New York Mets Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (9/15-9/17)

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

The last New York Mets series preview against the Philadelphia Phillies, at the time, was the most important series of the season. This three-game series has the same importance times ten as there are only two weeks left in the season. The Mets are 2.5 games behind the Phillies for the first wild card spot and two games behind the San Francisco Giants for the second spot.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tuesday, (9/15) @ 7:05 p.m. ET: Rick Porcello (1-4, 6.07 ERA) vs. Jake Arrieta (3-4, 5.54 ERA)

Wednesday, (9/16) @ 7:05 p.m. ET: Jacob deGrom (4-1, 1.67 ERA) vs. TBD

Thursday, (9/17) @ 7:05 p.m. ET: Seth Lugo (2-3, 2.63 ERA) vs. TBD

Over the last 24 hours, you cannot talk about the Mets without the fantastic news of Steve Cohen signing an agreement to own 95% of the franchise. If the Mets do not make the playoffs, at least knowing Cohen is all but certain to own the team alleviates the pain.

Win or Go Home

The first game should get the same treatment a game seven would. Rick Porcello has struggled to find consistency all season and must have a short leash in game one. With Jacob deGrom and Seth Lugo following Porcello, it gives the Mets the best chance to win no matter who they face. Most likely, they will face Aaron Nola at some point in the series as well.

Beating Jake Arrieta is no easy task. He compiled two solid starts in a row, with the first coming against the Mets. As always, the ultimate goal is getting to the bullpen early in the game. It is a major Achilles heel for the Phillies, and Arrieta throws a lot of pitches early in the game, which helps the Mets cause.

With all the disappointment flooding the Mets season, they still have an opportunity to erase that during this series. Winning two is a must; three is a dream, and anything less spells the end of their season. The Phillies are the last opponent they play, which allows them to move up in the wild card hunt with victories automatically.

Stats to Lookout For

Rick Porcello vs. Didi Gregorious: 7-for-43 (.163), 2 Doubles, 2 Home Runs, 3 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

Jake Arrieta vs. Robinson Cano: 6-for-34 (.176), 2 Doubles, 4 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

Jake Arrieta vs. Jeff McNeil: 13-for-23 (.565), Double, Home Run, Strikeout

Jacob deGrom vs. Bryce Harper: 11-for-36 (.306), 2 Doubles, 2 Home Runs, 8 Walks, 12 Strikeouts

New York Mets: Completely Outmatched in 6-2 Loss to the Phillies

New York Mets, Rick Porcello

The New York Mets faced an old friend in Zack Wheeler when he made his first start against his former team. Like Aaron Nola the night before, the Mets could not solve him for seven innings. Wheeler held the Mets to two runs, and that was all they needed in a 14 hit, 6-2 victory.

Rick Porcello had a similar fate to Saturday night’s starting pitcher, Steven Matz. It took an unlucky bounce to undo a strong outing. Porcello allowed seven hits through the first five innings but kept the Phillies to one run. J.T. Realmuto doubled off the third-base bag to lead off the sixth, and it got the Phillies going.

Alec Bohm drove him in with a double to tie the game at two. Andrew McCutchen, who replaced Jay Bruce in the fifth, deposited a hanging slider into the left-field bleachers. It was McCutchen’s first home run in over a year and put a damper what built up to be another strong outing for Porcello.

It was another disappointing game for a team that consistently plays with low energy night in and night out. Two errors from J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith contributed to the two Phillies insurance runs in the sixth. Despite how bad the Phillies bullpen is, four runs seemed like 40 to the Mets. There’s no sense of urgency from anyone on the team outside of Jeff McNeil, who only had the chance to show it in the final at-bat of the game.

Guillorme Leads the Offense Again

In a disappointing year, Luis Guillorme has been a bright spot for the Mets. His two-RBI single drove in the only two Mets runs and moved his average to .458 on the season. The Mets did not have many chances to score past the fourth and went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, leaving five on base. Table setters Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto combined to go 0-for-8 with five strikeouts.

Despite falling to 9-14, they head to Miami still four games behind the first-place Marlins. Robert Gsellman takes the mound to open up the series against a starter to be announced, most likely Jordan Yamamoto. Game one of the four-game series opens up from Marlins Park at 7:10 p.m. ET.

