Bartolo Colon facing the Philadelphia Phillies might be exactly what the New York Mets need to continue their winning ways after a slight hiccup this weekend.
The Mets swept four games in Philadelphia before dropping two of three at home to Boston this weekend and will try to remain dominant against the Phillies in the start of a three-game set Monday night at Citi Field.
Colon (11-11, 4.65 ERA) was part of the previous Phillies sweep, allowing five hits in seven shutout innings in a 9-4 win Aug. 26. It was just his second win in 12 starts and only his second scoreless outing this year. He is 3-0 with a 3.32 ERA in three games against the Phillies in 2015 and 6-1 in seven starts against them in two years as a Met.
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The 42-year-old right-hander also worked in relief for the first time in four years on Saturday against Boston, tossing an inning on his scheduled throw day to help manager Terry Collins rest a tired bullpen. The Mets addressed their thin reliever corps this weekend by acquiring right-hander Addison Reed from Arizona.
"He's good for Monday," Collins said of Colon. "He was going to throw 15 pitches. He wanted to throw a bullpen (Saturday) anyway, said he could come in late in the game."
Collins did not start Yoenis Cespedes and rested Travis d'Arnaud on Sunday. Cespedes was 0 for 7 in the first two against Boston after homering in three of four against the Phillies, while d'Arnaud also homered twice and drove in six in three games last week at Philadelphia.
D'Arnaud is batting .400 with nine RBIs against the Phillies this season and Michael Cuddyer is hitting .500 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 12 games. Cuddyer was 3 for 3 with a tiebreaking single against Boston in a 5-4 win Sunday and is batting .375 in 17 games since coming off the DL on Aug. 11.
"With his knee feeling better, he's swinging the bat great," said Collins. "And as we head down the last month, he's going to be important."
The Mets outscored the Phillies 40-21 and slugged 13 home runs last week, but didn't leave the park once last Wednesday against Jerad Eickhoff.
Eickhoff (1-1, 2.25 ERA) was the only Philadelphia starter last week that didn't surrender a home run and on Monday will make his third big league start since being acquired from Texas in the deal that sent Cole Hamels to the Rangers.
He threw six shutout innings at Miami in his first start, then took the loss against the Mets and Colon, allowing four runs - three earned - and six hits in six innings.
"I had a little trouble getting settled," said Eickhoff, who gave up three first-inning runs but also retired 16 straight hitters at one point last Wednesday.
The Phillies followed the dreadful effort against the Mets by winning two of three against San Diego. Odubel Herrera had four hits in Sunday's 9-4 loss to the Padres and is batting .346 this month.
Freddy Galvis is hitting .333 against Colon this season and Ryan Howard has two career homers against the veteran.
Philadelphia is 1-12 against New York this season, including 0-6 at Citi Field. The Phillies have never been winless for an entire season against the Mets in New York, coming close in 1987 with a 1-8 mark. They have lost seven straight in Flushing and haven't taken a series in New York since winning two of three from May 9-11, 2014.