Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Velasquez looks to build on dominant start vs. Mets

After the Mets threw one of their top young arms, Noah Syndergaard, in the opening game of a three-game set against the Phillies, Philadelphia will counter with one of its own Tuesday night.
Vince Velasquez is coming off a historically good start against the Padres on Thursday. The 23-year-old righty joined Max Scherzer, Kerry Wood, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Dwight Gooden and Luis Tiant as the only pitchers to strike out at least 16 and walk none in a shutout.
Logan Verrett will be making his second -- and likely final -- start in place of Jacob deGrom, who remains in Florida with his wife and newborn son. Verrett departed after six shutout innings last week against the Marlins, his 85 pitches rubbing up against a predetermined limit. If he remains that efficient in Tuesday's game, he should be able to go deeper against the Phillies.
"Every team looks for a guy like that who can, when you need a start due to an injury or due to a sickness or anything else, they can step up and you have enough confidence that they'll get you deep into the game," manager Terry Collins said. "It seems like every time we need him to step up, he does."
Three things to know:
• Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud should return to the lineup Tuesday after sitting out two games with a bruised left elbow -- the byproduct of a hit-by-pitch Saturday in Cleveland.
"He feels much, much better today," Collins said Monday. "I just wanted to give him one more day."
• Including his two solo shots on Monday night, David Wright's 22 home runs at Citizens Bank Park are the most of any visiting player since the park opened in 2003. He'll be looking to extend a 20-game regular-season on-base streak that dates back to Sept. 20, 2015.
• Velasquez is one of three Phillies starters to strike out nine while walking zero in a start this season. Philadelphia is one of five teams since 1900 to have three starters 25-or-under to accomplish such a feat and the last since the 2007 Rays.

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