|Phillies turn to red-hot Arrieta against Mets|
The Philadelphia Phillies will hand the ball to their hottest starting pitcher when they visit the New York Mets on Monday night.
Not last year's All-Star Aaron Nola, who has been scuffling this season, but rather Jake Arrieta.
Arrieta, who won the National League Cy Young award in 2015 with the Chicago Cubs, is off to a stellar start, going 3-1 with a 2.25 earned run average. Arrieta has pitched at least seven innings in three consecutive starts.
In Arrieta's previous start, he lasted eight-plus innings in a 3-2 win over the Mets last Wednesday. In that outing, Arrieta induced 15 groundball outs, one shy of tying a career-high.
"He has a different mindset," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said of Arrieta. "He understands everybody is looking to him for leadership and he's taken the bull by the horns."
Arrieta struggled through large stretches last season, especially with his control. It has been a different story in 2019.
"I feel good and I've been able to spin the ball well," Arrieta said. "The timing of my delivery now is really good."
The Phillies will head to New York hoping to improve on the road.
After dropping three of four at Colorado, including 4-1 in the series finale Sunday, the Phillies fell to 4-5 on the road.
Overall, the Phillies are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
Prized free agent acquisition Bryce Harper continues to sizzle. Harper reached base in Sunday's loss to extend his streak to 24 straight dating to last season. Harper has reached base in all 21 games for Philadelphia this season.
But the Phillies must find ways to end their road woes.
"We've got a lot to think about on the plane ride," Kapler said. "We've got to come prepared to play the Mets."
The Mets will see if starter Steven Matz is able to bounce back from the worst outing of his career. Last Tuesday, Matz faced eight Phillies batters and wasn't able to record one out before being lifted.
Matz (1-1) gave up eight runs, six earned, and watched his ERA balloon to 4.96.
"I was just leaving the ball up in the zone and it was a poor effort," Matz said. "I have been here before, so I know at this point, I can come out of it. It's not going to define me or define the season or anything. I just have to wash it and move forward."
The Mets fell 6-4 on the road to the St. Louis Cardinals and now open a 10-game homestand.
Walking too many batters has been an ongoing issue all season for the Mets. In Sunday's loss, starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard walked two batters, but both times it led to runs for the Cardinals.
"We've been playing some pretty good teams with good lineups," Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters. "And if you fall behind, it's not easy just to go, 'Well, OK, I'll throw a strike down 2-0.' You still have to execute a pitch or you're get hurt really bad."
Four different Mets hit solo home runs in Sunday's loss, including second baseman Robinson Cano. But Cano was plunked on the right hand by Andrew Miller in the seventh inning and left the game.
X-Rays came back negative and Cano's status for Monday's game remains unclear.
--Field Level Media