Mets Ninth Inning Rally Comes Up Short in 5-3 Loss to Phillies

New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo

The New York Mets had an opportunity to fight their way back into first place against the Philadelphia Phillies but squandered the opportunity with their lack of offense. For the Phillies, their 5-3 victory was their seventh straight and put them in a terrific position to sweep the weekend series.

The loss for the Mets had plenty of reoccurring themes that have plagued them during their cold streak. Tylor Megill cruised through four scoreless innings to begin his outing but again ran into trouble in the fifth inning. Brad Miller‘s solo homer opened up the scoring and Odubel Herrera‘s majestic three-run shot capped off a four-run inning for the Phils. Megill has now allowed nine runs and four homers in the fifth inning this season as he struggles with getting deep into the game.

Disappointing Bats

The offense was the same ugly disaster it has become all season. The Mets had just two hits through the first eight innings, and their only extra-base hit belonged to Megill. In the ninth inning, they attempted a comeback when three consecutive home runs from Michael Conforto, Jonathan Villar, and James McCann opened the inning. After getting runners on first and second, Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis made Ian Kennedy look like Aroldis Chapman by striking out to end the game.

The Mets were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. During the Alonso and Davis strikeouts, it was clear how bad the Mets have become at hitting fastballs. Kennedy was only in the mid-90s, but they made his fastball look like it was 102 mph. Whether it is the game plan or lack of execution, it is inexcusable for an entire team to struggle this badly with fastballs.

On Sunday, the Mets will attempt to crawl out of Philadelphia with some dignity against Zack Wheeler. Taijuan Walker gets the ball for the Mets at 1:05 p.m. ET from Citizens Bank Park.

 

Wheeler Makes It Looks Easy in Phillies 4-2 Win Over Mets

The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies faced offensive issues throughout the series, with four being the magic total. The Phillies bullpen cost them a potential sweep of the series, but they had enough of a cushion to leave with a split, winning 4-2.

Zack Wheeler was coming off his worse start of the season and rebounded at the place where his career began. He pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out six. The win was Wheeler’s 20th career win in 63 career starts at Citi Field.

Marcus Stroman usually enjoys pitching at home but was not at his best as he only lasted three innings. Stroman was pitching with a heavy heart after his grandmother passed away a few days ago. He allowed four runs (two earned), five hits, and three strikeouts. Despite the rough start, the bullpen picked him up once he left the game. Corey Oswalt pitched four shutout innings, and Drew Smith threw two shutout innings, which kept the Mets alive.

The Mets made numerous comebacks against the Phillies and had six outs to manufacture four runs. Unfortunately, the deficit was too much as all they managed was a Pete Alonso single, and Kevin Pillar‘s home run gave them a run in the eighth and ninth inning. While the Mets managed seven hits, Wheeler’s dominance was made it impossible for them to mount and legitimate rallies.

With the loss, the Mets NL East lead drops to four games as they head to Washington to face the second-place Nationals. It will be a one-game stop with Jerad Eickhoff making his second start against an unknown starter for the Nats.

Mets Game Preview: (6/26/21) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (35-38)

After splitting their doubleheader on Friday, the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies play the third game of their weekend series. Both games finished with 2-1 scores and went to extra innings as the offense was minimal. Saturday afternoon’s game is scheduled for a 4:10 p.m. start if they avoid the rain.

The Mets offense is in the middle of a horrible slump where they can barely put up runs on a nightly basis. Their seven-run outburst against the Atlanta Braves was a glimmer of hope that the offense would get going, but they have disappointed in the following games. Game one of the doubleheader saw Aaron Nola tie Tom Seaver’s record with ten consecutive strikeouts.

The Phillies’ offense was just as bad on Friday, but their bullpen almost allowed the Mets to take both games. They blew both saves and have a 4.41 ERA on the season, which has forced a closer change. Jose Alvarado was handed the job but failed in game one, and former closer Hector Neris recorded the save in game two. The five best relievers the Phillies use all pitched on Friday, which gives the Mets some leverage heading into today’s game.

Pitching Matchup

Jacob deGrom takes the mound looking to add to his historic season. In his last start, he threw five innings and struck out six on 70 pitches. deGrom has not thrown more than 90 pitches since April due to the Mets treating his workload very carefully. He should be in the 80-85 range if he is on top of his game like usual. deGrom is a notorious day game assassin with a 1.84 ERA in 62 starts, the best of all time.

Zach Eflin starts for the Phillies and is looking to rebound from a rough start against the San Francisco Giants. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits over five innings. Eflin has struggled against the Mets in 12 career starts, where he has a 5.00 ERA. Earlier this season, he pitched six innings, allowing ten hits but just two runs against the Mets.

Matchups To Look For 

Zach Eflin vs. Michael Conforto: 10-for-29 (.345), 2 Doubles, 3 Home Runs, Walk, 5 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. J.T. Realmuto: 4-for-27 (.148), Double, 10 Strikeouts

Mets Escape Philadelphia By Inches In 8-7 Victory Over Phillies

What the hell just happened?

The New York Mets survived the final game of their three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies thanks to the convenience of instant replay. Rhys Hoskins seemed to rip out the hearts over every Mets fan with a three-run game-tying home run off Edwin Diaz in the ninth.

Thanks to the wonders of instant replay, Hoskins hit the tippy-top of the fence, which changed his home run to a double. Unfortunately, Diaz had to leave the game with an undisclosed injury. Jeurys Familia came in with ice in his veins to strike out Bryce Harper and allow the Mets to crawl away with a victory.

