Halladay will take the mound again Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series versus the National League East-rival Mets at Citizens Bank Park. In a 10-0 blowout of New York on May 1 in south Philly, Halladay tossed a three- hitter, struck out six and issued one walk for the win. He is 3-2 in five career starts against the Mets.
The right-hander is 5-2 with a 1.71 earned run average in his last eight starts overall and is unbeaten over the past three outings. He previously toed the rubber in a 6-1 win at Florida on Tuesday, as he held the Marlins to a run on five hits with nine K’s through seven innings. Halladay has fanned at least nine batters in three straight outings and is 13-8 in 23 starts this season to go along with a 2.17 ERA. He owns an 8-4 mark in 11 home starts.
Philadelphia had its 12-game home winning streak come to an end with Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Mets, as Johan Santana threw 7 1/3 shutout innings and Francisco Rodriguez went the rest of the way for his 24th save. Jayson Werth had the only extra-base hit with a double for the Phillies, who had won five in a row overall and fell two games behind Atlanta for the NL East lead.
Raul Ibanez went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. Cole Hamels started for the Phillies and allowed the only run on six hits while striking out a season-high 11 batters.
“Any time you’re going to go up against the caliber of player Santana is, it’s going to be a close game and you have to keep it within reason,” Hamels said after the Phils fell to 13-3 since July 22. “You just have to battle and that’s what I was able to do. We matched each other inning for inning and unfortunately, one pitch decided it all.”
Mets outfielder Jeff Francoeur led off the seventh inning with a solo home run for New York, which won for the second time in six tries and sits eight games behind the Braves for division bragging rights.
“I think I’ve had 50-55 at-bats against Hamels,” Francoeur said. “He was throwing 95 (mph) and that was the best stuff I’ve seen him have tonight. I think he made one mistake and he happened to make it to me. He happened to make it at the right place at the right time.”
The Mets hope R.A. Dickey’s second career start against the Phillies goes just as well as his first encounter when the knuckleballer takes the mound this afternoon. Dickey faced the Phils for the first time in an 8-0 win on May 25 and pitched six shutout innings while striking out seven and walking three.
Dickey opened the 2010 season with a 6-0 mark over his first seven starts, but is only 1-4 with a 2.39 ERA in his last eight trips to the hill. He did not figure into the decision of his previous outing, a 3-2 victory at Atlanta on Tuesday. He held the Braves to a pair of runs in six innings of work.
The right-hander is 7-4 with a 2.36 earned run average in 15 starts this season.
The Mets lead the 2010 season series with the Phillies by a 5-3 count and swept a three-game set at Citi Field the last time these two clubs met from May 25-27.