A Cardinals win over the Astros on Tuesday night left the Phillies four games behind St. Louis for the second Wild Card with three other teams still ahead of them.
Philadelphia's Cole Hamels (15-6, 3.06 ERA) will toe the rubber on Wednesday night, seeking his career-high 16th win. The left-hander has strung together eight consecutive quality starts and has not lost since Aug. 2 at Washington. He's 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA in three starts against the Mets this year, but just 5-10 with a 4.39 ERA against them in 20 career outings.
The Mets will call on their talented rookie to try to help them win just their second game in the last 11 tries. Matt Harvey, originally slated to start Tuesday, will make his final start of his first Major League season on Wednesday before he's shut down on an innings limit. The 23-year-old right-hander has impressed over his nine starts, owning a 2.92 ERA and recording 63 strikeouts over 52 1/3 innings.
Though Harvey (3-5) has pitched well enough for a victory in each of his three prior home starts, he is still seeking his first victory at Citi Field.
"He's been so impressive," Mets manager Terry Collins said after Harvey's last start, a 2-0 loss to the first-place Nationals last Wednesday. "We've got something special."
Phillies: Cloyd's start moved to Thursday
Originally scheduled to start on Tuesday night, Tyler Cloyd will now take the mound for Thursday's series finale.
Cloyd (1-1, 4.95 ERA) struggled in his last outing last Thursday, a 6-4 loss to the lowly Astros. Pitching on three days' rest in that outing, the rookie right-hander was pulled after just three innings in which he surrendered three runs on five hits.
This will be Cloyd's fifth Major League start, but second against the Mets, whom he debuted against. He pitched well but took the loss in that game, a 3-2 New York victory on Aug. 29 at Citizens Bank Park.
Mets: Hefner pushed back to Thursday
Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 4.99 ERA), who was supposed start on Wednesday, will now start Thursday's makeup game.
It's Hefner's 11th start but first since Sept. 8, when the rookie right-hander gave up five runs on eight hits in just 2 2/3 innings in an 11-3 loss to the Braves.
Wednesday will be Hefner's second start against the Phillies, as he earned the win in a 6-3 victory over Philadelphia on May 29 at Citi Field. He also hit his first career home run off the since-traded Joe Blanton in that game.
Hefner pitched a 1 1/3 innings of relief in a 9-2 Philadelphia victory at Citi Field on July 4. He allowed three runs on five hits in that outing.
David Wright is seven hits shy of passing Ed Kranepool for most in Mets history. Derek Jeter, Todd Helton and Michael Young are the only three active players to lead their franchise in hits.
New York has scored three runs or fewer in its last 14 home games, a franchise record.
Cliff Lee has pitched at least six innings without issuing more than one walk in each of his last 14 starts, tying the Phillies left-hander for the longest single-season streak of that kind in modern Major League history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Christy Mathewson and Greg Maddux also accomplished the feat.
Phillies outfielder John Mayberry is hitting .333 (35-for-105) with six doubles, four home runs and 18 RBIs over his last 28 games.
The Phillies' Jimmy Rollins and the Mets' Johan Santana were named on Tuesday as their teams' nominees for the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award. The annual award, presented by Chevrolet, recognizes a Major Leaguer who best represents his sport through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. Fans can vote for the winner on MLB.com/ClementeAward and register for a chance to win a trip to this October's World Series.