(Sports Network) – The New York Mets hope a quick turnaround will cure their recent woes when they finish a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies this afternoon from Citizens Bank Park.
New York suffered its fifth straight loss in last night’s 9-4 decision in the second portion of this series, as starting pitcher Jon Niese was rattled for eight runs and 10 hits in four innings of work. Niese, a lefty, aggravated a muscle on his right side and could be headed to the disabled list.
“I don’t know if I damaged it more,” Niese said on the club’s official website. “I doubt it. But it’s one of those things where I can’t pitch with it. I’ve just got to get it better.”
Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer and Justin Turner chipped in two hits and an RBI for New York, which is just 2-11 in its last 13 games and will head home after today’s game to begin an eight-game residency versus Atlanta and Florida. Duda has two homers and six RBI over his last four games. Center fielder Angel Pagan is battling a stomach bug and has reached base safely in 18 of the 19 games he’s played this month. Pagan was forced out of the game Monday because of possible symptoms of colitis.
“It’s scary, because when you have a disease that’s going to be with you your whole life, you don’t know what it’s going to turn into,” Pagan said. “I’m very thankful now that they know how to control everything and I know how to take care of everything myself. I’m a little more calm about it.”
The Mets are hoping Mike Pelfrey can get back into the win column for the first time since July 27 when he gets the nod this afternoon. Pelfrey is 0-1 in five starts since then and lost to Milwaukee on Friday in a 6-1 defeat. Pelfrey allowed four runs — three earned — and eight hits in five frames to fall to 6-19 in 26 games (25 starts) to go along with a 4.61 ERA.’’
Pelfrey lost to Philadelphia back on July 17 and was reached for four runs and six hits in five innings. The righty is 6-6 with a 5.12 ERA in 17 career starts against the Mets. He is only 3-8 as the visitor this season.
Philadelphia has the best record in baseball at 83-44 and posted its fifth win in seven tries last night. John Mayberry hit a three-run homer and Shane Victorino finished with two hits, including a home run, and three RBI for the Phillies, who still lead Atlanta by 6 1/2 games for the NL East lead. Victorino is riding an 11-game hitting streak and Mayberry owns 12 homers.
“I’m feeling relaxed and feeling comfortable,” said Mayberry, who has homered three times in his last five games. “I’m getting good pitches to hit and right now, I’m not missing them.”
Ben Francisco had three hits and winning pitcher Vance Worley went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored. Worley threw seven innings of one-run ball and struck out nine batters. The Phillies have won each of the righty’s last 12 appearances. Worley hasn’t lost since May 29, when he gave up eight runs in three innings to the Mets.
The Phillies will host Florida for three games over the weekend. First baseman Ryan Howard is listed as day-to-day with bursitis in the heel and Achilles region of his left foot. Raul Ibanez is also day-to-day with a left groin injury.
Kyle Kendrick gets the start for the Phils today and is 7-5 with a 3.24 ERA in 29 games (12 starts). He is 2-0 in his last four appearances and has posted consecutive no-decisions, last taking the hill in an 8-4 loss at Washington on Friday. Kendrick tossed six innings of two-run ball, struck out four and issued just one walk after a rain delay forced Roy Oswalt to the bench.
Kendrick, a right-hander, has been mainly relegated to bullpen duties this season and will get some starting action with Cole Hamels resting. Kendrick defeated the Mets on July 17 with seven innings of one-run ball in an 8-5 triumph and is 4-5 with a 2.88 ERA in 13 games (10 starts) against New York.
Philadelphia has won 10 of 14 meetings with New York this season. The Mets are 5-15 this month, while the Phils are 46-20 as the host.