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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Preview: 2011 Regular Season Game 28 - Mets at Phillies ( ESPN Sunday Night Game)

Cliff Lee - Philadelphia - 2011 RoadImage by BaseballBacks via Flickr
New York Mets (11-16) at Philadelphia Phillies (18-8), 8:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Chris Young (1-0, 2.65) Philadelphia - Cliff Lee (2-2, 4.18)

Coming off a record-setting April, the Philadelphia Phillies try to start May by completing a three-game sweep against the New York Mets tonight at Citizens Bank Park.

Cliff Lee hopes to follow in the footsteps of Roy Halladay, as he takes the mound this evening. Lee has given up just four walks and has fanned 39 batters this season, but the lefty hasn't won in his last two outings. Lee has allowed a total of three homers over those two starts - a 4-0 loss at Arizona on Monday and a 4-3 Phillies win over Milwaukee on April 20. Lee, who didn't get a decision in that game against the Brewers, has given up six earned runs over his last 13 innings pitched, going 0-1 in the two-start span.

Lee has pitched once in his career against the Mets, on August 24, 2009. In that game, he yielded a pair of unearned runs on six hits with five strikeouts and no walks over seven innings.

It's been rough going for the Mets against the Phillies of late. New York won the first meeting of the season, 7-1 on April 5, but since then the defending NL East champions have rattled off four straight wins vs. the Mets, outscoring them by a 23-4 margin in the last three contests.

On Saturday, Roy Halladay tossed his 60th career complete game and the Phillies set a franchise record with a 2-1 victory. Halladay (4-1) limited the Mets to one run on seven hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.

"I was trying to be aggressive, trying to throw strikes and got some early swings for some quick outs. That helped," said Halladay. "I felt like I was able to keep things down, keep things under control and we got a lot of outs early, a lot of outs within the first three pitches."

At 18-8, the Phillies set a club record for wins in the month of April, surpassing the 1993 squad that won the National League pennant. Placido Polanco set a new franchise record with 41 hits in April.

Jon Niese (1-4) was tagged for two runs and six hits over 6 1/3 innings for New York, which has lost three straight games after winning a season-high six in a row.

"We gotta keep playing, we gotta keep playing along," said New York manager Terry Collins. "We gotta come out and fight tomorrow."

Taking the mound tonight for the Mets will be Chris Young, who was the winning pitcher on April 5 against Cole Hamels. Young, signed in the offseason after an injury-riddled stint in San Diego, allowed just one run on five hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings. The 6-foot-10 righty struck out seven and went 3- for-3 with an RBI at the plate, including a two-hit effort in New York's six- run third inning.

Young spent time in April with biceps tendinitis, but he returned on Tuesday in a start at Washington, when he allowed four hits and three runs over 4 2/3 innings of a no-decision. He's 3-2 with a 4.05 ERA over six career starts against the Phillies.

Philadelphia won two of three meetings with New York earlier this month at Citizens Bank Park and has been victorious in nine of the past 13 matchups between the two clubs.
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