Mets-Phillies Preview

The Associated Press

While Matt Harvey appears to have a bright future ahead, Roy Halladay hopes his best days aren't behind him as he seeks his 200th career win.

Harvey will try to build on an outstanding season debut and lead the New York Mets to a third consecutive victory Monday night when they visit Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets (4-2) claimed their second straight series win as Marlon Byrd came through with a walkoff, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning in Sunday's 4-3 victory over Miami.

"It's huge to show that we can win close games,'' said Byrd.

Now they'll send the 24-year-old Harvey (1-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound for his 12th career start. Harvey allowed one hit and struck out 10 over seven scoreless innings in an 8-4 victory over San Diego on Wednesday.

"All his stuff is electric,'' catcher John Buck said.

The seventh overall pick of the 2010 draft has gone 4-5 with a 2.44 ERA since getting the call-up from the minors last July. In two starts against the Phillies, the right-hander has a 2.03 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 13 1-3 innings.

Jimmy Rollins has gone 2 for 5 with a double and a homer against Harvey, while Ryan Howard has gone 0 for 5 with three strikeouts.

Rollins hit his first homer - a three-run shot - on Sunday, but Billy Butler's video review-confirmed grand slam in the fifth proved to be the big blow in a 9-8 home loss to Kansas City.

"We're going to be all right,'' said manager Charlie Manuel on the team's 2-4 start. "We have to put a solid ballgame together."

The Phillies had managed 17 runs and a .234 batting average through their first five games before pounding out 15 hits Sunday. Philadelphia, however, has struck out 26 times in its last two games.

The Phillies will try to give Halladay some support as he looks to rebound from a rough first start. Halladay (0-1, 13.50), who struggled with a sore shoulder last season and allowed 11 runs in 16 1-3 innings in the spring, gave up five runs and six hits in 3 1-3 innings in a 9-2 loss at Atlanta on Wednesday.

"I'd rather get beat 20-0 and pitch eight innings than pitch 3 1-3,'' said Halladay, who also struck out nine and walked three. "That's got to change."

The two-time Cy Young Award winner may be able to get on track against the Mets considering he's 9-1 with a 2.36 ERA in his last 11 starts against them.

Byrd has had the most success against Halladay with five hits - including two doubles and a triple - in 16 career at-bats.

After getting a scheduled day out of the starting lineup Sunday, Buck is expected to be back behind the plate for New York. Buck is off to a hot start, going 8 for 20 with two homers and nine RBIs.

The Mets have had one of the league's top offenses so far, scoring 36 runs and hitting eight homers. They've also homered in their first six games for only the third time in team history (1962 and 1987).

New York won seven of nine in Philadelphia and finished 10-8 overall against the Phillies last season.

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