Here we go again. It’s the Mets and the Phillies going at it for the second time this season, and the first time at Citi Field.

With all the drama of spygate, and with Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel calling the Mets out for having too many home wins, it’s time for the rivalry to get reheated.

Both of these teams have gone through so much back-and-forth chit-chatter over the last four seasons.

It all started after the Mets won the NL East in 2006, when Jimmy Rollins proclaimed his Phillies the “team to beat” in the division. He wasn’t looking good until the Mets’ late collapse to make him look genius.

In 2008, Carlos Beltran pulled the same shtick, telling the media his Mets were “the team to beat.” For Beltran, it didn’t work out, as the Mets once again collapsed in late September.

After some babyish incidents since then, like Shane Victorino holding his pointer in the air after a home run to counteract Jose Reyes doing it, comes spygate and the binoculars saga.

After the Phillies were accused by the Colorado Rockies of spying in at signs via binoculars from the bullpen, their manager went ahead and accused the Mets of doing something fishy in order to be so strong at home (the Mets have the National League’s most home wins, 16).

So it leads us to another series between the two bitter rivals. The last time these two faced, Johan Santana was hooked after his worst career performance on a Sunday night.

The last time these two opened a series in early May, the Mets were the first-place team. Now, the Phillies come to the Mets’ home as the first-place team, with the Mets actually in last, albeit not by a whole lot.

The opening game pitching matchup tonight will feature two guys who barely break 80 on the radar gun, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey for the Mets and soft-tossing 47-year-old lefty Jamie Moyer for the Phillies.

The Mets pounded Moyer for five runs and two home runs on May 2, in the game that Santana blew up. David Wright hit a three-run home run in the first and Rod Barajas added a two-run shot later on as well.

Moyer being on the mound may benefit Jason Bay the most. He has been literally unstoppable, as he’s reached base in nine straight plate appearances…no joke.

After doubling off of Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning of the Mets failed rally on Friday night, Bay hasn’t been retired once. He went 4-for-4 on Saturday night, and 2-for-2 with two home runs, a walk, and hit batsman on Sunday night. That’s 7-for-7 in his last nine plate appearances, with a walk and hit by pitch.

The reason he should benefit from facing Moyer is because he hits soft-tossing lefties pretty well. In his career against Moyer, Bay is 4-for-11 (.364), with one home run and a double.

David Wright should also have a good time of it, as he drove in some clutch runs in the Subway Series and feasts off of left-handed pitching (he’s hitting over .400 against lefties this season).

Meanwhile, the Mets may just having the pitching advantage in this game. They send R.A. Dickey to mound.

On Sunday, the Phillies couldn’t hit Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, and that’s exactly what Dickey is.

Dickey came up last Wednesday and pitched a solid game against the Nationals, although the Mets lost.

With the way the Mets have hit Moyer in the past, and with the struggles the Phillies had against Wakefield, the knuckleballer, the Mets should have the edge in this opening game. 

After throwing 50 pitches in a two-game span on Saturday and Sunday, Mets’ closer Francisco Rodriguez should be ready to go with yesterday’s off-day.

It’ll be interesting to see how Jerry Manuel will utilize Ryota Igarashi after Igarashi’s shaky return off of the disabled list on Sunday.

Manuel seemed frustrated at Igarashi and didn’t cut him any slack by saying “We just need to throw strikes. The only thing that will hurt us [at Citi Field] is walks.”

The Phillies placed their shortstop Jimmy Rollins on the DL, days after taking him off due to a recurring hamstring injury, and they’re without their closer Brad Lidge. Jose Contreras has been saving games for the Phillies.

R.A. Dickey vs. Philadelphia (career)
Has never faced the Phillies

Jamie Moyer vs. New York (May 2)
Win, 6 IP, 5 ER, 6 hits, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2 HR

2010 season series (New York vs. Philadelphia)
April 30 : New York 9, Philadelphia 1
May 1 : Philadelphia 10, New York 0
May 2 : Philadelphia 11, New York 5
Phillies lead series 2-1

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