This is baseball.
Two teams in a renewed rivalry fueled by an NL East title race and spring training predictions.
It may be April 18th, but every Phillies and Mets player, personnel, and fan knows these games mean something.
It's a chance for the Phillies to rebound from losing two of three last week to the Mets to get back into the psyche of the Metropolitans.
It's also a chance for New York to show last year's epic collapse is a thing of the past.
Tonight's battle in this long 18 game war features two of the best changeups in all of baseball. Johan Santana, the majors most dominating lefty squares off with Cole Hamels whose quickly becoming one of the league's best southpaws.
New York is pretty much getting everything they could ever want Santana so far despite what his 1-2 record says. He's given New York two very superb starts; the second allowing just one run in seven innings but was saddled with a loss after receiving no run support.
Cole Hamels has been even better. Only Jake Peavy and Brandon Webb in the National League have gotten off to better starts than the Camel.
The Cole Train is picking up speed. His last start came against Chicago and was one of the best of his short career. Seven innings, one hit, and no runs against one of the best offensives in the league.
Through three starts, Hamels is showing he's ready to be without question, the ace of the Phillies staff.
The Mets might have the upperhand tonight since the Phillies essentially have never faced Santana. The projected lineup tonight (no Geoff Jenkins most likely due to the lefty-lefty matchup) is just 1-5 with two strikeouts against Santana.
CuseAdelphia prediction: Mets 6, Phillies 4. I have this gut feeling that both pitchers are going to be hit around a little bit tonight.