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Two of the teams that probably most appreciated the All-Star break begin a three-game series Friday, when the New York Mets host the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets already have played 19 extra frames in July and 12 extra-inning games this season, with five of those contests going at least 13 innings. New York entered the break on a bit of a roll with wins in five of its last seven, although two of those games also could not be settled after nine frames.
The Phillies haven’t quite played as many extra-inning games as the Mets this season (10), but they logged a total of 34 frames in their series with the Chicago White Sox last weekend. All three contests lasted at least 10 innings, although Philadelphia (48-48) won two of the three interleague games to improve to 9-4 in July and reach .500 for the first time since June 7. However, leadoff hitter Ben Revere suffered a broken right ankle on Saturday and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, WB17 (Philadelphia), SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Kyle Kendrick (8-6, 3.68 ERA) vs. Mets RH Jeremy Hefner (4-6, 3.33)
Kendrick overcame four errors in last Thursday’s 3-1 victory over the Washington Nationals, permitting one run on five hits over seven innings. "He really had to battle because we made some mistakes. He definitely was the guy that got us out of the jams,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. Kendrick has dominated the Mets this season, going 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two starts, but is just 7-7 with a 3.19 ERA in 20 all-time appearances (14 starts) against New York.
After finishing May with a 1-5 record and 4.74 ERA, Hefner has posted a 3-1 mark with a 1.76 ERA since – including quality starts in seven of his last eight outings. The right-hander, who has yielded two earned runs or fewer in each of those starts, did not factor in the decision in last Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates despite allowing two runs and three hits over seven frames. Hefner is 1-1 with a 7.00 ERA against the Phillies this season and 2-2 with an 11.02 ERA in five career games (four starts) versus Philadelphia.
1. Philadelphia is 6-3 but averaging only 3.6 runs since losing 1B Ryan Howard to left knee surgery. Darin Ruf – his replacement - has reached safely in 18 straight games.
2. Mets All-Star 3B David Wright is three home runs shy of tying Mike Piazza (220) for second place in team history.
3. Manuel recently stated on Sirius XM that RHP Jonathan Papelbon has been dealing with occasional hip soreness. The Phillies closer has five blown saves in 12 chances since June 17.
PREDICTION: Mets 3, Phillies 2