Both starters in Sunday's series finale between the Mets and Phillies are where they are due to rotation injuries that have plagued both clubs this season.
Zach Eflin began the season on the outside of the Phillies rotation looking in, but got an early chance when Clay Buchholz went down with an injury. Eflin made eight starts from mid-April through May, posting a 2.81 ERA in the first five, and a whopping 13.20 ERA in the last three, during which he allowed at least seven runs after never allowing more than three in his first five outings.
Eflin, one of 10 pitchers to start a game for the Phillies this year, was demoted at the end of May and made eight appearances for Triple-A Lehigh Valley before rejoining the rotation earlier this week. His return went swimmingly, as he tossed seven innings and allowed two runs against the Braves.
The Mets, all too familiar with injury-plagued starters, turn to their own fill-in, Chris Flexen, to start Sunday. Flexen, New York's No. 16 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, and the 12th starter the Mets have utilized this season, has an 8.49 ERA in 11 2/3 innings, but won his first Major League game last time out after allowing three earned runs in 5 2/3 against the Rangers.
Three things to know about this game
• Michael Conforto homered on Friday and became the third player in Mets history with 25 homers in a season at age 24 or younger.
• With Rhys Hoskins' callup earlier in the series, the Phillies have had 12 players make their MLB debut in 2017, tied for the league lead with the Yankees, and their most in a season since 1996 (16 debuts).
• Sunday will continue the Phillies Alumni Weekend celebration. Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, Darren Daulton and World Series-winning manager Dallas Green all passed away over the course of this season and will be honored. All three are on the Phillies Wall of Fame.
Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.