Philadelphia Phillies rookie Nick Williams has enjoyed a strong start to September with six hits, eight RBIs and four runs scored during his four-game hitting streak. The 23-year-old looks to extend his strong start to the month and continue to fluster the New York Mets in the process on Wednesday when the National League East rivals play the rubber match of their three-game series at Citi Field.
Williams ripped a three-run double in Tuesday’s 9-1 rout to improve to 11-for-32 this season against the Mets. Fellow outfielder Odubel Herrera is riding a 19-game hitting streak for the cellar-dwelling Philadelphia, which has won four of six to move within six games of fourth-place New York in the NL East. Although the Mets have dropped five of their last six contests, Norichika Aoki has provided the beleaguered club with a ray of optimism by going 6-for-17 with three doubles, three RBIs and four runs scored since being acquired from Toronto. While Aoki’s contributions have been clear, Mets manager Terry Collins was rather cloudy when citing weather concerns for his decision to push back scheduled starter Matt Harvey to Thursday’s series opener versus Cincinnati.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Nick Pivetta (5-9, 6.28 ERA) vs. Mets LH Tommy Milone (1-3, 7.66) or RH Robert Gsellman (5-6, 5.60)
Pivetta recorded his first quality start since July 31 on Friday after allowing one run on four hits in six innings of a no-decision at Miami. The 24-year-old British Columbia native permitted a solo homer as his lone hit over seven innings in a 7-1 rout of New York on July 2 before getting shredded in a no-decision versus the Mets on Aug. 11. Pivetta was taken deep twice in that outing en route to permitting six runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 frames.
Collins admitted in Tuesday’s post-game that he hadn’t the “faintest idea” of who would pitch in the series finale, although Milone or Gsellman are the most likely candidates according to multiple New York-area beat writers. Milone saw his winless stretch extend to six games since being acquired from Milwaukee after allowing three runs on as many hits in 2 2/3 innings of a no-decision at Houston on Saturday. The 30-year-old was taken deep once in that contest and surrendered eight homers as a member of the Mets and 14 in 12 appearances this season. Gsellman could also get the nod should he be recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas, where he was sent following Saturday’s disastrous outing in which he permitted six runs on nine hits in four innings of a loss in Washington.
1. New York SS Asdrubal Cabrera has three hits in this series and is 19-for-56 with three homers, eight RBIs and nine runs scored this season versus Philadelphia.
2. Phillies SS Freddy Galvis is 9-for-27 with three runs scored in his last six contests.
3. Mets CF Juan Lagares has hit safely in six straight and 10 of his last 12 games overall.
PREDICTION: Phillies 4, Mets 2