Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mets, Niese look for sweep of Phils on Jackie Day

The three-game series between the Mets and Phillies concludes tonight on Jackie Robinson Day at Citi Field, home of the 19,000-square-foot rotunda built to remember the legend who broke the color barrier.
The ballpark's main entrance features a nine-foot sculpture of Robinson, who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947-56.
Jon Niese, who fell victim to errors in his first start, will start for the Mets. He will be opposed by veteran Philly righty Jerome Williams, who settled for a no-decision his first time around.
Things to know about this game:
• After facing fireballers Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey in back-to-back games, the Phillies will be wise to sit back against the crafty Niese, who threw more changeups in his first start than any other pitch.
• Williams -- who resurrected his career with a 2.83 ERA in nine starts for Philadelphia last season -- is one of just six active players from the state of Hawaii. Astros pitcher Scott Feldman, Red Sox and former Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki and Rays Minor League pitcher Kirby Yates are the others. Williams is the only one from Honolulu.
• Look for Mets manager Terry Collins to stick with Curtis Granderson in the leadoff spot despite the outfielder's early struggles. "I'm very, very, very well aware of what Grandy is hitting. But he's getting on base," Collins said. "If he stops getting on base then maybe we have to reassess where he's hitting in the lineup." Granderson enters today with three hits in eight games, but he leads the team in on-base percentage.
• Original Met Al Jackson will throw out the first pitch to Mookie Wilson. Granderson will participate in the pregame ceremony as well.

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