Phillies-Mets finale postponed by rain

Eflin slated to start Friday vs. Cardinals, followed by Moore (Saturday) and Nola (Sunday)

April 15th, 2021

The Phillies' attempt to get back over .500 this season will now have to wait until they return home on Friday.

Thursday's series finale against the Mets at Citi Field was delayed due to rain and then postponed shortly after the scheduled first-pitch time of 12:10 p.m. ET. The game will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader beginning at 4:10 p.m. on June 25.

Thursday’s game was the second in the series that was postponed due to rain. The series opener Monday night was called about two hours before first pitch and turned Tuesday’s matchup into a doubleheader, both of which Philadelphia lost.

Having a game postponed just before first pitch is not an ideal situation for a team, but for the Phillies, it might help them to reset following a rough road trip. After starting the season 5-1 and taking control of first place in the National League East, Philadelphia dropped five of six on the road to the Braves and Mets. Following a season-opening homestand that saw them hit .262 and get on base at a .348 clip, the Phils hit .194 on the road and produced a .233 on-base percentage, with the latter being the worst away mark in the Majors.

“As a team, as a club, we have to be better, especially in that batter’s box right now,” Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper said after Wednesday’s loss. “We need to go out there as big leaguers and play the game we know how.”

At the same time, Philadelphia also avoided facing a pitcher who’s frustrated its lineup throughout his career.

The Mets would have had ace Jacob deGrom, the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner and the reigning NL strikeout leader, on the bump Thursday. In deGrom’s 18 career starts against the Phillies, New York is 14-4 and deGrom sports an 8-1 record and a 2.25 ERA. The Phils did pick up the win in deGrom’s first start of the season on April 5, though it took an eighth-inning meltdown by the Mets’ bullpen for Philadelphia to pull it out.

The Phillies also struck out nearly 10 times per game during the road trip, and deGrom has fanned 21 batters in his first two starts. Considering the club’s struggles at the plate, it would have been a tall task for Philadelphia to turn things around against one of the toughest foes in the division.

The Phillies will now return home Friday to kick off a series against the Cardinals. The two teams haven’t faced each other since May 2019, when they each hosted a series and Philadelphia won four of the six games to take the season series against St. Louis.

Right-hander Zach Eflin was scheduled to face the Mets on Thursday, but he will now take the bump opposite Carlos Martínez on Friday in Philadelphia instead. In two starts this season, Eflin recorded two no-decisions against the Braves and holds a 3.46 ERA through 13 innings. Lefty Matt Moore (0-0, 7.56 ERA) will slide from Friday night into the Saturday slot against Kwang Hyun Kim. Righty Aaron Nola (0-1, 3.45 ERA) is scheduled to start opposite John Gant in the series finale on Sunday.

The Phillies are now 6-6 following their six-game road trip, but just two weeks into the season, a trip home to face a fresh opponent might provide a necessary reprieve from the struggles of the past week.

“It’s baseball,” Phillies righty Zack Wheeler said Wednesday. “You’re going to have those ups and downs throughout the season. Get them both out of the way now, right? It’s a long season.”