The Philadelphia Phillies will look for a series victory when they host the New York Mets on Thursday.
The Phillies fell to 24-24 following a 5-4 loss on Wednesday in which they gave up a 4-0 lead.
Philadelphia will turn to its ace, Aaron Nola, who’s 5-3 with a 2.40 ERA in nine starts this season. Nola is 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA against the Mets this season.
For Nola’s career against the Mets, he’s 8-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 starts.
The Phillies’ bullpen continued to struggle in Wednesday’s loss with Hector Neris allowing the winning run in the ninth inning.
“I know all of our starters are going to take it on themselves to go as deep as possible,” Nola said.
In Nola’s last start against the Miami Marlins, he tossed a seven-inning complete-game shutout, giving up only three hits and striking out 10.
“It doesn’t feel like it counts. Nine innings is a complete game,” Nola said.
For the Phillies to make a playoff push in the final 12 games, they’ll need more offensive punch from right fielder Bryce Harper. In Wednesday’s loss, Harper went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, dropping his average to .243.
Harper is hitless in his last 11 at-bats.
“He’s in a funk,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “We’ve got to get him out of it.”
Jean Segura went 4-for-4 with a home run, double and two singles on Wednesday, but the Phillies weren’t able to hold what seemed to be a solid 4-0 advantage.
“When you have a chance to tack on more runs against a good team like the Mets, you need to do it,” Girardi said.
The Mets (22-27) will look for their second straight win when they send Seth Lugo to the mound in the series finale.
Lugo, who’s 2-3 with a 2.63 ERA, will be making his fifth start. He also has three saves this season.
In Lugo’s career against the Phillies, he’s 1-1 with a 3.40 ERA in 18 games.
The last time out, Lugo gave up seven hits and three runs with five strikeouts and one walk in 5 1/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays.
“I felt like I was a little out in front of myself — I spiked a couple pitches, missed down, so then I tried to stay back and I missed up and it took me a few pitches to find that sweet spot,” Lugo said.
Lugo has been working hard to pitch as deep as possible into his starts and that mindset won’t change on Thursday.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Lugo said. “My mechanics got away from me for two batters. I was able to make the adjustment and I’d like to get through six. As a starter, that’s your job to get through six, save the bullpen because they’ve got to face them again. I didn’t. So in that regard, I’ve got to be better than that.”
Meanwhile, Pete Alonso went 0-for-1 in a pinch-hitting performance Wednesday against the Phillies and he’s now stuck in a 1-for-18 slump.
“Keep working with him and detect what we can do so he maintains that consistency,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said.
–Field Level Media