What to look for: Phillies vs. Mets, 7:10 PM

Citi Field sunset


The Mets will look to take the rubber game of their three-game series with the Phillies on Wednesday night at Citi Field at 7:10 PM.

BaronHere is tonight’s starting lineup for New York:

Curtis Granderson – RF
Yoenis Cespedes – CF
Daniel Murphy – 1B
David Wright – 3B
Michael Conforto – LF
Travis d’Arnaud – C
Kelly Johnson – 2B
Ruben Tejada – SS
Matt Harvey – RHP

Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:

Matt Harvey (11-7, 2.48 ERA) will start for the Mets.

Aaron Nola (5-1, 3.26 ERA) will start for the Phillies.

Mets vs PhilliesHere’s what I am looking for from the Mets tonight:

A good #HarveyDay.

Let the good times continue to roll for Harvey on Wednesday.

He was beyond brilliant in his four starts in August, posting a 0.33 ERA in those four games in dazzling fashion. But today he’s assigned with not only continuing to pitch at a high level, but to deliver a series win against the Phillies who, as their manager essentially put it before Tuesday’s game, is tired of being kicked around by the Mets.

A win also ensures a 3-3 homestand, which some might consider disappointing given their opponents.

He’s facing a very promising rookie in Nola today, who has pitched very well over his first eight starts of his career. But it’s still a game he and the Mets really need to win, as they’re tasked with winning a rubber game against a second-division team, regardless of who’s on the mound for them.

More consistency with their offense.

If there is one silver lining to Tuesday’s drubbing, it’s that the Mets bats broke out of a mini-slumber from their four previous games. It was all spearheaded by Yoenis Cespedes, who snapped an 0-for-16 funk with a triple and a home run. Without Lucas Duda in the lineup, the Mets really need Cespedes to step up and remain consistent while they wait – and hope – for Duda to get back soon.

Better use and better performance from the bullpen.

It’s never likely Harvey – or anyone for that matter – is going to deliver a complete game. So count on Terry Collins going to his bullpen yet again on Wednesday.

Right now, Collins has Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia rested for their roles in the eighth and ninth innings. Hopefully Harvey can give his team at least seven innings tonight, but if necessary, Collins has a lot of available choices if he needs relief work in the seventh inning, and better choices than those he used in the sixth inning on Tuesday. He has to begin to find a formula that’s going to fit for October, and if there’s one thing he knows now it’s who he cannot trust at the moment.

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