New York Mets: Mike Fontenot

Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

July, 2, 2012
7/02/12
9:30
AM ET

US Presswire
The Mets are expected to face (l to r) Vance Worley, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels during the midweek series.
METS (43-37, second place/NL East) vs. PHILADLEPHIA PHILLIES (36-45, fifth place/NL East)

Tuesday: LHP Jon Niese (6-3, 3.55) vs. RHP Vance Worley (4-4, 2.92), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Chris Young (2-1, 3.30) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (0-5, 4.13), 1:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.15) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.08), 7:10 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

• The underwhelming Phillies traded a pair of veterans to the American League during the weekend. They dealt Jim Thome to the Baltimore Orioles for minor league catcher Gabriel Lino and right-hander Kyle Simon. A day later, reliever Chad Qualls was sent to the Yankees for cash or a player to be named. Thome, 41, was hitting .242 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 62 at-bats, but back woes made it difficult for him to man first base. Qualls (4.60 ERA) had been designated for assignment Thursday.

Ex-Met Jason Pridie and left-hander Jeremy Horst took their roster spots. Horst had been acquired by the Phillies in January in the trade that sent infielder Wilson Valdez, another ex-Met, to Cincinnati. Pridie had signed with Oakland as a minor league free agent during the winter, was suspended 50 games by MLB for a second positive test for a drug of abuse in March, was released by the A’s last month and signed with Philadelphia on June 15.


Howard Smith/US Presswire
Chase Utley made his season debut last week after dealing with chronic knee woes.


• ESPN’s Buster Olney reports the dismantling may not be limited to peripheral players, with pending free agent Cole Hamels as well as Shane Victorino also potentially available.

• Hamels, catcher Carlos Ruiz and closer Jonathan Papelbon will represent the Phillies in the July 10 All-Star Game in Kansas City, although San Francisco’s Buster Posey will start over Ruiz behind the plate. Ruiz, a first-time All-Star, leads the majors in batting at .356, two points ahead of David Wright.

• Second baseman Chase Utley made his season debut last Wednesday with a three-hit game. He homered against the Pirates’ James McDonald in his first at-bat. Utley, who played in 10 rehab games, has started three of five games since being activated from the DL. The absence was caused by chronic left knee woes. Mike Fontenot has started the other two games at second base since Utley’s return.

• First baseman Ryan Howard may not be too far behind Utley. He began a rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Lakewood. Howard underwent surgery in October on his left Achilles and suffered a setback when the area got infected.

• Rookie infielder Freddy Galvis, who had started 45 games at second base in Utley’s absence, was suspended by MLB for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. He already was sidelined with a back injury and will be allowed to serve the suspension while on the disabled list. In a statement, Galvis denied knowingly using the banned substance.

• The Phillies are nine games under .500 for the first time since July 25, 2006, when they were 44-53. A loss in the series opener against the Mets would drop Philadelphia 10 games under .500 for the first time since July 22, 2002. The Phillies had not had this bad a record at the midpoint of a season since they were 23-58 in 1997.

• After using Vance Worley in the series opener, the Phillies are expected to skip Kyle Kendrick and go with Cliff Lee and Hamels in the series.

• Lee remains winless through 13 starts. The last MLB pitchers to open a season with that many starts and not have one victory to show for it? They would be Kenshin Kawakami with Atlanta and Kevin Millwood with Baltimore, two seasons ago. They both failed to be credited with a win in their first 14 starts of 2010. Lee has allowed five or more earned runs in three straight starts, one shy of matching his career high, which came with Cleveland in 2007.

Roy Halladay threw a bullpen session Friday for the first time since landing on the DL with a back strain.

Last series results

Philadelphia won, 2-1, at Citi Field, May 28-30 (AP game recaps)

Phillies 8, Mets 4: Ty Wigginton drove in a career-high six runs with a homer and a pair of two-out hits and Cole Hamels won his eighth straight decision. Scott Hairston and Vinny Rottino each hit tying two-run homers for the Mets. Down 5-4, the Mets threatened in the eighth when pinch hitter Andres Torres doubled. With one out and Torres on third, Daniel Murphy grounded out and then David Wright also grounded out to end the inning. Wright has gone hitless in his last 14 at-bats, dropping his average to .373. More

Mets 6, Phillies 3: Jeremy Hefner earned his first victory in the majors and highlighted the occasion by homering for his first big league hit. The 26-year-old rookie became the first major league pitcher to hit his first homer in his first win since 2002, when Dennis Tankersley did it with San Diego, STATS LLC said. Pinch hitter Scott Hairston had a two-run homer, and newcomer Omar Quintanilla doubled twice and singled. More

Phillies 10, Mets 6: Carlos Ruiz came off the bench with a sore hamstring to hit a tying homer in the seventh inning, Jimmy Rollins added a three-run shot and the Phillies busted loose late. Shane Victorino drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth and Philadelphia bailed out winless Cliff Lee to take two of three in the series. Ty Wigginton also homered for the Phillies, who improved to 3-6 against the Mets this season. Lucas Duda went deep twice, including a two-run shot off Lee in the sixth that gave the Mets a 3-1 lead. Dillon Gee pitched 6 2/3 effective innings, but the New York bullpen was battered after he left -- beginning with the pinch-hit homer by Ruiz. More

