By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After a Monday off day, the Phillies are in New York tonight to open a three-game series with the Mets.
These are not the best of times for the Phillies. They sit at 36-45 on the season and they are in last place in National League East, 11 games behind first place Washington. They bring a five-game losing streak into tonight, those five games also happen to correspond with the return to the roster of second baseman Chase Utley.
Vance Worley will get the start for the Phillies tonight. Worley is 4-4 this season with a 2.92 ERA and after Cole Hamels, he has easily been the Phillies most consistent starting pitcher this season.
Worley has faced the Mets more times than other team in his Major League career (7 games – 5 starts). He is 3-2 in those games with a 3.60 ERA. The right-hander has loved pitching in July in his career, going 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA.
The surprising Mets sit in second place in National League East with a 43-37 record. They are 3 1/2 games out of first. Left-hander Jonathon Niese will throw tonight for the Mets. He is 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA and in his career against the Phillies, Niese is 4-4 in 11 starts with a 3.86 ERA.
KYW’s Matt Leon spoke with Ryan Lawrence, the Delco Times Phillies beat writer, about this match-up and the state of the Phillies with exactly half of 2012 (81 games) in the books.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.