Brian Lawrence and J.D. Durbin take center stage when the curtain opens on a crucial four-game series between the front-running Mets and second-place Phillies. Meanwhile, Chase Utley is in and Russell Branyan is out, according to the pregame notes.
Series matchups: Tonight: Lawrence (1-1, 5.57) vs. Durbin (5-3, 5.44) Tuesday: Tom Glavine (11-6, 4.32) vs. Adam Eaton (9-8, 6.36) Wedensday: Perez (12-8, 3.34) vs. Moyer (11-10, 5.16) Thursday: Hernandez (9-4, 3.07) vs. Lohse (7-12, 4.47)
Reader previews: “A split amounts to a Mets series win. These matchups are about as bad as I've seen and given the quality of the bullpen, it's going to be up to the offense to generate at least six runs a game to have any hope of winning this series. This series is truly the defining moment of the 2007 season for the Phillies.” – clout
“It is going to take a combination of the Mets faltering and the Phils overachieving for the Phils to possibly take three or four right now. The tough part is that the Padres are going to go through the most difficult part of their remaining schedule over the next 10 days. I just don't see how the Phils are going to keep pace let alone actually make up any real ground.” – MG
“The Phils are looking uphill this week with Glavine, Perez and El Duque starting the final three games of the series; they have to tattoo Lawrence tonight, get into the bullpen, and then hope it's hot enough that 40-somethings Glavine and Hernandez get tired and Perez loses his command. Sadly, the Phils pitching is so ragged right now that they could score six or seven runs in a couple of these games and still lose.” – dajafi