The New York Mets aren’t used to losing series. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Phillies aren’t used to nights like Thursday, when their ace pitcher earned a win and their defense was solid.
The Mets will look to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season Friday night when they host the Phillies in the opener of a three-game series.
Carlos Carrasco (4-1, 3.50 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets against left-hander Bailey Falter (0-1, 3.75).
The visiting Phillies snapped a two-game losing streak Thursday night, when Aaron Nola carried a shutout into the ninth inning as Philadelphia beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 to earn a split of a four-game series.
The Mets were off Thursday after being routed by the host San Francisco Giants 9-3 in the rubber game of a three-game series on Wednesday afternoon.
The series loss was just the second of the season for the Mets, who have won 11 series and split another in 14 tries.
The defeat marked the first time New York had lost back-to-back games since April 10-11 and snapped a streak of 14 consecutive wins after a defeat, which was a franchise record and tied for the third-longest such streak in major league history.
The shellacking of New York left-hander Thomas Szapucki in his first big league start — he gave up nine runs in 1 1/3 innings — also highlighted a potential problem for the team. The Mets are down three starters with aces Jacob deGrom (scapula), Max Scherzer (oblique) and Tylor Megill (biceps) on the shelf.
“There will be some opportunities,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s part of the gig here. Nobody cares about our problems. They’re glad we’ve got them.”
The Phillies still have plenty of problems on defense — they entered Thursday last in the majors in defensive runs saved at negative-25, per a formula tabulated by Baseball Info Solutions — but Nola’s gem came at an opportune time after a pair of losses marked by inexplicable gaffes.
On Tuesday, center fielder Roman Quinn dropped a ninth-inning, game-tying sacrifice fly by Ronald Acuna Jr., who eventually scored the winning run in the Braves’ 6-5 victory.
In the fifth inning of a tie game Wednesday, catcher J.T. Realmuto’s throw to second following a wild pitch sailed past the bag and under the glove of center fielder Odubel Herrera, who chased the ball all the way to the warning track. Dansby Swanson, who started the pitch on first base, trotted home with what proved to be the winning run in Atlanta’s 8-4 victory.
There was no such drama Thursday, when Nola struck out 10 over 8 1/3 innings and earned his first win since Opening Day.
“We needed it,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “Now we’re going to New York. Both these teams are in our division. We need to take care of business.”
Carrasco earned a win on Saturday when he gave up one run over 5 1/3 innings as the Mets beat the Colorado Rockies 5-1 in the opener of a doubleheader. He is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three career games (one start) against the Phillies.
Falter made his first major league start of the season on May 11, when he gave up one run in 4 2/3 innings during a no-decision against the Seattle Mariners. His four other outings this year, and 21 of his 22 appearances last year, have come in relief.
The only time he faced the Mets occurred last month, when he yielded one run in two innings.
–Field Level Media