Mets-Phillies Preview


Though the Philadelphia Phillies are coming off a big day at the plate, a repeat performance seems unlikely against the New York Mets' Matt Harvey.

Harvey tries to quiet the Phillies in the conclusion of a three-game set Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

After dropping Friday's opener 4-3, Philadelphia (36-39) bounced back with Saturday's 8-7 victory. The Phillies, who blew a six-run lead before Kevin Frandsen led off the ninth inning with a pinch-hit walkoff homer, also got two home runs from Ryan Howard and one from Michael Young.

"He's ready to go when his number is called," Howard said of Frandsen. "He's been that guy that wants to step up. It's no surprise."

Howard drove in a season-high four runs Saturday and is batting .471 with three homers and 10 RBIs during a nine-game stretch. Young is hitting .382 with two home runs in his last 13 contests.

While Philadelphia has hit .320 with runners in scoring position during a 7-2 run at home, Charlie Manuel's club hasn't had any success against Harvey (6-1, 2.16 ERA). The hard-throwing right-hander allowed three hits and struck out nine over seven innings of one-run ball in a 7-2 road win over the Phillies on April 8, improving to 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in three starts in the series.

"When you come to Philly, you're usually (fired up) higher than usual," Harvey said afterward.

Harvey has shut down Howard (0 for 7 with five strikeouts), Domonic Brown (0 for 5), John Mayberry (0 for 5) and Young (0 for 3), but Jimmy Rollins is 3 for 8 with a homer and two doubles in their matchups.

Having received an average of just 2.64 runs of support in his last 11 starts, Harvey earned his first win in over a month Tuesday in a 4-3 victory at Atlanta. The emerging ace, who carried a no-hitter into the seventh before Jason Heyward led off the inning with a fluky infield single, gave up three runs and three hits in seven innings while striking out a career-high 13.

"It's definitely one of those games where I thought (a no-hitter) was possible a little bit more than the other ones," Harvey told MLB's official website. "I was striking out a lot of guys, and they weren't putting the ball in the outfield too often. Anytime that's going on, you think in the back of your mind that this is possible."

Harvey has now taken three no-hit bids into the seventh this year.

"Guys like that, with that kind of stuff, they're going to flirt with no-hitters from time to time," Heyward said. "It's not going to be a surprise to anybody."

The Phillies counter with John Lannan (0-1, 5.49). The left-hander yielded two runs and six hits over five innings during Monday's 5-4 walkoff win over Washington, his first start back after missing two months due to a strained quadriceps tendon.

"Just getting back in the swing of things. It felt awesome," he said. "It's been a lot of time and a lot of hard work. I'm happy to be back."

Lannan has been outstanding in his last six outings against the Mets (29-42), going 4-1 with a 1.69 ERA. However, he's only faced them once since 2010, throwing 5 2-3 innings of five-hit ball in a 2-0 road win Sept. 12, while with Washington.

The Phillies have taken 10 of 12 from New York, including six of the last seven by a 44-22 margin. Howard is hitting .350 with six homers, 20 RBIs and 11 runs in his last 10 games in the series.