Matt Harvey has New York feeling good about the future, but Kelly Shoppach's surprisingly clutch performance has the Mets on their longest winning streak in two months.
The Philadelphia Phillies have every reason to believe Cole Hamels can stop it.Harvey will try to lead the Mets to a fourth straight win while Hamels looks to continue his recent outstanding stretch Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.New York (60-69) has won three in a row for the first time since a four-game run June 27-30. The current surge, which includes Tuesday's 9-5, 10-inning victory over Philadelphia (61-68), has been a welcome change for a team that previously endured a 4-14 run.Shoppach helped keep the Mets rolling in the opener of this three-game series, connecting for a game-tying double in the eighth before delivering a two-run homer in the 10th after Ike Davis' RBI double gave them the lead for good.Shoppach was 4 for 17 with one homer and seven strikeouts in his first six games with New York after being acquired from Boston two weeks ago.It's unclear if Shoppach will be behind the plate again, but Harvey (2-3, 2.75 ERA) is slated to take the mound as New York goes for an eighth win in nine tries in Philadelphia.The right-hander has a 1.32 ERA over his last two starts, going 1-0 with 17 strikeouts and three walks in 13 2/3 innings. He's fanned 43 in 36 innings since arriving in the majors, the most through six games in franchise history.Harvey -- who's also 5 for 11 at the plate thus far -- struck out nine while allowing one run and three hits in six innings last Wednesday against Colorado."Extremely impressed with the way he handled himself, pitching out of trouble, electric stuff again," manager Terry Collins said. "He asks all the right questions. He pays attention. He's the first guy on the bench before the game starts. He's there throughout the game. He listens. He wants to learn."He truly is living up to that, 'I'm not here to be one of the guys. I'm here to be THE guy.' And we think we've got some more coming."Hamels (14-6, 2.99) has already carved out that reputation, and Wednesday he'll get a second crack at matching his career high in victories.Each of the left-hander's last four starts have ended in wins for the Phillies, who had a four-game winning streak snapped Tuesday. He's 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in that stretch, and could have used some help in his most recent outing.Hamels allowed three runs and six hits in six innings while the offense stranded a season-high 16 runners in a 4-3 victory in 11 versus Cincinnati on Thursday.Run support hasn't been an issue in his three starts against the Mets this year, as he's received an average of 6.55 while going 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 22 innings.Hamels beat New York at home on April 15, yielding two runs and fanning 10 in seven innings of an 8-2 victory.Ryan Howard had a grand slam Tuesday, and is hitting .303 with four homers and 13 RBIs in his last eight meetings with the Mets.