Fri, 29 Sep 2023

Phillies look to get offense on track against Mets

Field Level Media
01 Jun 2023, 17:55 GMT+10

The New York Mets know exactly what the Philadelphia Phillies are going through.

They have one more day to worry about being the team Philadelphia breaks out against.

The Mets will look to complete a three-game sweep of the visiting Phillies on Thursday afternoon when the National League Eastrivals close out their first head-to-head series of the season.

Max Scherzer (4-2, 3.54 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets against Taijuan Walker (4-2, 5.57) in a battle of right-handers and former New York teammates.

Carlos Carrasco allowed one run over six solid innings Wednesday night, when Mark Canha hit a two-run homer and added a two-run single to account for all of the Mets' runs in a 4-1 win.

The slump-busting game by Canha provided an appropriate conclusion to an up-and-down month for both the outfielder and the team.

Canha entered Wednesday batting .246 in May with one homer and three RBIs in 22 games for New York, which went 14-15 in the month but won nine of its final 13 games following a 5-11 start.

The Mets scored three runs or fewer nine times in a 12-game span from the second game of a May 3 doubleheader to May 15 before scoring four runs or more nine times in the final 14 games of the month.

"I think we have a veteran group that understands how important it is to keep an even keel," Canha said. "We understand that these runs are going to happen and you've got to come out and be professional and go about your work every day, no matter what happened the night before. We do a really good job of that here, in my opinion, and it's a room full of professionals."

The Phillies have no shortage of players who understand how long and layered a season can be. Five position players in the Wednesday lineup, along with starting pitcher Aaron Nola, were on the team last season, when Philadelphia was 21-29 through May 31 before recovering to win the NL pennant.

However, having been there before doesn't make enduring another slow start any easier for the Phillies, who fell to 25-30 on Wednesday. Philadelphia went 10-16 in May while scoring three runs or fewer 13 times.

The Phillies have been limited to one run total in the past two games by the Mets.

"They're frustrated -- they care a lot, they want to win," Phillies manager Rob Thomson said of his players. "Sometimes you try a little bit too hard. Guys try to put the entire team on their shoulders. They've got to relax."

Scherzer earned a win on Friday when he allowed one run over seven innings as the Mets beat the Colorado Rockies 5-2. He is 16-5 with a 2.61 ERA in 29 career starts against the Phillies.

Walker also won on Friday after surrendering three runs over 6 2/3 innings in the Phillies' 6-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Walker spent the previous two seasons with New York before signing a four-year, $72 million deal with Philadelphia in December. He is 0-1 with a 1.74 ERA in two starts against the Mets, though he hasn't faced them since 2017.

--Field Level Media

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