ESPN has a National League East divisional matchup on tap in this week’s edition of its weekly Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell broadcast.
The Philadelphia Phillies (68-54) will host the New York Mets (52-69) in the closer of the teams’ five-game series. The series started Thursday with a one and one double-header between the NL East foes. The Mets routed the Phillies in the first game 24-6 while the Phillies won game two 9-6.
Philadelphia took control of the series on Friday, defeating the Mets 4-2. The Mets came back Saturday and evened things back up at two games each with a 3-1 win over the Phillies. That means Sunday night’s game will be the rubber match between the teams.
Nick Pivetta (7-9) is expected to get the start on the mound for the Phillies Sunday night. He was last on the mound August 14 against the Boston Red Sox. The Bosox won that game 2-1 with Philadelphia’ Tommy Hunter taking the loss.
Pivetta was strong in that game, pitching six innings, allowing only one run on three hits, one walk and one earned run while striking out six and allowing only one home run in that time. So he will be looking to get the Phils back in the “W” column in this series’ finale against the Mets, whose playoff hopes at this point are nil.
Jason Vargas (2-8) is expected to get the start for the Mets Sunday night. The 35-year-old has had a rough season so far, pitching a total of 53.1 innings in 13 games with an ERA of 8.10. His last time on the mound was August 14 against Baltimore.
The Orioles took the win over the Mets in that game, 6-3. Vargas’ struggles continued in that game as he allowed two runs on five hits, two earned runs while walking three batters and striking out only one over six innings. He also allowed one home run in that time.
Just by the pitchers’ numbers, one would think Sunday night’s game is in the Phillies’ favor, but New York has been a surprise this weekend against Philadelphia. That could be because the Mets know they have nothing to lose and don’t want to finish in the bottom of the league, causing them to play harder.
With the two losses to the Phillies this weekend, the Mets ended their two-game losing ski and back back into the “W” column, though win or lose it won’t be enough to help the team’s playoff hopes. Philadelphia is 41-20 at home and 27-34 on the road so far this season. Saturday’s loss to the Mets drops the Phillies to 68-55 on the season, still keeping the team in the post season hunt. The Mets will still be playing with a ire in their bellies because they have at least something to prove since they won’t be in the playoffs, so Sunday night’s game could go either way.
Matt Vasgersian will have the call for Sunday’s game. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Alex Rodriguez and Jessica Mendoza for additional commentary. Reporter Buster Olney will have all of the game’s latest news and interviews.
Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton will cover the game on ESPN Radio. The NL East matchup will also be simulcast on ESPN Deportes and on the ESPN app.
Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will be preceded by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet at 7 p.m. ET.with Karl Ravech at the helm. Ravech will be joined by analysts Mark Teixeira, David Ross and Tim Kurkjian for additional commentary.
More information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online now at:
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