The Phillies might consider themselves fortunate after they were rained out Thursday afternoon in New York as their struggling lineup avoided facing Jacob deGrom.
The game against the Mets will be made up on June 25 as part of a doubleheader when the Phillies return to Queens. Zach Eflin, who was scheduled to start Thursday’s series finale, will start Friday’s series opener at Citizens Bank Park against the Cardinals. Matt Moore will pitch Saturday with Aaron Nola starting Sunday.
The Phillies went 1-5 on their first road trip of the season against the Braves and Mets as they were outclassed by their division rivals. They scored just four runs in three games against the Mets, totaled three extra-base hits, and struck out 31 times in 24 innings.
“I think one guy right now is really doing his job and that’s J.T.,” Bryce Harper said of J.T. Realmuto, who leads the team in batting average and OPS. “Everybody else around him? Not doing so much.”
The Phillies entered Thursday with the third-highest strikeout total in the National League, the fifth-lowest number of homers, and the fourth-worst OPS. They built their lineup to hit, but it has been underwhelming through the first two weeks of the season.
“We understand that it’s early in the season, but also that’s one of my least favorite sayings in the world because it doesn’t matter if it’s early or if it’s late,” Harper said. “You need to go out there with preparedness and the ability to play the game of baseball and that starts on opening day, no matter what. You can’t get behind in this division. If you get behind, you’re not going to be able to catch up. We have to be better as a team and as an organization.”
Mickey Moniak was scheduled to start Thursday against deGrom and should be in the lineup Friday against Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez. The Phillies plan to play Moniak a lot after he joined the team Thursday when Adam Haseley took an indefinite leave of absence. Moniak is expected to start against right-handed pitchers but will be given a chance to win the everyday role as the Phillies are desperate for production from center field.
“He’s going to get a shot, and we’re hoping he’s a boost in the arm,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I’m planning on playing him. I think he’s got a bright future.”