National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, September 20th
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (75-74) at New York Mets (66-82), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Tyler Cloyd (1-1, 4.95)
New York - Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 4.99)
(Sports Network) - Right-hander Tyler Cloyd faces the New York Mets for the
second time in his fifth major league start on Thursday when the Philadelphia
Phillies meet them in the finale of a weather-altered three-game series at
The series had been scheduled to wrap up Wednesday, but game two on Tuesday
was postponed by rain, moving the middle test to Wednesday and the finale to
A 25-year-old Nebraska native, Cloyd made his big-league debut against the
Mets on Aug. 29 in Philadelphia and took a 3-2 loss after allowing three runs
on seven hits in six innings, walking two and striking out five.
He bounced back for his initial win in his next start five days later in
Cincinnati, allowing four hits and a run in seven innings of a 4-2 victory
while walking none and striking out nine.
Two subsequent starts have yielded a pair of no-decisions - home with Colorado
and at Houston - in which the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder gave up seven runs on 13
hits in seven innings.
Cloyd was 15-1 in 26 minor-league starts to begin 2012 while splitting time at
Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
For the Mets, fellow rookie Jeremy Hefner makes his 11th start and his 24th
appearance as a big leaguer.
He's faced the Phillies twice so far in his brief career, starting once and
relieving once while going 1-0 with a 7.36 ERA across 7 1/3 innings.
The Mets are 4-6 in Hefner's last 10 appearances since late July, including
his 11-3 loss to Atlanta on Sept. 8 in which he allowed five runs on eight
hits in 2 2/3 innings.
His most recent win came back on Aug. 4 at San Diego, when he tossed six
innings and scattered a run on five hits in a 6-2 triumph.
Hefner is 1-3 in 12 appearances at Citi Field with a 5.72 ERA.
On Wednesday, Ryan Howard's two-out, two-run home run in the top of the ninth
turned a crippling defeat into a necessary victory, as the Phillies downed the
"To be here is a testament to the character of this team," Howard said. "We
are just trying to play it all out."
Chase Utley worked a two-out walk against Josh Edgin (1-2) then Howard crushed
a belt-high fastball high into the night. It finally landed just above the
facade of the upper deck in right to give the Phillies the lead. The home run
made a winner of Jeremy Horst (2-0) and Jonathan Papelbon navigated the ninth
for his 36th save.
Before Howard's heroics, the game belonged to Mets starter Matt Harvey, who
surrendered only Jimmy Rollins' leadoff home run and three walks along with
seven strikeouts in seven innings.
The rally also moved the Phillies past the Pittsburgh Pirates and into fifth
place in the National League wild card standings, four games behind St. Louis
for the second wild card berth after the Cardinals downed Houston on
David Wright hit a solo home run in the sixth, while Ruben Tejada finished
with three hits. Scott Hairston and Ike Davis finished with two hits apiece
for the Mets, who lost their fourth straight game.
The Mets won 10 of the first 15 games between the teams in 2012, while the
Phillies were an 11-7 winner in the 2011 series against New York.
09/20 10:21:32 ET