3 takeaways from the Mets’ international series split with the Philadelphia Phillies

[US, Mexico & Canada customers only] June 9, 2024; London, UNITED KINGDOM;  New York Mets players Drew Smith, Luis Torrens and Francisco Lindor celebrate after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies during a London Series baseball game at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Childs/Reuters via USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matthew Childs/Reuters via USA TODAY Sports

After sweeping the Washington Nationals, the Mets traveled across the pond for their first international series since 2010 as they faced off against National League East rival Philadelphia Phillies in a two-game London series.

Mets split international series with Philadelphia Phillies

The Mets took an early 1-0 lead courtesy of an RBI double by Starling Marte in the bottom of the first, but the Phillies would put up a six spot in the top of the fourth, and the blue and orange couldn’t mount a comeback as they dropped game one 7-2. 

The Phillies jumped out to a 3-0 lead in game two before Brandon Nimmo hit an RBI double, and J.D. Martinez hit a two-RBI single to tie the game at three. David Dahl would hit a pinch-hit solo shot in the bottom of the seventh to give the Phillies the lead.

The blue and orange would rally in the top of the ninth when Mark Vientos tied the game with an infield single before Pete Alonso got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give the Mets the lead. Jose Iglesias would come around to score on a wild pitch to give the Amazins a crucial insurance run.

The Phillies would rally in the bottom of the ninth, but Drew Smith escaped a bases-loaded jam as the Mets held on to win 6-5.

Starling Marte’s fielding woes continue

Jun 3, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets outfielder Starling Marte (6) scores a run on a sacrifice fly by Mets outfielder Harrison Bader (not pictured) against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After an injury-riddled 2023 campaign, Marte’s bat has come back to life, but in exchange, the 35-year-old has struggled defensively.

On Saturday, Marte had a chance to kill the Phillies fourth inning rally after just one run had been scored when Sean Manaea generated a fly ball to right that had a 95% catch probability. Instead, the 35-year-old let the ball hit the turf, and the Phillies scored five more runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Savant, Marte has been the worst right fielder in all of baseball in terms of runs prevented (negative seven) and outs above average (negative eight). With plenty of solid fielders on the team, it may be time to consider moving Marte to a designated hitter role.

Luis Torrens showing his value to the Mets

Jun 5, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA;New York Mets catcher Luis Torrens (13) celebrates while rounding the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Washington Nationals during the sixth inning  at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets may have already won the Luis Torrens trade. Torrens followed up a terrific series against the Nationals with an equally as impressive performance against the Phillies, going 2-for-6 while scoring a run and also drawing a walk alongside making the play of the series in completing a 2-3 double play to clinch the 6-5 Mets win.

If Torrens keeps performing like this, president of baseball operations David Stearns will have a difficult decision to make when Francisco Álvarez is ready to come off the injured list.

 Iglesias continues to make the most of his opportunity

After being out of the major leagues since 2022, Iglesias has made the most of his return to the majors. The Cuban native went 2-for-4 with a double against the Phillies while scoring the eventual game-winning run as a pinch hitter on Sunday. Iglesias is making the most of his chance and has relegated Jeff McNeil for now.

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