The Mets (9-6) have won three in a row over the Phillies (8-9) after beating them 6-4 on Friday to open a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park. The streak has come after New York dropped nine in a row to Philadelphia over two seasons, with eight of the defeats playing a key role in last season’s epic collapse, which saw the Mets concede the division title to the Phillies on the final day of the regular season.
The Mets’ current success against the Phillies has also come with reigning NL MVP Rollins sidelined with a sprained left ankle. He suffered the injury scrambling back to second base on a pickoff play on April 8 after going 2-for-5 with an RBI to help Philadelphia to a 5-2 win at New York in the first meeting of 2008.
Rollins has been limited to pinch-hitting duties since then, going 1-for-3. But he left the team to attend a funeral for an uncle and wasn’t available Friday. The switch-hitting shortstop is supposed to return to Philadelphia on Saturday, though it’s uncertain whether he’ll be in the lineup.
Rollins is hitting .345 with six homers, 16 RBIs and eight stolen bases in his last 20 games against the Mets.
If Rollins can’t start for a 10th consecutive game, then Eric Bruntlett will likely be back in the lineup. Bruntlett has gone 6-for-35 (.171) with a solo homer while starting the last nine games, including 2-for-13 in three games against New York.
The Mets hope Oliver Perez (1-0, 3.38 ERA) can rebound from a disappointing outing after opening the season with two tremendous performances.
The hard-throwing left-hander went 1-0 while throwing 11 2-3 scoreless innings and striking out 10 in his first two starts of 2008, which includes 5 2-3 innings against Philadelphia in a 5-2 loss on April 8.
He wasn’t even close to being that effective Sunday, giving up six runs and eight hits, including a home run, while walking three, hitting another batter and striking out four in 4 1-3 innings of a 9-7 loss to Milwaukee.
Perez hopes to replicate his last start against the Phillies in order to improve on his 1-3 record and 4.28 ERA in nine starts against them. However, he’s been solid in three starts at Philadelphia, going 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 19 2-3 innings.
The Phillies turn to Jamie Moyer (1-0, 5.52), who is looking to get his second win against the Mets this season.
The left-hander, who is the oldest player in the majors at 45, started opposite Perez on April 8, limiting New York to two runs and four hits in six innings.
He’s helped the Phillies to wins in each of his last four starts against the Mets, going 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA.
Moyer, though, is coming off a difficult outing, allowing four runs and nine hits, including a homer, in five innings of a 6-5, 10-inning loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
“I’m not quite where I want to be,” Moyer said. “I’m getting there slowly.”
Moyer hasn’t fared well against the Mets’ David Wright, who is 9-for-21 (.429) off him with two homers.
Wright came a home run short of the cycle on Friday, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and two RBIs, increasing his batting average 50 points to .333. The All-Star third baseman is 9-for-11 with a homer and three RBIs in his last three games at Philadelphia.