The final three games between the Mets and the Phillies begin tonight at Shea Stadium with the post-All Star game ace Brett Meyers (8-10, 5-1 since break) versus Mets righty Mike Pelfrey (13-8).
With the Phillies only three games back of the Mets, they are poised to rise again in the East.
The Mets however could put a division clinch in sight.They are coming off of a sweep of the Brewers, helped by hot bats and solid starting pitching.
However, neither starting pitching or batting are the question of the game tonight, but it is whether the beaten and marred bullpen of the Mets can keep up late in the game.
On the bright side for Mets fans, Pelfrey has pitched two complete games out of his last three starts and has won 11 out his last 13 decisions.
In the other dugout, the Phils have got to be fired up to take the Mets down for the second year in a row, and they can't complain about starting the series with Brett Meyers.
The only question is, will we see the pre or post-All Star break Meyers? With this in question, the Phillies need to get their bats going like they can, and if they knock Pelfrey out early, they can easily start this series off with a win.
On a final note, Mets' fans may or may not be relieved to know that Billy Wagner is still out of commision and won't be apprearing at all in the series. The fact that the bullpen hasn't given up a run in 15 and two thirds innings is also comforting, but its certainly something that Jerry Manuel won't want to test.
Other pitching matchups in this series include Jamie Moyer versus Pedro Martinez tomorrow, and Cole Hamels against Johan Santana on Sunday.