Series preview: Mets at Phillies

May, 6, 2012
5/06/12
11:35
PM ET

US Presswire/Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Roy Halladay, Joe Blanton and Cliff Lee in Philly this week.
METS (15-13, third place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (14-15, fifth place/NL East)

Monday: LHP Jon Niese (2-1, 4.08) vs. RHP Roy Halladay (3-2, 3.40), 7:05 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Miguel Batista (0-1, 6.92) vs. RHP Joe Blanton (3-3, 2.83), 7:05 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-2, 4.50) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (0-1, 1.96), 7:05 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

Cliff Lee returns from a left oblique strain for Wednesday’s start. The southpaw had been on the disabled list since April 21. With Lee’s return, Kyle Kendrick reverts to bullpen use. Kendrick made three starts in Lee’s absence, going 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA. On Friday at D.C., Kendrick did limit Washington to one run in five innings to outperform Stephen Strasburg (three runs in six innings), although the Nats won, 4-3, in 11 innings.

Ryan Howard, who is trying to work back from left Achilles surgery and an ensuing infection in the repaired area, expects to hit and run at the team’s Clearwater, Fla., complex this week. Meanwhile, Chase Utley (knee) also could begin working out there this week, in a quasi-beginning to spring training. Utley spent the past five weeks rehabbing in Arizona. Since Jim Thome landed on the DL on May 2 with a lower-back strain, righty-hitting Ty Wigginton and lefty-hitting Laynce Nix exclusively have shared first-base duties. Meanwhile, with rookie Freddy Galvis (.198) underperforming, Pete Orr has started seven of the past 12 games at second base. Philly media speculation is former Cub/Giant Mike Fontenot soon could be promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, with Galvis demoted.


Miles Kennedy/Getty Images
Carlos Ruiz had seven RBIs in a game against the Braves last week.


Roy Halladay enters Monday’s start having allowed eight earned runs and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings in his most recent outing, at Atlanta. The damage, which came after Halladay needed only 46 pitches to navigate the opening four innings, included a grand slam by Brian McCann. It was the most earned runs allowed by Halladay since surrendering nine in 5 1/3 innings at Texas on May 5, 2007 while with the Toronto Blue Jays. The last grand slam allowed by Halladay? That came in 2008, courtesy of Evan Longoria. Halladay’s fastball has averaged 90.4 mph this season, down from 92.0 mph last season and 92.6 mph in 2010.

• Right fielder Hunter Pence homered twice Sunday night against the Nats. He has a nine-game hitting streak.

Joe Blanton tossed a three-hit shutout Thursday at Atlanta. It was the third shutout of Blanton’s career, and first since June 2, 2007 with Oakland against Minnesota.

• Philadelphia’s bullpen has blown three of its past five save chances, although that is before the ball got to Jonathan Papelbon. The former Red Sox closer is 9-for-9 this season. He was named MLB’s Delivery Man of the Month for April. Since a single by Angel Pagan on April 16, Papelbon has not allowed a hit in the last 18 at-bats against him. Papelbon’s nine saves are tied with Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel for the National League lead.

• The Phillies snapped a string of seven straight losses to the Nationals with a 9-3 win Sunday night.

• Catcher Carlos Ruiz produced seven RBIs against Atlanta on Wednesday. That was one RBI shy of matching the Phillies’ single-game record, which is held by Jayson Werth (2008), Mike Schmidt (1976) and Willie Jones (1958).

• Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who moved to the leadoff spot April 28 as Charlie Manuel tried to jumpstart the Phillies’ offense, went 5-for-27 on Philadelphia’s six-game trip.

• Reliever Jose Contreras was activated from the DL on April 16. He had undergone elbow surgery on Sept. 2, 2011.

Cole Hamels told Philly reporters he purposely plunked Washington's Bryce Harper during Sunday's first inning. Harper got the last laugh, ultimately stealing home that inning. Nats pitcher Jordan Zimmermann subsequently hit Hamels with a pitch in the left leg. "I'm not gonna lie," Hamels said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. "It's kind of welcome to the big leagues. He kind of did the same to me."

Matchups

Niese vs. Phillies (career: 4-4, 3.58 ERA)
Ty Wigginton .500, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 PA
Placido Polanco .417, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 26 PA
Carlos Ruiz .357, 2 RBI, 4 K, 14 PA
Freddy Galvis .333, 1 K, 3 PA
John Mayberry .294, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 K, 17 PA
Shane Victorino .278, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 19 PA
Jimmy Rollins .263, 2 BB, 3 K, 21 PA
Hunter Pence .143, 1 BB, 4 K, 15 PA
Brian Schneider .000, 1 K, 4 PA

