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Both teams won their series to open the season, but neither enters this game feeling perfect after the Phillies lost 4-1 to Oakland Sunday and the Mets blew a late lead to the Nationals. On the surface, by name, it may look like the Mets have the pitching advantage, but Ranger Suarez is underrated for the Phillies – not to mention they’ve owned the Mets as of late.
Garcia’s 2022 record: (2-0)
The Phillies lefty Ranger Suarez was one of the under-the-radar surprises of the 2021 season, even if he didn’t become a well-known name. Suarez transitioned from the bullpen to a starter last season and finished the season on an incredible run.
The Venezuelan ended the year with six consecutive quality starts, each one seemingly more dominant than the last. Over those final five weeks, Suarez gave up just five runs in 34 innings, and over the final eight starts, gave up just seven runs in 51 innings.
He finished the season 8-5 overall, with a 1.36 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 107 strikeouts in 106 innings, and only had an ERA above two in just one month (that was in August, and his ERA was 2.03).
Suarez was having trouble with his VISA, so he reported late to spring training this season and only got two starts, but he says he’s feeling good.
On the other side, it’s veteran Taijuan Walker, who after four seasons with four different teams, returns to New York and looks to rebound from a sub-par season. Walker went 7-11 in 2021, with a 4.47 ERA, with 146 strikeouts in 159 innings, the second-most he’s ever thrown in a season.
Walker had a brutal spring, too. He never made it more than 3.2 innings in a start (he only threw three times) and his last outing was his worst. Walker gave up six runs in 1.1 innings to the Nationals that day.
Walker hasn’t been the same since the All-Star break last year. He was 7-3 with a 2.66 ERA before the break and 0-8 with a 7.13 ERA after. You never want to make too big of a deal over one game, but this is a big start for him.
Bryce Harper is the reigning MVP. He’s a wonderful baseball player who is off to a rough start. It’s only been three games, but it’s a trend you want to change rather quickly.
Harper is 1-of-11 this season and after hitting an RBI double in his second at-bat of the season, has gone 0-of-9 with three strikeouts. Harper is just a 3-of-14 lifetime off of Walker but does have a home run, double, and .767 OPS.
The answer to the question for Francisco Lindor appears to be yes. After striking out four times in his first two games, Lindor went 1-for-3 with a double on Saturday and 1-for-3 with a home run on Sunday.
Both teams have been buoyed by other players, early on this season. Mets’ Mark Canha is a scorching hot 7-of-10 while Jeff McNeil is 7-of-16 with a home run and three RBIs.
For the Phillies, Rhys Hoskins is 4-of-9 early on this season with a home run and three RBIs, while Jean Segura is 4-of-11 with two home runs and a double.
For Philadelphia, we’re going to take a look at the catcher, J.T. Realmuto who has had some success against Walker. Realmuto is just 1-of-9 this season, but he’s 3-of-8 lifetime against Walker with a home run.
For the Mets, we will watch Pete Alonso, who does have a home run this season but is 3-for-17 in his other at-bats besides that. He isn’t great against lefties, batting just .231 in 457 plate appearances.
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|New York Mets vs Philadelphia Phillies Information|
|Teams||New York Mets vs Philadelphia Phillies|
|Location||Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Time||Monday, April 11, 6:45 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||FS1|
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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