DL on Aug. 13. Phillies - With 12 shutouts, Philadelphia is one behind NL-leading Los Angeles. … INF Placido Polanco has missed six straight games because of sore left quadriceps. … RHP Terry Adams, on the DL with a pulled muscle, will play catch again on Saturday and should be activated on Sept. 12.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mets - 30-40 on the road; Phillies - 43-27 at home.

INJURIES: Mets - SS Reyes (ankle), day-to-day; 1B Mo Vaughn (knee), 60-day DL; OF Floyd (foot), 60-day DL; RHP Pedro Astacio (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Strickland (elbow), 60-day DL. Phillies - INF Polanco (quad), day-to-day; 3B David Bell (back), 15-day DL; RHP Terry Adams (oblique), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Griffiths HOU vs. B. Myers CLE
1-4 Record 14-9
7.02 ERA 4.43
25 K 143
19 BB 76
1.85 WHIP 1.46