About halfway through the 2012 season, the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets are on complete opposite ends of the pennant-race spectrum. The Phillies, the defending NL East Divsion champs, are surprisingly nine-game below .500 and in the basement of the standings, while the Mets are 3 1/2-games back of first place.
The Phils' can make their slow move back to the top starting Tuesday, when they play the host Mets in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field (7:10 p.m. ET on Comcast SportsNet). Philadelphia's Vance Worley (4-4, 2.92 ERA) will take the mound and will oppose Mets' rookie Jon Niese (6-3, 3.55 ERA).
Currently, Philly is in the middle of a five-game losing streak and will look to have that snapped with the help of Worley, who's 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA since coming off the disable list with an inflamed elbow.
Meanwhile, Niese is coming off an outstanding month of June, which featured him going 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA and 34 strikeouts.
For more on the Phillies vs. Mets series, check back to this StoryStream and visit the SB Nation Blog The Good Phight.