After a six-game winning streak, the New York Mets have now dropped three straight games with the possibility of getting swept tonight in the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Chris Young will be on the mound for the Mets, while ace Cliff Lee will toe the rubber for the Phillies in what appears to be a huge mismatch on paper.
According to ESPN's preview for tonight's game, the Mets have scored just one run in their past 22 innings against the Philadelphia rotation. It doesn't get much easier tonight with Lee on the mound, despite his 2-2 record and 4.18 ERA. Though Lee hasn't been as sharp early on in the season, he does have a relatively high BABIP (.313) and very low strand rate (65.8%). If these two things coupled with his 39: 4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 32 1/3 innings were normalized, he'd have an ERA in the sub-3's. In his five starts this year, Lee has fanned 11 or more three times. He's coming off a 12-K performance against the Arizona Diamondbacks -- and you just know he loves the limelight of a nationally-televised game with the chance to bury the Mets early in the season.
Young has also been very good this year for the Mets, but is coming off his worst outing of the year, a 4 1/3-inning outing in which he gave up three earned runs -- all via the longball. The 6-10 right-hander game up one run on five hits while striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings against the Phillies in their home park in his first start of the year. Young will have to hope that he's a bit lucky again at Citizen's Bank Park as his proclivity for the flyball doesn't bode too well in Philadelphia's hitter's haven.
For the most part, the Mets bats have had a good season, though they could use a boost from their best hitter, David Wright. The third basemen has five homeruns and 16 RBIs on the season, yet is batting just .240 and has 31 strikeouts in his 27 games played. New York needs their most potent right-handed bat to come through, especially against a pitcher with the ability of Lee.