Following a day of rest, there will be no excuse for lifeless play as the Phillies engage in their most important series of the season.
The jabs have already begun on New York’s end from catcher Paul Lo Duca, who told WFAN he hopes to "bury" the Phillies.
"We’re playing well, but this is a series we need to go into and just bury them," Lo Duca said. "I mean, if we can come in here and win two of three, or even sweep them, we can move nine, ten games up in the loss column and that’s huge…
"So, this is a big series for us. And I know they’re gonna be pumped up, because this is where they can try to cut the deficit in half. So, we need to come out and play well, and, like I said, we can put them in the freezer and hopefully bury them by the end of the series."…
The Phils should tack this up on their bulletin board and remember it. Frankly, Lo Duca gives the hometown nine a lot of credit for being" pumped up." We haven't seen it in too many games.
Prove him right. Become ruthless and relentless. Show him that June 13 is too early to bury anybody, especially a team that's only a few games back.
A lifeless showing here, similar to the way the Washington series ended, would be devastating for this fan and should be unacceptable for the Phillies’ front office. The Phillies have enough good players to hang with this team, especially playing at home. Tonight’s game is the start of a nine-game homestand. They are 16-16 at home this season and that needs to improve right here.
The Phils and Mets are knotted up at three games a piece in their season series. The Mets come in as the hot team in the division, having won five straight to improve their NL best record (39-23, .629). The Phils (33-30, .524) are returning from a 6-5 road trip, which ended on a sour note by dropping three-of-four to the Nationals.
Ryan Madson (6-3, 5.71 ERA) will look to build on his best and longest outing of the season, a 7 2-3 gem against Arizona on June 7. His last appearance against the Mets was the 16-inning game where he took the loss on a walk-off homer by Carlos Beltran after throwing 7 shutout innings in long relief.
Tom Glavine (9-2, 3.06 ERA) looks to become the National League’s first 10-game winner.
Press notes: Getting better against lefties
--- As a team, the Phillies are 8-9 when a left-hander starts against them, but 8-5 in their last 13 games against a lefty. Individually, Pat Burrell is tied for second in the NL with 7 homers against LHP; Ryan Howard is tied for ninth with 5.
--- The Phillies’ bullpen has allowed only 10 earned runs in their last 53.1 innings (1.69 ERA) and have a 3.16 ERA, best among all major league bullpens. Still, if the battle boils down to the bullpens, the Mets still have the edge.
--- Since April 12, the Phillies are 32-24 (.571), which is the third-most wins in the NL over that span.