 

New York Mets: Fifth Inning Struggles Haunt Matz in 6-2 Loss

New York Mets, New York Yankees, Steven Matz

New York Mets starter, Steven Matz, came into his start with a renewed game plan after a rough start to his season. It worked for Matz through four innings, but everything came crashing down when a five-run fifth inning knocked him out of the game.

Matz took some velocity off his fastball in exchange for an increase in his accuracy. He sat around 91-93 with it and threw more changeups during his start. The only hit and run Matz allowed through the first four innings of the game came on a Jean Segura second-inning home run.

Matz ran into quick trouble during the fifth inning when two soft singles set the Phillies up with first and second with no one out. He walked Alec Bohm to load the bases and start to run away from his game plan from early in his outing. After getting Scott Kingery to lineout, he walked Andrew McCutchen to walk in a run. Rhys Hoskins blew the game open with a bases-clearing double followed by a Bryce Harper double, ended Matz’s night.

The outing inflated his ERA to 9.00 on the season, and his nine home runs are the most allowed by any pitcher this season. He tried to overthrow the ball once he got into trouble, and it ended up hurting him and brought his stats back to the norm in 2020 for Matz.

Nola Dominates

The Mets struggled all night with Aaron Nola as he shut them out for seven innings. When the Mets had early chances against him, he squashed them quickly. Nola retired the last 13 batters he faced and recorded eight strikeouts during his outing.

The only scoring from the Mets came from Dominic Smith. His two-run home run was his sixth of the season, and it leads the Mets. Smith’s hot start put into question how long Pete Alonso can continue to play every day. Through just over a third of the season, Alonso is only hitting .214, and his power is non-existent in the rare circumstance that he makes contact.

On Sunday, Rick Porcello tries to help the Mets prevent a sweep. He faces off against former Met Zack Wheeler at 1:05 p.m. ET from Citizens Bank Park.

MLB reverses its course; Monday night’s Yankees – Phillies back on

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

Just a few minutes after several journalists, most notably MLB Network’s Jon Heyman and New York Post’s Joel Sherman, reported that Monday night’s game between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies had been postponed, Sherman informed that the game is back on as previously scheduled after a “reversal” from the league.

The Phillies played against the Miami Marlins last weekend. The Marlins have, until Saturday, 18 players who tested positive for COVID-19 and two coaches, and the outbreak started before they faced the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

This situation prompted a quarantine for the two teams, and daily tests for Phillies’ players, coaches and staffers that have resulted in two positives: one coach and one clubhouse worker.

The Phillies were supposed to play against the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend but that series was canceled, as well. Then, Sherman and Heyman originally reported that MLB was going to postpone Monday’s tilt against the Yankees, but that is no longer the case.

“Heard there was a reversal and Phillies at Yankees is back on for Monday,” Sherman reported on his official Twitter account.

The Yankees have no COVID-19 cases

Meanwhile, Heyman expanded a little more. “Though many were told this and many confirmed this postponement, there’s now a consideration to reversing this and Philly going to the Bronx Monday. Either way, 4 games between the teams will be played; Phillies never had a player test positive and a Yankees have no Covid cases,” he said.

MLB is trying to navigate through the season while COVID-19 cases are soaring in some locations, most notably Florida. That is why the Marlins won’t return to play until next week, but nevertheless, the outbreak has greatly affected the schedule of several teams, including the Yankees.

COVID-19, additionally, recently hit the St. Louis Cardinals, as two players tested positive according to the latest reports. Their game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday was postponed.

The planned Phillies-Yankees game on Monday has been postponed

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

Coronavirus keeps lurking around the 2020 MLB season and the danger of the season being suspended, at least temporarily, is evident. Such is life scheduling baseball games in times of COVID-19 that a game that still hadn’t been officialized in the calendar, the New York Yankees – Philadelphia Phillies of Monday, has been postponed according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

The Phillies had one coach and one clubhouse staffer test positive in the week, after they played the Miami Marlins over the weekend at Citizens Bank Park. The Marlins, for those who not remember, are currently dealing with 18 positive cases among players, plus two coaches.

The Yankees and Phillies will have to make up for the lost game somewhere along the road, but it is not clear when.
At this point, it is not clear if the season will keep its course next week, although that is the plan as of now.

