Noah Syndergaard's toughest foe this season has been his own hand, which has caused the 24-year-old ace to make an early exit in two of his three starts. With a blister and two bleeding fingernails likely a thing of the past due to his recent manicure, Syndergaard looks to pace the Mets to their fifth win in six outings versus the visiting Philadelphia Phillies this season on Thursday when the National League East rivals play the rubber match of their three-game set.
Jay Bruce continues to torment the Phillies during his relatively short time with the Mets, recording his second multi-homer performance of the season while providing all of the offense in Wednesday's 5-4 triumph. The 30-year-old, who is 8-for-20 with 11 RBIs in five encounters with Philadelphia in 2017, has launched six of his 14 homers while wearing a New York uniform against manager Pete Mackanin's team. While the Mets are thrilled with Bruce's power surge, the Phillies are a bit flustered with Maikel Franco's power outage as he is mired in an 0-for-21 stretch in his last five games. The 24-year-old Dominican has seen his batting average dip to a paltry .148 as a result and is 2-for-19 with runners in scoring position, but is 3-for-9 in his career versus Syndergaard.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Aaron Nola (1-0, 3.27 ERA) vs. Mets RH Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 0.95)
Although his team has dropped six of its last eight overall, Nola is singing an optimistic tune after showing signs of rebounding from a disastrous 2016 campaign by recording 13 strikeouts against two walks in 11 innings this season. The seventh overall pick of the 2014 draft, Nola settled for a no-decision on Friday despite allowing just one run on six hits and striking out six over five innings at Washington. The 23-year-old was roughed up in his lone meeting with the Mets as he was gashed for six runs on nine hits in four innings of a 9-4 setback on Sept. 2, 2015.
Syndergaard has been downright dominant by recording 20 strikeouts without walking a batter in 19 innings this season. The 24-year-old handcuffed the Phillies in a pair of seven-inning outings in 2016 to improve his career mark versus the club to 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA. Odubel Herrera and Cameron Rupp have struggled mightily against Syndergaard - going 1-for-12 with two strikeouts and 1-for-9 with five strikeouts, respectively.
1. New York RHP Jeurys Familia is eligible to return following a 15-game suspension for domestic abuse.
2. Phillies RF Michael Saunders recorded his second straight two-hit performance in the series on Wednesday and third versus the Mets this season.
3. New York RF Curtis Granderson is 1-for-18 in his last five outings.
PREDICTION: Mets 3, Phillies 0