What to look for: Mets vs. Phillies, 12:05 PM

Citizens Bank Park slice

The Mets will look to salvage the final game of their three-game series with the Phillies this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia at 12:05 PM.

BaronHere is today’s starting lineup for New York:

Kelly Johnson – 2B
Ruben Tejada – SS
Michael Conforto – LF
Michael Cuddyer – 1B
Kirk Nieuwenhuis – RF
Eric Campbell – 3B
Kevin Plawecki – C
Juan Lagares – CF
Sean Gilmartin – LHP

Here is today’s pitching matchup:

Sean Gilmartin (3-1, 2.58 ERA) will start for the Mets.

Jerad Eickhoff (2-3, 3.07 ERA) will start for the Phillies.

Mets vs PhilliesHere’s what I’m looking for from the Mets today:

It’s Spring Training all over again.

The Mets are playing with a very abbreviated lineup to go along with a very strange pitching setup as they try to win and play a clean game against the Phillies early Thursday. Terry Collins is giving Yoenis Cespedes a day or two to allow his bruised hand to heal, Wilmer Flores is out with an illness and a sore back, David Wright is getting a predictable afternoon off after the quick turnaround, and the rest of the guys are just going to try to hit the reset button after a ridiculous showing on Wednesday night.

The good news is, the abbreviated lineup worked for the Mets on Sunday when they mauled the Reds, and this lineup is still largely better than anything they could produce prior to July 24.

It certainly has the potential to be entertaining. Whether that’s good or bad remains to be seen.

Managing the pitching staff.

Gilmartin his making his first career start on Thursday after the Mets scratched Steven Matz today and used Logan Verrett on Wednesday.

This is pretty much all the Mets have at the moment.

Gilmartin was a starter in the minor leagues, so he at least has an idea how to get ready and gear up for today’s game. He will be piggybacked by Tim Stauffer at some point, but it will be interesting to see how Gilmartin handles today’s assignment and whether or not he can be effective into the middle of this game. He’s been outstanding in long relief this season, so the numbers certainly suggest he can handle a longer outing today.

Who knows – maybe a good showing today will be put on file for next season in the event they need a spot or emergency starter in 2016.

Play just a tad better.

The Mets have not had a good series against a second-division team, and both of those facts are understatements to say the least. They haven’t hit particularly well, they haven’t pitched particularly well, and Wednesday’s showing was the culmination of everything bad that has happened in Philadelphia this week.

It would behoove them to start playing a little better and go into the playoffs with the wind at their backs. Yes, they’re going with a make-shift lineup and some unconventional pitching decisions in an attempt to evaluate for the postseason, but that doesn’t mean these games are not winnable.

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