Game Preview: Phillies vs Mets

For the last time in 2023 we get to see the New York Mets play baseball. It wasn’t the season that we all expected it to be way back last winter. There were spirals, devastating injuries, sticky stuff on baseball, players who regressed and spurts of tremendous rain. There were also the Baby Mets, players who stepped up in big ways when needed, new fan favorites and a lot of potential for good years down the road.

All of today’s games are at the same time because of post season scenarios. Unlike in previous years every wild card battle was resolved yesterday, with five teams clinching playoff spots. The only thing left for today are questions as to who gets what seed.

José Butto will start the last game for the Mets. This is fitting. Butto emerged this month as an interesting possibility for next year after struggling earlier in the season. For most of the season he was the most ready pitching prospect the Mets had in the upper minors. Now there are three starting pitchers knocking on the door behind him. His start today, but really his spring starts, are going to be critical as the Mets figure out the back half of their rotation for the next season. Over eight starts and 36 innings this season he has a 3.75 ERA, 3.84 FIP, 1.361 WHIP and a 113 ERA+. He’s coming off of his first rough start in a while where he allowed four runs from four hits over four runs against the Phillies. Before that he allowed four runs from 12 hits over 17 1/3 innings spread over three starts (2.08 ERA, 1.93 FIP). The Phillies have the following career numbers against him:

  • J.T. Realmuto 3-5, 2B, K
  • Nick Castellanos 2-5, HR, 2 K
  • Bryson Stott 2-4, 2 K
  • Alec Bohm 3-5, 2 HR
  • Kyle Schwarber 1-3
  • Trea Turner 0-2
  • Bryce Harper 0-1, K, BB
  • Jake Cave 0-2, K
  • Brandon Marsh 0-2, K

Matt Strahm will open for the Phillies today, followed by Nick Nelson who will be making his 2023 debut on the last day of the season. Strahm has pitched in 55 games and started nine for the Phillies this season tossing 86 2/3 innings with a 3.32 ERA, 3.29 FIP, 1.027 WHIP and a 130 ERA+. As a starter he has logged 32 1/3 innings over those nine games with a 4.18 ERA (1.052 WHIP). This is quite a bit higher than his relief ERA of 2.82. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Francisco Lindor 0-3, 2 K, 2 BB
  • Pete Alonso 0-4, 3 K
  • Omar Narváez 0-2, 2 K
  • Mark Vientos 0-1
  • Danny Mendick 0-2, K
  • Francisco Álvarez 0-1
  • Brett Baty 1-2, 2B
  • Tim Locastro 1-2, K
  • Rafael Ortega 0-1
  • Luis Guillorme 1-1

Three Things To Watch For:

  1. The Baby Mets. The best part of the 2023 Mets, outside of Kodai Senga, havs been the emergence of the Baby Mets. Álvarez had a tremendous day yesterday hitting two homers to finish with 25 on the season. Ronny Mauricio has raked all season in the minors and finally got a chance to play in September. Mark Veintos and Brett Baty have shown flashes of brilliance this season. How this group is kept together (or not) next season is going to be a major story line that we will be following all winter.
  2. Milestones, one more time. There are two big milestones left. It’s not probable, but technically Pete Alonso could hit four homers in this game to reach 50 on the season. Francisco Lindor only needs two more RBI’s to reach 100 on the season!
  3. The New York Mets. We love the Mets. We love watching them play everyday, dissecting box scores, analyzing highlights and seeing how they interact with each other. The end of the season is always a bit sad as we won’t see the Mets together again until they start trickling into spring training. There is so much promise with the rebuilt farm system but before we fully dive into next year, we are excited to see the Mets play one more time.

Let’s Go Mets!

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