After enduring a long, difficult road trip that featured a pair of first-place opponents and a trip to hurricane-ravaged Houston, the New York Mets return home to begin a seven-game stretch against two last-place clubs - starting with the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday. The Mets completed the 3-7 trip with an 8-6 loss in Houston on Sunday, their third defeat in two days at Minute Maid Park.
Newly-acquired outfielder Norichika Aoki was one of the few bright spots over the weekend, going 4-for-9 with a walk and two RBIs in his first two games with New York. The Phillies won three of four in Miami over the weekend and have pulled within six games of the Mets at the bottom of the National League East. Five pitchers combined on a four-hitter for Philadelphia in Sunday’s 3-1 win in 12 innings. New York took three of four from the Phillies last month and is 35-16 against its division rivals since the start of the 2015 season.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Mark Leiter Jr. (2-4, 3.88 ERA) vs. Mets RH Rafael Montero (3-9, 5.12)
Leiter is 2-3 with a 3.34 ERA in six starts after allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings of a tough-luck loss against Atlanta on Wednesday. That came a week after he limited Miami to a single hit in seven scoreless frames for his first victory in two months. The 26-year-old tossed five strong innings in relief against the Mets on Aug. 10 - fanning seven and allowing one run - and will be making his first appearance in Citi Field.
Montero is coming off the best - and longest - start of his career, falling two outs shy of his first career shutout in a 2-0 win at Cincinnati. He struck out a season-high eight while limiting the Reds to three hits and working around four walks to improve to 3-6 with a 4.84 ERA in 13 starts. The Dominican Republic native has been ripped for seven earned runs in 6 2/3 frames versus Philadelphia this year and owns a 9.39 ERA in six career encounters (two starts).
1. New York IF Jose Reyes is 11-for-28 with 10 runs scored since coming off the disabled list Aug. 26.
2. Phillies RF Nick Williams went 3-for-10 with five RBIs in the last two games against Miami, including the decisive two-run single in the 12th inning Sunday.
3. Mets IF Wilmer Flores suffered a broken nose Saturday in Houston and remains day-to-day, although he reportedly could return to game action this week.
PREDICTION: Mets 5, Phillies 4