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Phillies, Mets wrap up series in MLB Little League Classic

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Nick Pivetta and the Philadelphia Phillies take on the New York Mets on Sunday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

By Stephen Pianovich, The Sports Xchange

The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets will meet in the 2018 MLB Little League Classic on Sunday night at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pa.

It's the second year Major League Baseball and Little League have teamed up to put on the event, and players from the Little League World Series will be in attendance and have the chance to meet big leaguers.

The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the initial Little League Classic last season.

[post_ads]"(The 2017) MLB Little League Classic was one of the most historic, memorable occasions in the 70-plus-year history of the Little League Baseball World Series," Little League president and CEO Stephen D. Keener said of last year's game.

Nick Pivetta (7-9, 4.37 ERA) of the Phillies and Jason Vargas (2-8, 8.10) of the Mets will be on the mound in a game sure to bring back some memories for the players.

"I watched (the Little League World Series) as a kid every year, dreaming of being in it, just thinking how cool it would be to even be on TV, not even really knowing the magnitude of it," Phillies outfielder Rhys Hoskins, who grew up in Sacramento, Calif., told MLB.com.

" ... It's kind of refreshing to go back and see the pure joy on these kids' faces, knowing they're just playing a game and are out there to have as much fun as they can."

The teams are wrapping up a five-game series that started with a Thursday doubleheader in Philadelphia.

The Phillies and Mets have each won two of the first four games in the series. The Mets, who won the series opener 24-4, took Saturday's game 3-1 thanks to a complete-game, one-run effort from Jacob deGrom.

Pivetta, who has 153 strikeouts this season, has not won since July 12. But he has been great in August. In three starts this month, Pivetta has a 1.50 ERA, opponents are hitting .194 against him, and he has 19 strikeouts to two walks.

In Pivetta's last start, he allowed one run and three hits in six innings against the Boston Red Sox, who have the best offense in baseball.
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Pivetta, 25, has not faced the Mets this year, but he pitched four games against them in 2017, his first major league season. He went 2-1 with a 4.98 ERA in those outings.

Vargas, meanwhile, is coming off the longest of his 13 starts this season. He went six innings against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, giving up two runs and five hits. Vargas has pitched five innings or fewer in all his other starts this season, and the Mets are 2-11 when he pitches.

The 35-year-old left-hander will make his fifth career appearance (third start) against the Phillies. Vargas is 1-0 with a 4.02 ERA and 1.34 WHIP against Philadelphia.

Asdrubal Cabrera, who was traded by the Mets to the Phillies on July 27, is 7-for-16 with a solo home run and double versus Vargas. Cabrera (.269, 20 home runs, 66 RBIs) is batting .221 in 19 games with Philadelphia.

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Sports - U.S. Daily News: Phillies, Mets wrap up series in MLB Little League Classic
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