For the first time since September, Citi Field will spark to life when the Mets face the Phillies Monday afternoon in their home opener. Reigning National League Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom will oppose Phillies right-hander Aaron Harang in the matinee, which kicks off a three-game series and a 10-game homestand for the Mets.
Things to know about this game:
1. Harang makes his second start for the Phillies, after pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings Wednesday against the Red Sox. He is 6-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 13 career starts against the Mets, for whom he briefly played in 2013. deGrom gave up two runs in six innings of his 2015 debut, taking a hard-luck loss in Washington.
2. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard enter the series struggling at the plate, but maybe they will have better luck against deGrom. They are a combined 3-for-11 with one home run, three RBIs and one walk against him.
3. The Mets will honor the families of fallen NYPD heroes Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos as part of Monday's pregame ceremonies, which will also include a national anthem performance from NYPD officer Lauren Leggio. The team is encouraging fans to take mass transit and arrive early. Gates open at 10:40 a.m. ET, with the pregame ceremony beginning at 12:30 p.m.