Jerad Eickhoff faces Noah Syndergaard as Phillies host Mets in series opener

 By: Erik Seybold, contributor

PHILADELPHIA – Coming off of a walk-off win against the division-leading Washington Nationals (9-2)  – avoiding their second sweep of the season – the Philadelphia Phillies (6-7) will kick-off the final series of their 10-game homestand Monday evening in opposition of right-hander Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets (5-6).

Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff will oppose the reigning National League champions for the fifth time of his career out of 11 starts overall. With both teams four games out of first place, this series is important to both teams as the Mets seek to return to the top of the division while the Phillies push to win and gain as much experience as possible.

This afternoon, the Phillies called up OF David Lough from the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. In correspondence, they optioned OF Cedric Hunter to Lehigh Valley. In 34 at bats, Hunter managed just a .088 batting average. Through six games for Lehigh Valley, Lough is hitting .280 in 25 at bats – nearly half as much as he had in Spring Training. In Grapefruit League games, Lough hit .256 with a home run and five RBI.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

New York Mets (5-6) Philadelphia Phillies (6-7)
RHP Noah Syndergaard RHP Jerad Eickhoff
(1-0, 0.69 ERA) (1-1, 1.50 ERA)

Jerad Eickhoff is coming off of a fantastic start his last time out. The right hander held the Padres to just four hits over seven scoreless frames to earn his first W of the year. En route to his first win of the year Eickhoff struck out a career-high nine batters thanks to the strength of his curveball. In three career starts against the Mets, Eickhoff is 1-2 (including a loss back on April 8th).

Noah Syndergaard makes his third start of the year tonight and his first against the Phillies. "Thor" is coming off of an impressive performance against Miami. The right hander held the Marlins to just one run over seven innings and struck out 12 batters in the process. Facing the Phillies twice in 2015, Syndergaard allowed just two runs over a combined 12 1/3 innings whole striking out fifteen. The right handed holds a career 1.46 ERA against his division rivals.

Starting Lineups:

New York Mets (5-6) Philadelphia Phillies (6-7)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 RF  Curtis Granderson 1 SS  Freddy Galvis  S
2  3B  David Wright  2 CF  Odubel Herrera 
3  LF  Michael Conforto  3 3B  Maikel Franco 
4  CF  Yoenis Cespedes  4 1B  Ryan Howard 
5  1B  Lucas Duda  5 Cameron Rupp 
6  2B Neil Walker  6 LF  David Lough 
7  SS  Asdrubal Cabrera  7 2B  Cesar Hernandez 
8  C Kevin Plawecki  8 RF  Peter Bourjos 
9  P Noah Syndergaard  9 Jerad Eickhoff 

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
  • TV: TCN
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game Notes:

  • The Phillies sit 29th in baseball with an average 2.61 runs per game. The Mets are not far ahead with 3.36 runs per game scored.
  • The Mets enter tonight's game with a 3.25 team ERA, the eighth best in baseball. The Phillies come in at 14th with a 3.36 ERA.
  • David Lough makes his 2016 debut tonight, hitting sixth tonight in Pete Mackanin's lineup.

What's Next:

  • Tuesday, April 19, 2016: vs. New York Mets, 7:05 p.m.
    • Citizens Bank Park
    • RHP Logan Verrett (0-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. RHP Vince Velasquez (2-0, 0.00 ERA)
    • TV: CSN; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP