Phillies riding a hot streak as they roll into series with the Mets

Philadelphia Phillies visit the New York Mets
The Phillies were expected to finish at the bottom of the division this season, but few anticipated the Mets to be sitting six games ahead of Philadelphia in the NL East cellar with less than a month of baseball left to play.

The two clubs open a three-game set on Monday at Citi Field, the Mets riding a four-game losing skid while the Phillies took three of four from the Marlins in a weekend series in Miami.

"We're playing pretty good baseball right now," said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin. "This is really our chance to take inventory and see what we have for next year. These guys are going out and giving it their all and that's all you can ask for."

Rookie Rhys Hoskins was kept out of Sunday's contest after being hit in the wrist by a pitch on Saturday night. Mackanin said he's day-to-day with a bruise.

“It’s 98 to the hand,” Hoskins said following Saturday's contest. “So obviously there was some pain. It got me just above my wrist and my palm.”

Hoskins was honored Friday with National League Rookie of the Month honors. He clubbed 11 home runs, knocked in 25 runs and slashed .304/.402/.747, to become the first Phillies player to win the award since Maikel Franco did so in June 2015. The 24-year-old Hoskins' torrid start also included a streak of five straight games with a homer from Aug. 23-27, matching a Phillies record set by Chase Utley in 2008.

On the mound Monday for the Phillies will be Mark Leiter Jr., looking to build off a strong August where he pieced together a 3.41 ERA over 29 innings of work including three starts.

"Every day you come in and try to prove yourself," Leiter said following his last start. "You've got to believe in yourself, and when you get opportunities, you have to try to do your best."

Back in the Fold
The Phillies activated outfielders Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr on Monday. Herrera had been out since mid-August with a left hamstring strain. He had a .343/.388/.579 triple slash since the start of June.

Altherr was dealing with a right hamstring strain and has missed the last six weeks. Their returns will force Mackanin to rethink his strategy with regard to playing time as Nick Williams, Hoskins, Herrera, and Altherr are vying for the same positions.
____________________________________
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: