The Philadelphia Phillies may not be swinging the bats so far, but they’re still finding ways to get on base.
They’ll try to win consecutive games for the first time this season when they wrap up a three-game series against the New York Mets on Thursday night.
The Phillies (2-6) entered Wednesday’s game batting just .251 but led the majors with 40 walks. Their disciplined approach at the plate paid dividends as they evened the series with a 5-2 victory to snap a three-game losing streak.
Philadelphia batters drew 11 walks, taking advantage of Mets starter Oliver Perez’s wildness to build a 3-0 lead. Wes Helms and Chase Utley each had bases-loaded walks before Rod Barajas was hit by a pitch to force home another run in the third inning.
“We haven’t gotten a lot of our big boys hot. When everybody gets comfortable it’s all going to come together like clockwork,” said Helms, who finished two walks. “The big knocks will come.”
That plate discipline will be tested by Mets starter Tom Glavine (1-1, 2.38 ERA), who has made what is likely a Hall of Fame career on the strength of effectively working both sides of the plate. The 41-year-old left-hander is making his second bid for career win No. 292 after being beaten by Atlanta—the team he broke in with—in his last start.
Glavine was reached for five runs - two earned - with four hits and three walks over 5 1-3 innings of New York’s 5-3 defeat on Saturday. He went 2-1 in four starts versus the Phillies last season, giving up eight home runs in 25 1-3 innings.
Glavine is 26-17 with a 3.82 ERA in 59 lifetime starts against Philadelphia.
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who went 1-for-6 Wednesday, is hitting .345 (20-for-58) with four homers and 10 RBIs lifetime against Glavine. Pat Burrell is batting .304 (17-for-56) with three homers and 11 RBIs, and reigning NL MVP Ryan Howard is 3-for-11 with two homers and four RBIs.
Howard, who hit 58 homers last year, has just one so far in 2007.
The Mets (5-3) have lost three of their last four after a 4-0 start, and need a win to avoid dropping their second straight series. Carlos Delgado will lead the charge against Phillies starter Jamie Moyer (1-0, 2.70), against whom he is 26-for-57 (.456) with seven doubles, seven home runs and 15 RBIs.
Moyer limited Florida to two runs in 6 2-3 innings in an 8-2 victory Friday. The southpaw - acquired from Seattle in August - lost his only start to the Mets last season when he gave up seven runs and nine hits in six innings of an 8-3 defeat, but he is 5-2 with a 2.78 ERA in 10 lifetime starts versus New York.
Mets third baseman David Wright extended his hitting streak to a career-high 20 games dating to last season with a ninth-inning single. Wright, who batted .311 and shared the team lead with 116 RBIs in 2006, has only one multi-hit game and three RBIs this season.