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Philadelphia Phillies (59-70) at New York Mets (66-63)
Sunday, August 28 - 1:10 PM EST
Citi Field, New York City, New York
The resurgent New York Mets aim for their first series sweep in nearly two months when they host the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday afternoon in the finale of a three-game set. Following a 7-16 swoon that cast doubt on the Mets' ability to stay relevant in the National League playoff chase, they've claimed six of seven games, riding a hot lineup along the way.
New York has produced 31 runs during a three-game winning streak and scored at least seven times in five of the contests during the 6-1 surge, including Saturday's 12-1 rout. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera has been at the forefront of the Mets' attack, going 11-for-21 with three homers and eight RBIs during a five-game hitting streak. He is 2-for-5 with a double against Philadelphia's scheduled Sunday starter Vince Velasquez while Yoenis Cespedes has a homer in five at-bats. The Mets are countering with rookie Robert Gsellman - who has just one relief appearance to his credit - as they look to cut further into a 2 1/2-game deficit in the race for the second wild-card spot in the NL.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Vince Velasquez (8-6, 4.31 ERA) vs. Mets RH Robert Gsellman (1-0, 0.00)
Velasquez has allowed five runs and seven hits in each of his last two outings, going 5 2/3 innings two starts ago and then getting through six versus St. Louis last Sunday. He is 0-3 with an 8.86 ERA in four August starts but does have an impressive 29 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings during that stretch. The 24-year-old opened his season with six scoreless innings at New York but was reached for five runs (two earned) in 4 1/3 frames in a rematch 10 days later at home.
Gsellman is taking the spot of the injured Jon Niese, who suffered a knee injury Tuesday against St. Louis, and will be making his first start in the majors. The California native took over for Niese in that game to throw 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Gsellman, 23, was 1-5 with a 5.73 ERA in nine starts with Triple-A Las Vegas.
1. New York 3B Jose Reyes is 5-for-9 with a homer and four runs scored in the series.
2. Philadelphia SS Freddy Galvis has five home runs in his last 15 games.
3. The Mets have already clinched their 12th win in the last 14 series with the Phillies.
PREDICTION: Mets 5, Phillies 4