Cole Hamels has often struggled against the Mets, but this might be the most depleted New York lineup he has ever faced.
The left-hander will look to take advantage Wednesday as the Philadelphia Phillies visit the Mets.
Hamels (5-13, 3.62 ERA) has a 6-12 career record versus the Mets, his worst against any team he's faced at least four times. He has lost both of his starts against them over the past three months, giving up eight runs and 14 hits in 11 innings.
Fortunately for Hamels, David Wright, who has a .339 lifetime average and four homers off the left-hander, is out with a strained right hamstring.
Plus, Marlon Byrd and John Buck were traded to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, leaving New York (59-71) without three of its four RBI leaders.
"I can't tell you how much value they brought to this team, especially with what we've gone through throughout this season," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But they're not here now, so my attention has to be to the other 25 guys."
Collins was left starting three rookies along with little-used Andrew Brown on Tuesday. The Mets had only five hits, but they beat the Phillies 5-0 as Jonathon Niese pitched a shutout and had a three-run double.
"They want to pick each other up," said Collins, whose club snapped a five-game losing streak.
The offense of the Phillies (60-72) has rarely picked up Hamels, who has a 2.00 ERA over his last six starts but has gone 1-1. He's lasted at least seven innings in each of those outings, issuing a combined six walks. His last non-quality start came at Citi Field on July 20, allowing four runs in five innings of a 5-4 defeat.
Juan Lagares singled twice off him that day and is 4 for 7 against Hamels this year with two doubles. Eric Young is a .429 lifetime hitter against him, including 3 for 6 this season.
They'll look to help get Daisuke Matsuzaka his first win since last Aug. 27.
Matsuzaka (0-1, 9.00) allowed five runs in five innings of a 6-1 loss to Detroit on Friday, his first major league start after spending most of the season toiling in Cleveland's farm system. The right-hander served up two homers - he allowed 11 in 45 2-3 innings last year with Boston - but did retire the last 10 batters he faced.
"The arm issues have caused his velocity to go down a little bit," Collins said. "But I tell you what, his breaking stuff is still very good. I was happy with the way he finished up."
Matsuzaka is 0-5 with a 13.06 ERA in six starts since his last win.
One of the best outings of his career was the last time he faced Philadelphia, having a no-hitter broken up with two outs in the eighth inning of a 5-0 Red Sox win.
The Phillies have lost 14 of 16 on the road while averaging 2.0 runs and batting .194, including a combined two runs and nine hits halfway through this four-game set.
The Associated Press News Service
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