By: Stache Staff

Pre-game: Philadelphia Phillies (26-25) at Mets (28-22)


Good afternoon Mets fans and welcome to another stupendous day of baseball! Tonight the Mets take on the Phillies in the rubber game of their three game series. For the second time this season, Dillon Gee will take on Cliff Lee in a battle of men with short last names that also happen to rhyme. In the last Gee vs. Lee game, the Phillies lefty was the better starter, but the Mets pounced on reliever Kyle Kendrick and rallied to victory.

This afternoon it was reported that Jordany Valdespin is in Queens because of the concern that Ronny Cedeno’s leg cramps may turn out to be something more serious. Right now, Omar Quintanilla is the only player on the Mets roster capable of playing shortstop, although David Wright filled in there for several innings on Monday after Justin Turner sprained his ankle.

Mets Lineup
1. Andres Torres, CF
2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Scott Hairston, LF
5. Vinny Rottino, 1B
6. Lucas Duda, RF
7. Rob Johnson, C
8. Omar Quintanilla, SS
9. Dillon Gee, RHP

Scott Hairston has now homered in the last three games that he’s played in, so there’s no reason not to put him back in the cleanup spot against the left-handed Lee. Vinny Rottino gets another start after his home run off of Cole Hamels on Monday, while Andres Torres returns to the lead-off spot with Mike Baxter sitting against Lee.

Philadelphia Phillies Lineup
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Juan Pierre, LF
3. Hunter Pence, RF
4. Ty Wigginton, 1B
5. Shane Victorino, CF
6. Placido Polanco, 3B
7. Mike Fontenot, 2B
8. Brian Schneider, C
9. Cliff Lee, LHP

At second base, Mike Fontenot is getting just his fourth start of the season. I expected him to play a lot more for the Phillies this season because of their offensive problems, but regular second baseman Freddy Galvis and the rest of the batters have picked up their game as of late. Brian Schneider once again gets the nod at catcher thanks to Carlos Ruiz’s tight hamstring.

Pitching Match-up
NYM — RHP Dillon Gee (4.92 ERA, 52 SO, 16 BB)

Gee is on pace to give up 28 home runs this season. That’s a lot more than last season’s 18, so you’ve got to figure the flow of long balls will begin to slow down soon. If that indeed happens, Gee should continue to have a nice season. Despite the somewhat unattractive ERA, Gee has raised his strikeout rate and ground ball rates from last season while walking fewer batters too. In his last start against the Phillies, Gee gave up four runs in five and two-thirds innings even though he had four strikeouts, zero walks and zero home runs allowed.

PHI — LHP Cliff Lee (2.82 ERA, 47 SO, 8 BB)
Lee has been his usual awesome self this season. Because he is so stingy about allowing walks, it’s very important that the Mets try to put the ball in play tonight. As an added incentive to letting wood meet ball, Lee is giving up more homers than usual this season. That will probably correct itself soon, but there’s no other real strategy that works against Lee. The usually patient Mets should be a little more aggressive and attack Lee early in the count.

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