Major League Baseball
Preview
Philadelphia at NY Mets
When: 7:10 PM ET, Friday, August 26, 2016
Where: Citi Field, New York City, New York

The New York Mets may have started out their just-completed 10-game road trip in dubious fashion, but they wrapped it up by proving they aren't quite ready to fade away in the National League wild-card race. The Mets eye their fifth win in six tries Friday when they begin a 10-game homestand with the opener of a three-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies.

New York opened its long journey by dropping two of three to NL West-worst Arizona and was outscored 18-8 in its first two games in San Francisco to fall 5 1/2 games behind St. Louis in the chase for the NL's second wild-card. The Mets have since shaved two games off the Cardinals' advantage, splitting four games with the Giants last weekend before taking two of three at St. Louis following Thursday's 10-6 triumph. While New York expects to welcome back second baseman Neil Walker (paternity leave) and outfielder Jay Bruce (sore right calf) from recent absences in the opener, Philadelphia used its off-day to part ways with one of the last pieces of its 2008 World Series team when it shipped catcher Carlos Ruiz to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for two players and future considerations. Despite their 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, the Phillies have only a faint postseason pulse as they sit 8 1/2 games behind the Cardinals entering the weekend.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, SNY (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies LH Adam Morgan (1-7, 6.21 ERA) vs. Mets RH Bartolo Colon (11-7, 3.36)
Morgan enjoyed a rare quality start but did not factor into the decision against St. Louis last Friday despite yielding one run on five hits and two walks across six frames. The outing marked the first time the Alabama alum allowed two or fewer runs and pitched at least six innings since May 21 - a stretch during which he went 0-5 with a 7.65 ERA. Morgan lasted only 3 2/3 frames versus the Mets in his only career start against them last August, giving up a career-high four homers among the five runs he surrendered.
Colon continued to defy Father Time with Saturday's win in San Francisco, throwing 72 of his 103 pitches for strikes while holding the Giants to two runs on nine hits while fanning five over 6 1/3 innings. The 43-year-old improved to 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in four August turns as a result, although opponents are batting .320 against him this month. Colon has befuddled the Phillies this season by going 1-1 with a 2.04 ERA over three starts while holding them to a .206 average.

WALK-OFFS
1. Mets 3B Jose Reyes is one extra-base hit shy of tying Hall-of-Famer Mike Piazza for fourth place on the team's all-time list at 415.
2. Phillies 2B Cesar Hernandez is 14-for-33 over his last nine contests and has homered in three of his last six games after doing so only twice over his first 114.
3. New York closer Jeurys Familia leads the majors with 42 saves and needs only one more to match last year's total, which equaled the club record set by Armando Benitez in 2001.

PREDICTION: Mets 8, Phillies 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Philadelphia 59-68 W1 30-33 29-35 22-25 10-19 18-15 9-9
NY Mets 64-63 W1 31-30 33-33 23-24 19-10 13-21 9-8
Last Meeting
Philadelphia NY Mets
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/17/16 NYM 5 PHI 0 .037 0 .108 .235 2 .778
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Philadelphia C. Hernandez .250 7 .526
NY Mets A. Cabrera .333 12 .879
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Philadelphia R. Howard 2 3 4
NY Mets N. Walker 4 7 8
Pitching ERA Avg K
Philadelphia 4.06 .224 81
NY Mets 1.98 .237 80
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Philadelphia C. Hernandez .296 124 .761
NY Mets Y. Cespedes .291 104 .925
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Philadelphia M. Franco 22 53 72
NY Mets J. Bruce 27 65 86
Pitching ERA Avg K
Philadelphia 4.54 .242 1036
NY Mets 3.69 .241 1084