Phillies Leading Off: May 4-10

Photo Cred: Matt Slocum - AP

Photo Cred: Matt Slocum – AP

After a dismal last two weeks in which the Phillies went 5-8 (3-3 at home vs. the Marlins and Braves, 2-5 on the road vs. the Cardinals and Marlins), the Phillies conclude their 10 game road trip with 3 games in Atlanta before returning home to face the Mets for 3, starting a 10 game homestand.

The top of the lineup, center fielder Odubel Herrera and left fielder Ben Revere, look to build off of hot weeks in which the two combined to go 19 for 53 (.358 BA), each having a double and a combined 6 runs scored and 9 RBI.

Chase Utley on the other hand looks to rebound after going 2 for 25 (.080 BA) over the last 7 games with 1 HR and 5 RBI. Utley’s fielding has also struggled as well early on with 4 errors only a month into the season. Last season he only had 11 the entire season.

Probable Pitchers:

Monday, May 4 – 7:10 PM EDT @ Turner Field

Aaron Harang, RHP (2-2, 2.51 ERA) vs. Alex Wood, LHP (1-1, 4.03 ERA)

Harang was sharp in his first four starts of the season, giving up just 4 earned runs, but gave up 5 earned runs in just 6 innings against the Cardinals in his last start. He looks to rebound against the Braves who he last faced on April 24, throwing 8 scoreless innings. Wood has consistently gone at least 5 innings in each of his 5 starts this year, but his numbers thus far have been underwhelming. He did last face the Phillies on April 24, opposing Harang and giving up 0 ER through 5 2/3 while striking out just 1.

Tuesday, May 5 – 7:10 PM EDT @ Turner Field

Chad Billingsley, RHP (Phillies Debut) vs. Shelby Miller, RHP (3-1, 2.17 ERA)

Billingsley makes his Phillies debut on Tuesday, replacing Sean O’Sullivan. In 4 starts for AAA Lehigh Valley, Billingsley was 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA. The positive is that through just 19 innings he had 16 strikeouts. Miller has been stellar since joining the Braves this off-season. He took the win on April 25 in Philadelphia where he went 6 innings, giving up just 2 earned runs while striking out 3.

Wednesday, May 6 – 7:10 PM EDT @ Turner Field

Jerome Williams, RHP (2-1, 4.08 ERA) vs. Mike Foltynewicz, RHP (1-0, 3.60 ERA)

Through 5 starts, Williams has been very mediocre this year.  There’s really no better way to put it. He’s consistently gone at least 5 innings in each of his starts this year. He’s given up 3 runs in each of his last 3 starts, but has gone 2-0 in those games. Foltynewicz earned the win this past Friday night, his major league debut. While far from polished, he does have the makings of a #2-3 starter down the road.

 

Friday, May 8 – 7:05 PM EDT @ Citizens Bank Park

Matt Harvey, RHP (5-0, 2.41 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels, LHP (1-3, 4.14 ERA)

Harvey returned this year from Tommy John surgery and barely missed a beat. The Mets eased him back into the rotation, not wanting him to go too many innings early on, but the training wheels are off and Harvey is back to his dominant form. He’s won all 5 of his starts this year, striking out 34 in 33 2/3 innings. Hamels name continues to circulate in trade rumors, but unless something changes, he should be in line for the start Friday night. Cole has been stellar at times this year, but in his last start he surrendered 6 earned runs in just 6 innings of work against the Marlins. This matchup should be fun to watch to start the weekend series.

Saturday, May 9 – 7:05 PM EDT @ Citizens Bank Park

Jon Niese, LHP (2-2, 2.40 ERA) vs. Severino Gonzalez, RHP (1-1, 10.57 ERA)

Niese has a .500 winning percentage on the season, but his numbers say otherwise. Niese has really only had one bad outing on the year where he gave up 4 earned runs on 8 hits at Yankee Stadium last week. He’s given up just 1 earned run in each of his other 4 starts, while only earning the win in 2 of those. Gonzalez has made two starts this season for the Phillies. After a Major League debut not worth remembering, Gonzalez took the hill against the Marlins in Miami on Sunday, earning the victory after going 5 innings while giving up just 2 earned runs while striking out 5.

Sunday, May 10 – 1:35 PM EDT @ Citizens Bank Park

Dillon Gee, RHP (0-2, 3.86 ERA) vs. Aaron Harang, RHP (2-2, 2.51 ERA)

Righty Gee has been a workhorse for the Mets over his career, heading into his 5th full season. He is very familiar with the Phillies and luckily the Phillies are VERY familiar with him as well. In 13 career starts against the Phillies, Gee has a 4-4 records with a 6.37 ERA. The Phillies have also hit 16 long balls off of Gee over 4 seasons. Harang will likely be making his second start of the week. He last faced the Mets on April 13 in which he went 6 innings, surrendering just 1 earned run. He took the loss in that game after being out pitched by Mets start Jacob deGrom.

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