Phillies' pitching matchup Sunday is as good as it gets


If you like baseball even a little bit, Phillies-Mets is a must-watch Sunday at 1:10 p.m.

This is almost impossible to believe, but the Phillies have faced Jacob deGrom just once in their last 31 games against the Mets.

It's not as if deGrom has missed time. He made 32 starts in 2018 and 32 starts in 2019, eclipsing 200 innings both years. He's made seven starts this season.

The schedule has just kept deGrom away from the Phillies — over and over and over again.

Until Sunday, when he'll duel Aaron Nola in a battle of 2020 NL Cy Young candidates.

The Phillies were scheduled to face deGrom earlier this season but he was scratched with a neck injury. He was skipped only once.

The schedule has helped the Phillies twice in that regard this season. They also had a postponement against the Nationals on a day Max Scherzer was supposed to pitch. That game will be made up as part of a doubleheader during an already scheduled Phillies-Nationals series. 

It's meant one fewer meeting for the Phillies against deGrom and Scherzer, owners of the last four NL Cy Youngs.

During that same span in which deGrom has faced the Phillies once in 31 games, Aaron Nola has faced the Mets seven times. Sunday afternoon will be his eighth.

The Nola vs. deGrom pitching matchup is as good as it gets, especially right now with both pitchers throwing as well as they ever have. Nola leads the NL in WHIP (0.86) while deGrom leads in strikeouts per nine innings (12.7). Nola has a 2.45 ERA, deGrom a 1.76.


The Phillies are 3-12 all-time against deGrom. They lost the first 10 times they faced him. 

Bryce Harper has given deGrom trouble over the years, going 10 for 34 (.294) with two doubles, two homers and seven walks. All other active Phillies are 24 for 123 (.195) with no home runs.