The Yankees are not the only time with a fluid schedule

To make matters worse, MLB announced that another team, the St. Louis Cardinals, had positive COVID-19 cases. On Saturday morning, several outlets reported that “several” additional members of the organization were positive for the virus, although that was not accurate.

Per Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal, only one additional Cardinals player tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. This comes after two St. Louis ballplayers tested positive for the disease on Friday.

As a result of the mini-outbreak in St. Louis, Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers was postponed. No make up date for the game has been provided at the moment.

Meanwhile, a Brewers player opted out of playing the remainder of the season. All-Star center fielder Lorenzo Cain decided not to play anymore due to concerns about the rapid spread of the virus.

The New York Yankees, meanwhile, are playing the Boston Red Sox this weekend. They took Friday’s night opener 5-1 behind a stellar outing from starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery.

MLB: Phillies-Blue Jays weekend series postponed; likely to impact Yankees

The Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak, according to Commissioner Rob Manfred, hasn’t reached nightmare status, but is sure giving MLB a big headache. Miami and the Philadelphia Phillies haven’t played since the weekend, and as it turns out, the Phils won’t return to play on Saturday as it was previously scheduled.

A Phillies coach and a stadium staffer tested positive for COVID-19 just days after the Marlins played in town. Now, as a result, and despite no players testing positive, the team won’t play against the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend. That will likely affect the Yankees, as well, as we will explain.

Per Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports the Phillies’ weekend series vs. the Toronto Blue Jays has been postponed. The two clubs were slated to play a doubleheader on Saturday and another game on Sunday, but that plan is now out the window.

Both the Marlins and the Phillies haven’t played since last Sunday, when they faced each other at Citizens Bank Park. Since last week, a total of 17 Marlins players plus two coaches have contracted the disease. MLB says the season isn’t in jeopardy, but this has to be an inconvenient turn of events for the league as it tries to navigate through the season.

MLB is maneuvering on the go

The Phillies, upon receiving the news of the two positives, canceled all stadium activity at the Citizens Bank Park, including a team workout.

“The Phillies have received the results of yesterday’s testing,” the team said in a statement. “While no players tested positive for COVID-19, there were two staff members that did test positive. One is a member of the coaching staff and one of a member of the home clubhouse staff. All activity at Citizens Bank Park has been cancelled today and until further notice.”

Citizens Bank Park was going to be the venue in which the Phillies and Blue Jays were going to play on the weekend. Now, MLB’s COVID-19 crisis has affected yet another team’s schedule: the Blue Jays.

Toronto remains with no home and now, with no opponent. It will play in Buffalo but the stadium isn’t yet ready.

As of now, the Phillies are scheduled to play the Yankees on Monday and Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, then Wednesday and Thursday at Citizens Bank Park against the Bombers. COVID-19 will have the last word about that four-game series.

Breaking News: Philadelphia Phillies likely infected by the Miami Marlins

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

Jeff Passan of ESPN has reported that the MLB Philadelphia Phillies have canceled workouts today after a coach and clubhouse attendant tested positive for coronavirus. Activities are shut down “until further notice,” according to the team.

Joe Girardi‘s Philadelphia Phillies were exposed to the virus during a weekend series with the Miami Marlins.  Since the first day of the Marlins/Phillies series, more than half of the Marlin’s team has become infected by the virus, including some of the crew.

The incubation period for CV-19 is such that more positives for the Phillies are likely coming in the next few days.  They were scheduled to play the Toronto Blue Jays in the coming days.  That now likely will not happen. All of the baseball world thought or at least hoped that the two games postponed on Monday would be the end of this.  This new news put the future into even more unknown.

Further, the Marlin’s had another positive test today according to Ken Rosenthal.  That brings the total of Miami Marline infected to 17. MLB will wind their way through these outbreaks as it endeavors to complete a 60 game baseball season.

Stay with EmpireSportsMedia.com for future updates on the continuing baseball news.

 

 

MLB owners didn’t discuss canceling the season during Monday’s conference call

About 40 percent of the Miami Marlins active roster tested positive for coronavirus. The team played at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia over the weekend, which is where the New York Yankees were slated to play before Major League Baseball (MLB) decided to suspend that particular game as they perform more tests.

