(Sports Network) - A rookie phenom faces a big-ticket ace tonight when the New York Mets return to Citizens Bank Park for the middle game of a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Mets start first-year righty Matt Harvey, a 23-year-old Connecticut native making the seventh start of his initial big-league stint.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings in a 3-1 defeat of Arizona in his debut on July 26, then dropped three straight starts to San Francisco, San Diego and Atlanta between July 31 and Aug. 10.
He scored a second win at Cincinnati on Aug. 18 and got a no-decision in an Aug. 22 meeting with Colorado while combining to allow seven hits and two runs across 13 2/3 innings of work.
Harvey has permitted a .186 opposition batting average in 36 combined innings.
Philadelphia starts lefty Cole Hamels, already a six-time double-digit winner in the major leagues since debuting in 2006.
The 17th overall pick of the 2002 draft, Hamels put together seasons with 15, 14, 10, 12 and 14 wins before this season, which saw him get to 14 wins again with a 4-3 defeat of Milwaukee on Aug. 18 in which he struck out 10.
Hamels was expected by some to leave via trade at the deadline this season, but the Phillies retained his services with a six-year, $144 million contract.
In 20 career starts against the Mets, he is just 5-10 with a 4.39 earned run average in 123 combined innings.
On Tuesday, Ike Davis hit a go-ahead RBI double during a four-run 10th inning and the Mets came back to defeat the Phillies, 9-5.
Davis, who hit a walkoff homer against the Houston Astros on Sunday, drove in David Wright with a double to the left-field gap against B.J. Rosenberg (0-2).
Lucas Duda followed with an RBI single before Kelly Shoppach helped send the Mets to their third consecutive win with a towering homer into the seats in left field.
"They're gonna play it out," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "There's guys playing for jobs, there's guys playing for careers and there's still a lot of fight."
Bobby Parnell (4-3) tossed two scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory.
The Mets won eight of the first 12 games between the teams in 2012, including two of three in the most recent series in New York from July 3-5. Philadelphia took the 2011 season series, 11-7.