McNeil, Mets look to keep rolling vs. Phillies
Hot-hitting Jeff McNeil will lead the Mets into the second game of a three-game series against the host Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.
McNeil had three hits in the opener, and the Mets pulled out a 7-6 victory when Philadelphia first baseman Rhys Hoskins' two-out error in the top of the 11th inning allowed the winning run to score. Michael Conforto's grounder bounced off Hoskins' glove, and Juan Lagares came home from second base.
McNeil extended his hitting streak to six games, five of them multi-hit games, and he is 12-for-26 (.462) in that span. His .404 average ranks third in the National League.
"We've definitely got to beat the Phillies," McNeil told reporters following Monday's game. "They're a good team. We're a great team. Just to get the wins against those division rivals are huge."
The Mets' starting pitcher Tuesday will be left-hander Steven Matz, who is 1-0 with a 1.65 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings this year. In each of Matz's three starts, he has lasted at least five innings while allowing two earned runs or fewer.
Matz is still looking for his first career win over the Phillies, having gone 0-2 with a 3.57 ERA in five starts vs. Philadelphia. Bryce Harper was just 2-for-17 (.235) from his Washington Nationals days against Matz. Hoskins has only one hit vs. Matz in 10 at-bats, but it was a homer.
The Mets' bullpen, which has struggled at times this season, allowed only one run in six effective innings Monday. Noah Syndergaard gave up five runs in five innings before five relievers combined to perform at a high level. Luis Avilan (1-0) earned the win, and Edwin Diaz picked up his sixth save with a scoreless 11th.
"Guys are picking each other up, and that leads to wins," Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters. "That's what this team is all about, and they're doing a heck of a job."
The Phillies, following a 3-1 win in 14 innings against the host Miami Marlins on Sunday, came back and played another 11 innings at home Monday.
After Phillies ace Aaron Nola struggled once again on Monday, giving up seven hits and five runs in four innings, Philadelphia will hand the ball to another scuffling starter, Nick Pivetta.
Pivetta, who is 1-1 with a 9.45 ERA through three starts in 2019, gave up seven runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings in his most recent start, Wednesday against the Washington Nationals.
"It wasn't there today," Pivetta said after the 15-1 loss, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "You're going to have ups and downs in this game. This game's going to beat you up. You just have to bounce back. I have another start in five days. I'm going to go in there and do a lot better than I did today."
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler added after that game about Pivetta's future. "In order for us to meet expectations, we need better performances."
Pivetta holds a career 2-2 mark and 6.39 ERA in five career starts against the Mets. New York's Amed Rosario is 4-for-7 with two RBIs lifetime against Pivetta while Brandon Nimmo is 0-for-6.
--Field Level MediaHome