Philadelphia (23-22) at New York (28-17)

Partly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 41° F
  • Game info: 1:10 pm EDT Thu May 25, 2006
  • TV: CSN, SNY
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The first five games of the New York Mets’ homestand have been decided by one run. The Philadelphia Phillies have been on the short end of the last two.

New York (28-17) looks to complete the homestand with a three-game sweep of the struggling Phillies (23-22) on Thursday afternoon.

The Mets won two of three one-run decisions over the New York Yankees before dealing the Phillies a pair of difficult losses in this series. Philadelphia has lost seven of its last eight contests to fall five games behind first-place New York in the NL East.

After a 9-8 victory on Carlos Beltran’s homer in the 16th inning on Tuesday, the Mets rallied from an early 3-0 deficit in Wednesday’s 5-4 victory. David Wright homered for the third straight game and singled in Beltran with the go-ahead run in the seventh inning.

“We’ve got a good mix of speed and power,” Wright said. “We continue to chip away. We never say die. We never roll over. That’s the type of team we have. It’s the kind of character we’re made of.”

Mets closer Billy Wagner earned his first save against his former team by pitching the ninth inning. Wagner has retired all six Philadelphia hitters he’s faced in this series.

Wagner has ridiculed his former team on numerous occasions after the Mets won a bidding war with the Phillies for his services in the offseason.

Beltran is 5-for-11 in this series with three runs scored.

Philadelphia dropped its fifth straight road game Wednesday, managing only one run and six hits over the final eight innings.

However, slugger Pat Burrell continued to torment the Mets with his 33rd homer against them, a tying solo shot in the seventh inning.

The Phillies are counting on Brett Myers (2-2, 2.75 ERA) to help them win the finale of the series. Myers is 0-2 in his last five starts despite posting a 2.55 ERA in that stretch.

Myers allowed two runs and five hits over eight innings against the Mets on May 9, but did not receive a decision in Philadelphia’s 5-4 victory.

The right-hander is 4-1 with a 4.98 ERA in eight starts at Shea Stadium.

The Mets will counter with Jeremi Gonzalez (0-0, 10.13), who will make his third start. Gonzalez lasted three-plus innings and gave up six runs and nine hits in the Mets’ 7-6 victory over the Yankees last Friday.

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 5.17 ERA in five starts against the Phillies, who he hasn’t faced since 1998.

Gonzalez was the only pitcher left in the bullpen at the end of Tuesday’s 16-inning win and would have come into the game if it had gone longer.

“I will help the team anyway I can, but I am glad I get to start again,” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t feel well the last time out, so hopefully I can do better.”

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Starting Pitchers

B. Myers Cle vs. G. Gonzalez Tor
12-7 Record 4-2
3.91 ERA 5.79
189 K 44
63 BB 23
1.30 WHIP 1.68