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Mets scratch Harvey from start vs. Phillies

NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia Phillies are six years removed from their most recent winning campaign and in danger of losing 100 games for the first time since 1961. And yet their present and future may look better on Wednesday than those of the New York Mets.

The Phillies will look to win the rubber match of a three-game series Wednesday night when they visit the Mets at Citi Field. Philadelphia cruised to a 9-1 win Tuesday night, bouncing back from an 11-7 loss in the Monday afternoon opener.

Rookie right-hander Nick Pivetta (5-9, 6.28 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Phillies against ... well, the Mets didn't know who would start for them as of late Tuesday night.

Veteran right-hander Matt Harvey was penciled in to pitch on three days' rest, but Mets manager Terry Collins said following the Tuesday game that Harvey was scratched because the club was concerned about the weather. Heavy rains are forecast for the Citi Field area throughout Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Asked who might start for the Mets, Collins said: "I haven't the faintest idea just yet."

The two likeliest candidates to get the ball are left-hander Tommy Milone (1-3, 7.66 ERA between the Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers) or right-hander Robert Gsellman (5-6, 5.60 ERA), who is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Milone allowed three runs over 2 2/3 innings in relief of Harvey in the Mets' 12-8 loss to the Houston Astros on Saturday.

Gsellman last appeared in the majors Aug. 26, when he took the loss after giving up six runs (two earned) over four innings as the Mets (59-79) fell to the Nationals 9-4 in Washington. He made one start for Las Vegas on Thursday before the Triple-A season concluded.

Milone threw six scoreless innings and earned a no-decision in his only previous start against the Phillies, while Gsellman is 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA in four starts versus Philadelphia.

While the Mets, who have lost 17 of their last 23 as they embark upon a rebuilding plan just two years after reaching the World Series, search high and low for someone to take the mound Wednesday, the Phillies (53-85) can take solace in the likelihood that they will see several future mainstays on the field if the series finale is played.

The lineup Wednesday probably will feature five rookies: Pivetta, first baseman Rhys Hoskins, third baseman J.P. Crawford, catcher Jorge Alfaro and right fielder Nick Williams. The four position players combined to go 8-for-18 Tuesday. Crawford made his major league debut and went 1-for-5 while performing well at third base, a position he played just six times as a minor-leaguer.

"It's nice to see a lot of young guys in the lineup," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Tuesday night. "Every little bit helps. It gives everybody a little spurt of energy going down the stretch. Nice to see."

Pivetta didn't factor into the decision in his most recent start, when he allowed one run over six innings Friday as the Phillies beat the Miami Marlins 2-1. He is 1-0 with a 4.63 ERA in two career starts against the Mets.

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