Vince Velasquez
Phillies welcome the Mets for a pivotal series this weekend. | PHOTO: Len Yancy
The Phillies welcome the division-rival Mets to Citizens Bank Park for a three-game set beginning Friday. The Phils trail the Mets by a half-game in the National League East and seek their first trip to the postseason since 2011. 
It's also the Phillies' annual Alumni Weekend, so multiple former players and stars will be in town for the series. 
Yeah, this weekend is a big deal. 
The club will celebrate front office executive and club president David Montgomery on Friday. He passed away in 2019 after a long battle with cancer, but not before he spent nearly four decades with the organization, rising through the ranks after starting in ticket sales. Montgomery was honored last year by the Baseball Hall of Fame for his continuous dedication to baseball and growing the baseball community. 
The club will honor former second baseman Manny Trillo on Saturday as the newest member of the Wall of Fame. Trillo, who spent four seasons in Philadelphia, was MVP of the 1980 National League Championship Series and played a pivotal role on the first World Series championship team in franchise history. 
The weekend culminates on Sunday as the club will celebrate Roy Halladay and retire his No. 34. Halladay, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019, spent four seasons with the Phillies and won the NL Cy Young Award in 2010. He died in a plane crash in 2017. 
The Phillies enter the series riding a five-game winning streak. The Mets, meanwhile, have struggled with just three wins in their last ten contests. 
"We’d be excited no matter who we’re playing, because these games all matter and anytime you’re on a streak like we are, you’re feeling good and you’re excited to play," J.T. Realmuto said following Thursday's 7-6 win. "But this is obviously a big series with the Mets. It’s going to be huge. … This would be a big momentum builder for the rest of the year."
The Mets will send Marcus Stroman to the mound for the series opener, while Kyle Gibson will be making his home debut for the Phillies. 
"It's nice to have momentum, but as I've said, momentum starts with the starter the next day [and] whether it keeps going," manager Joe Girardi said. "I feel good about Gibby going out there and I'm sure they feel good about Stroman. It should be a good one."
The Phillies have not been in first place since the beginning of May. 
"I can't wait," Bryce Harper said. "I hope that place is rocking, all the way to the top. I'm really excited to see it. I can't wait to get there Friday night and get going."

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