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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, April 8th (All times Eastern)

New York Mets (4-2) at Philadelphia Phillies (2-4), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Matt Harvey (1-0, 0.00) Philadelphia - Roy Halladay (0-1, 13.50)

(Sports Network) - Roy Halladay appears as though he is entering the twilight of his outstanding career.

Things are just getting started for youngster Matt Harvey.

Harvey looks to build on an impressive first victory of the season on Monday night when his New York Mets begin a three-game series and lengthy road trip versus Halladay's Philadelphia Phillies.

The 24-year-old Harvey went 3-5 with a 2.73 earned run average in 10 starts a season ago to begin his major league career and he opened up the 2013 season by recording the third double-digit strikeout game of his career with a victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday. He fanned 10 over seven innings while scattering one hit and two walks over the scoreless outing.

"He's got a presence on the mound that not everyone has," said New York first baseman Ike Davis. "I'll tell you what, I wouldn't like to hit against the guy."

The right-handed Harvey faced the Phillies twice last season and was solid, going 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 13 1/3 total innings.

Philadelphia slugger Ryan Howard went 0-for-5 against him with three strikeouts.

The Phillies, meanwhile, are hoping that Halladay can bounce back tonight after a rough season debut last Wednesday at the Atlanta Braves. The two-time Cy Young Award winner lasted just 3 1/3 innings at damp Turner Field, though nine of those outs were recorded by strikeout.

However, the 35-year-old righty yielded five runs on six hits, two homers and three walks while getting denied his 200th career win.

"I'm frustrated. I should have gone deeper than that," Halladay said of his short outing. "Obviously horrible conditions to pitch in. It made it no fun, but that's no excuse."

Halladay struggled through a shoulder injury last season and went 11-8 with a 4.49 ERA. He also had some issues for a second straight Spring Training and will seek the recapture the form that has led to him going 9-2 with a 2.86 ERA in 12 career outings versus the Mets.

The Phillies hurler will be the first test for the Mets on an upcoming 10-game road trip after they began the season by winning four of six at home over the Padres and Miami Marlins. It marked the first time since 2006 that New York began the season with consecutive series wins.

The Mets need to rally on Sunday to clinch the series over the Marlins as Marlon Byrd smacked a two-run single in the ninth inning off Marlins closer Steve Cishek in a 4-3 win.

"It feels nice to come through," Byrd said.

Daniel Murphy hit a solo home run and Anthony Recker added an RBI for New York.

The Phillies nearly rallied themselves on Sunday versus the Kansas City Royals, but fell a run short in a 9-8 setback.

Jimmy Rollins hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning and Laynce Nix later hit a run-scoring single with two outs to pull Philadelphia within one. However, following a wild pitch that put runners on second and third, Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera struck out Erik Kratz swinging to end the game.

"We didn't tack on runs in the middle innings," said Phillies third baseman Michael Young, who had four of his club's 15 hits. "We have to keep our foot on the gas as the game goes on."

Philadelphia lost two out of three to the Royals, having won Saturday's game when pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen hit a game-winning three-run double in the bottom of the ninth. The Phillies began the season by losing two of three in Atlanta.

The Mets won seven of their nine games in Philadelphia last season.

04/08 10:31:46 ET

  • NFL: Tampa Bay at Atlanta

    Tonight at 8:25 on WRAL-TV

  • Football Friday with Tom Suiter

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  • Football Friday

    Tomorrow at 11:35 pm

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