|Mets-Phillies features top-flight pitching matchup|
Two of baseball's best young pitchers will square off Friday night in Philadelphia.
Aaron Nola (13-3, 2.28 ERA) and Noah Syndergaard (8-2, 3.22) will face each other in a marquee pitching matchup as the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets meet for the third time in two days at Citizens Bank Park.
The teams split a Thursday doubleheader. The Mets opened with a 24-4 win in Game 1 before the Phillies bounced back with a 9-6 victory in Game 2.
Nola and Syndergaard, both 25-year-old right-handers, have had plenty of success in their brief big league careers. While Syndergaard has been plagued by injuries for the last two seasons, Nola has had a breakout campaign in 2018.
A Cy Young Award contender, Nola ranked third among National League starters in ERA (2.28), third in WHIP (1.000), fifth in innings pitched (154) and seventh in strikeouts (149) as of Wednesday.
Nola has allowed one earned run or less in 13 of his 24 starts this season, including his last outing when the All-Star tossed six scoreless innings against the San Diego Padres. Nola worked around four hits and three walks in his 13th victory of the year.
"He did a great job for us and he had to work early on," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told MLB.com after Nola's last start. "He had some traffic and some jams to work out of. He did a tremendous job working out of those jams."
The Phillies are 17-7 in Nola's starts this season, and they could use another win Friday night as they chase the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The Phillies (67-54) enter the weekend 1 1/2 games behind the Braves.
Nola is 4-1 with a 3.71 ERA in six career starts against the Mets. One of those wins came April 20, 2017, in his only matchup against Syndergaard before Friday.
That loss is Syndergaard's only one against the Phillies in seven career starts. He is 4-1 overall with a 2.06 ERA and 11.2 strikeout rate when facing Philadelphia.
Syndergaard's numbers in 2018 haven't been quite that good, but he has pitched well as he has worked around two disabled list stints -- a seven-week sidelining for a finger strain and a weeklong stay for hand, foot and mouth disease.
Syndergaard has a 3.56 ERA and the Mets are 4-1 in his five starts since he returned from the finger injury. He went seven innings against the Miami Marlins in his last outing, allowing three runs and striking out seven. It was his highest strikeout total since he punched out eight against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 25.
"I felt a lot better mechanically today," Syndergaard told MLB.com after the game. "Worked on it a lot in between starts and I felt really comfortable out there. Really had to dig deep in that seventh inning to get through it."