However, and according to a report from Scott Miller of Bleacher Report, MLB didn’t show an intention to cancel the 2020 season amid the Miami Marlins latest COVID-19 outbreak. The league did cancel two games that were going to be played on Monday: Yankees – Phillies and Orioles – Marlins.

During a conference call held by team owners on Monday afternoon, canceling the season wasn’t among the discussed topics, which indicates that MLB and the clubs will try to play through the conditions.

Will MLB continue to be able to manage the situation?

What was discussed during the conference call? The report states that the Commissioner’s Office will revise regulations and health directives to try to preserve the health of players, coaches and staffers. Among them are mandatory use of face masks in the clubhouses, and the reinforcement of health standards such as high-fives and spitting during games.

During the first week of MLB action, lots of players have disrespected social distancing rules by engaging in hugs, high fives and other forms of contact, and the no spitting rule has also been ignored in a lot of cases.

A total of 11 of the 33 players in the Marlins’ traveling party and two coaches tested positive for COVID-19. Besides canceling the Yankees – Phillies game on Monday, it’s possible that Tuesday’s game could be impacted pending test results.

Commissioner Rob Manfred would have the final say regarding the viability of a season, but for now, the show goes on even through the difficult reality.

MLB: Five Phillies players and three staff members test positive for COVID-19

Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Players’ Association (MLBPA) have been negotiating for months about the number of games that a hypothetical season would have given that coronavirus took, so far, nearly three months of the 2020 calendar. However, and while there is no agreement yet in place, we tend to forget about the other potential bump in the road that can significantly alter the course of the year: coronavirus.

According to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, five players in the Philadelphia Phillies as well as three staff members at the team’s spring training facility in Clearwater, FL have tested positive for COVID-19.

Per the journalist, none of the eight infected individuals have been hospitalized and the virus “appears to be under control in all of them.”

While the team confirmed the report, we don’t know the names of the infected individuals as of now. More cases could be around the corner, as 12 additional staff members and roughly 20 players are still awaiting the reuslts of their tests. Eight staff members tested negative.

MLB needs to pay attention to COVID-19

MLB will need to come up with a convincing plan to cope with the disease and what to do when there are several cases at the same time, like at the Phillies’ camp. As cases have been increasing in America during the last few days, more infections remain a strong possibility in the near future.

As far as MLB goes, this is the first known outbreak of this kind. It should serve as a reminder for us: as MLB and the union are still ironing things out when it comes to pay and games to play, there might be an even bigger barrier to overcome, and it is COVID-19.

The Phillies’ decided to close their spring training complex in Clearwater for now. “The first confirmed case occurred this past Tuesday, June 16,” the team said in a statement.

Managing partner John Middleton added: “The Phillies are committed to the health and welfare of our players, coaches and staff as our highest priority, and as a result of these confirmed tests, all facilities in Clearwater have been closed indefinitely to all players, coaches and staff and will remain closed until medical authorities are confident that the virus is under control and our facilities are disinfected.”

The Phillies Are the Reunion Yankees Fans Want

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

Joe Girardi didn’t spend too much time outside of baseball after the Yankees let him go. It makes sense that a team would want to trust Joe Girardi after his impressive run with the Yankees. While there was only 1 World Series appearance/championship, Giardi never had a season below .500 as a manager. And the Yankees of the 2010s are all in on reuniting with their old skipper.

The Yankees Keep Coming to Philly

David Robertson, a fixture in the Yankees pen for much of the last decade, was with the Phillies since last season but missed most of his debut season due to Tommy John surgery. You know he’ll want to prove he was worth the contract, and Girardi certainly knows how to utilize him.

Then there are the Yankees recently departed shortstop, Didi Gregorius. Didi found his strength as an offensive player under Girardi. He was always a defensive whiz, but he became a FORCE once he came to NY. And after his injury-shortened 2019, where he struggled offensively and defensively after the All-Star break, you know he wants to prove he can still play.

And now, they have Ronald Torreyes. Yes, it’s a minor league deal, but it comes with an invitation to Spring Training. Toe was a viable backup, playing 180 games for the Yankees during Girardi’s last two years as manager, playing 108 in 2017 alone. I think Girardi trusts Torreyes enough that Toe will have a spot on the Phillies bench during the 2020 season. 

It’s going to be interesting to see just what the Phillies can do next season, especially with so many former Yankees on the team.