MLB: Short-handed Phillies look for runs against Mets


While the shutout losses and injuries accumulated, the Philadelphia Phillies still managed to win enough games to remain in playoff contention.

Beginning Friday, the Phillies will host a crucial four-game series against the National League East-leading New York Mets.

The Phillies just completed a 3-3 road trip against the Mets and the Cincinnati Reds.

Philadelphia has been besieged with injuries to key players such as reigning NL Most Valuable Player Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, Brandon Marsh and Zach Eflin.

The Phillies’ past four losses were all shutouts, including a 1-0 defeat to the Reds on Wednesday.

However, Schwarber, who has been out of the starting lineup since Aug. 11, expects to return from a strained right calf on Friday.

“We’re battling,” Schwarber said after the Wednesday loss. “We’ve been in striking distance in every single game and we’ve had traffic on the bases. That’s just kind of the game of baseball there, where you look to try to get that big hit. Unfortunately today that didn’t happen, but I think we walk away with a positive outlook going into the (Mets) series.”

The Phillies are looking for their first playoff berth since 2011 — and this four-game series is clearly vital.

“It’s always important to play well, especially against the good teams,” Philadelphia interim manager Rob Thomson said. “But I think we’ve proven, by beating the Dodgers, beating the Padres, beating the Cardinals — all those teams in season series — that we’re a good club.”

The Phillies will hand the ball on Friday to Aaron Nola (8-9, 3.07 ERA). Nola has had quite a bit of success against the Mets, going 9-6 with a 3.09 ERA in 24 career starts, including four this season.

The Mets will look to rebound after a narrow 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday. After winning 17 of 20, the first-place Mets dropped three of four to the second-place Braves this week.

New York’s Mark Canha hit two doubles on Wednesday and followed with two hits, including a two-run home run, on Thursday.

“We won four (of five vs. Atlanta) when we were back at our place, and they won three when we were here,” Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo said. “I am not that disappointed. I am just more disappointed in that I feel like there were some things in this game we could have done a little slightly better — and maybe we pull away with this one.”

Chris Bassitt (10-7, 3.27 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Mets on Friday. Bassitt’s last start also came against the Phillies, and he allowed four hits and no runs in five innings in a win on Sunday.

“I think there’s no secret how good our pitching staff is, especially when you have guys like Jake (deGrom) and Max (Scherzer),” Bassitt said after his latest outing. “It’s hard to score on us, and it’s kind of what we’re built for.”

Bassitt is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in three career starts against the Phillies, all coming this season. He has struck out 16 and walked six in 16 2/3 innings during those outings.

The Mets made a roster move on Thursday, claiming Gold Glove infielder Yolmer Sanchez off waivers from the Boston Red Sox. Sanchez, 30, had played the majority of the season with Triple-A Worcester.

“Versatile player, switch hitter, can play a lot of positions, do a lot of things,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said of Sanchez. “He’s really well-regarded in a lot of ways. We’ll see how he fits.”

The Phillies also made a waiver acquisition on Thursday, adding Bradley Zimmer from the Blue Jays to shore up their short-handed outfield. Zimmer, 29, hit .105 with two homers and three RBIs in 76 at-bats for Toronto this year.

–Field Level Media

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