Batista vs. Phillies (career: 3-3, 4.42 ERA)
Jimmy Rollins .550, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 1 K
John Mayberry .500, 1 RBI, 2 PA
Placido Polanco .343, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 2 K, 40 PA
Ty Wigginton .308, 4 RBI, 3 K, 13 PA
Carlos Ruiz .286, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 9 K
Hunter Pence .250, 1 BB, 1 K, 5 PA
Brian Schneider .231, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 16 PA
Juan Pierre .227, 4 BB, 1 K, 27 PA
Laynce Nix .000, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 10 PA
Shane Victorino .000, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 5 PA
Pete Orr .000, 1 PA

Gee vs. Phillies (career: 2-1, 7.85 ERA)
Jimmy Rollins 1.000, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 PA
Brian Schneider .500, 2 BB, 4 PA
Shane Victorino .286, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 10 PA
Laynce Nix .200, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 6 PA
Carlos Ruiz .200, 1 K, 5 PA
Hunter Pence .167, 3 BB, 1 K, 9 PA
John Mayberry .167, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 7 PA
Placido Polanco .167, 1 BB, 7 PA
Pete Orr .000, 1 K, 1 PA

Halladay vs. Mets (career: 9-2, 2.88 ERA)
Justin Turner .500, 1 K, 2 PA
Josh Thole .438, 2 K, 16 PA
Scott Hairston .333, 1 BB, 2 K, 7 PA
Andres Torres .231, 1 BB, 2 K, 14 PA
Ike Davis .211, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 20 PA
Daniel Murphy .167, 1 K, 6 PA
David Wright .143, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 11 K, 22 PA
Ruben Tejada .000, 1 RBI, 8 PA
Lucas Duda .000, 1 K, 6 PA
Mike Baxter .000, 1 K, 2 PA

Blanton vs. Mets (career: 3-1, 3.50 ERA)
Scott Hairston .500, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K, 6 PA
Ike Davis .455, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 12 PA
Andres Torres .333, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 4 PA
David Wright .261, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K, 24 PA
Josh Thole .111, 1 RBI, 3 K, 9 PA
Daniel Murphy .000, 1 BB, 2 K, 4 PA
Ruben Tejada .000, 3 PA
Lucas Duda .000, 2 K, 3 PA
Justin Turner .000, 1 PA

Lee vs. Mets (career: 2-1, 1.61 ERA)
Andres Torres .500, 2 K, 7 PA
Ruben Tejada .500, 6 PA
Josh Thole .500, 2 PA
Daniel Murphy .333, 1 RBI, 2 K, 6 PA
David Wright .286, 3 K, 7 PA
Lucas Duda .167, 3 K, 6 PA
Scott Hairston .143, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K, 14 PA
Justin Turner .000, 1 BB, 3 K, 10 PA
Ike Davis .000, 2 K, 6 PA

Last series results

Mets won, 2-1, at Citizens Bank Park, April 13-15 (AP game recaps)

Mets 5, Phillies 2: R.A. Dickey threw seven sharp innings, Jason Bay hit a two-run homer and the Mets beat Cliff Lee. Scott Hairston also homered. Freddy Galvis hit his first major league homer for the Phillies. Dickey (2-0) allowed one run despite nine hits. The knuckleballer struck out seven and lowered his ERA against Philadelphia to 2.40 in seven career starts. Dickey has compiled 14 straight quality starts -- six or more innings with three earned runs or less -- dating to last July 25. Lee (0-1) gave up four runs and five hits in seven innings, striking out seven. He allowed just nine runs in his previous 11 starts, spanning 83 2/3 innings. The Mets played without David Wright for the third straight game.

Mets 5, Phillies 0: Jon Niese and two relievers combined on a six-hitter and David Wright homered despite a broken finger. Niese (2-0) allowed five hits and struck out five in 6 2/3 innings. Bobby Parnell got four outs and Jon Rauch pitched the ninth. Wright was 3-for-5, including a long homer on the first pitch he saw after missing three games with a broken right pinkie. Lucas Duda also connected for the Mets, who are off to a surprising 6-2 start. Phillies starter Vance Worley (0-1) allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings.

Phillies 8, Mets 2: Cole Hamels pitched seven strong innings and Ty Wigginton drove in four runs. Hamels (1-1) struck out 10 to help the Phillies avoid a three-game sweep at home against the Mets for the first time since June 13-15, 2006. Philadelphia struggled to cross the plate until scoring twice in the seventh inning against Ramon Ramirez (1-1). The Phillies blew the game open with five unearned runs in the eighth off two Mets relievers. The Phillies tied it at 2 in the seventh on Wigginton's sacrifice fly that scored Jimmy Rollins. Rollins could've been the second out of the inning, but right fielder Lucas Duda misjudged Rollins' lazy flyball to short right field, allowing Rollins a single. Helped by Ruben Tejada's throwing error, the Phillies tacked on five unearned runs run in the eighth. Manny Acosta walked Hunter Pence with the bases loaded before Wigginton hit a bases-clearing double off Miguel Batista for the five-run lead. Ike Davis' two-run homer in the first had staked the Mets to a 2-0 lead.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
9 4.03 100 134
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 17
RBIL. Duda 53
RD. Murphy 58
OPSL. Duda .855
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 121