On the offensive side for the Mets, Jose Alvarado made a horrible mistake by waking up a sleeping giant on Friday. Donnie Stevenson was born and has led the Mets to two victories against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Before diving into Alvarado’s lack of control, who would have thought Kevin Pillar and Jonathan Villar would begin a Mets comeback? In the eighth, Pillar brought the Mets within a run with his home run against Brandon Kintzler. Villar found just enough space to record a single up the middle, then wreaked havoc on the bases.

Bullpen Issues on Both Sides

Kintzler spent plenty of time occupied with Villar’s speed over the next two batters. With Villar on the move, Jose Peraza lined a single, and it banged right off the first baseman Hoskins glove. If Hoskins snagged it, the Phillies get a double play to end the inning, but it kept the Mets alive. Once Hoskins picked up the ball to make matters worse, he lobbed it back to the infield, and aggressive baserunning from Villar caught the Phils napping to tie the game.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and the Mets handed a frozen platter to Alvarado. After allowing a first-pitch single, Alvarado walked Francisco Lindor and Michael Conforto consecutively to give the Mets a 5-4 lead. Phillies manager Joe Girardi turned the ball over to David Hale, who provided little relief. Pete Alonso blew the door wide open with a bases-clearing double to cap off the rally and give the Mets an 8-4 lead.

David Peterson looked like he would leave his start early after the Phillies were hitting rockets off him. A masterful double play from McNeil and Lindor gave Peterson all the momentum he needed to allow him to survive. Peterson did more than survive by getting through five innings, holding the Phils to just one run, and recording eight strikeouts.

Why Diaz?

For both team’s bullpens, making it out alive was the name of the game. At first, it looked like Miguel Castro would become the only casualty. Castro allowed a three-run homer to Didi Gregorius in the sixth inning, giving Phillies a 4-2 lead. The bullpen was due to hit a bump in the road. Heading into the night, they had thrown 18 consecutive scoreless innings.

Manager Luis Rojas managed the game very well until he decided to use Diaz when he did not need to. Rojas easily could have turned to Familia, Sean Reid-Foley, or Robert Gsellman with Diaz as an insurance policy. It was evident from a four-pitch walk that Diaz would not be at his best and resulted in suffering an injury.

Somehow the Mets are 11-11 and back to a tie for first place in the NL East. They will head to St. Louis to face the Cardinals for a four-game series starting on Monday. Even though it was ugly, the Mets needed to get a couple of wins on the board and hope to carry their momentum on the rest of the road trip.

 

Mets Game Preview: (5/1/21) @ Philadelphia Phillies (13-13)

It is gut-check time for the New York Mets after the Philadelphia Phillies bullied their way to a win on Friday. Game two of the series is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. ET from Citizens Bank Park, and there figures to be plenty of animosity after yesterday’s fireworks.

The bench-clearing issue between Jose Alvarado and Dominic Smith highlighted Friday night’s game. It slightly dimmed the spotlight on the struggling offense that only managed to put up one run and allowed two unearned runs to score. As professionals, the Mets avoided any fight that would have led to suspensions, but there is certainly frustration and anger heading into Saturday’s matchup.

Alvarado’s could be what the Mets need to wake them up as the calendar flips to May. A victory gets them back to .500 and puts the Mets back in a tie for first place. Tensions always run high between Philly and New York, and when both teams are good, they heighten even more. Look for the Mets to get their offense going early and attempt to carry it through the rest of the series.

Pitching Matchup

Taijuan Walker was on the front lines when the benches cleared and gets his chance to get some payback on the field. He is coming off his best start of the season, where he pitched seven shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs. Walks are still a small issue, but he limited the Cubs to just three.

Zack Wheeler has been nothing short of spectacular this season with his 3.13 ERA. In his last start against the St. Louis Cardinals, he went eight innings, allowed one run, and struck out nine. Wheeler also threw a season-high 114 pitches and should be fully ready to match the same number if he pitches well again.

Matchups To Lookout For

Taijuan Walker vs. Andrew McCutchen: 1-for-8 (.125), Double, 4 Strikeouts

Zack Wheeler vs. J.D. Davis: 4-for-9 (.444), 2 Doubles, Home Run, 2 Strikeouts

Zack Wheeler vs. Dominic Smith: 6-for-13 (.462), Double, 3 Strikeouts

Mets Offense Barely Shows Up For 2-1 Loss to Phillies

The New York Mets offense continues to fail hilariously, and the Philadelphia Phillies added insult to injury. In the bottom of the eighth, the Mets had their best chance to take the lead against the wild Jose Alvarado. Dominic Smith wasted a 3-0 count with runners on second and third and struck out to leave to tying and lead runs on base.

The fired-up Alvarado made a gesture toward Smith to shut his mouth after Smith was vocal about his lack of control earlier this season. It looked like Alvarado was welcoming a fight as well, and Smith wanted all the smoke. Much like fights in the NBA, the guy who starts it ended up backing away once there was any action. Also, much like MLB fights, nothing came of the bench clearings.

An unfortunate stat from the loss is that the Mets had more bench clearings than runs scored. Another ugly number is their 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position with nine men left on base. Smith was responsible for the lone run with his RBI single but other than that; this was another dreadful game. The Phillies did nothing to earn their runs either as a passed ball in the second inning allowed their only two runs to score.

Stroman’s Strong Outing

Marcus Stroman‘s outing is lost in all of the late-inning chaos. He only needed 64 pitched to make it through five innings but was removed due to a left hamstring issue. Stroman had eight strikeouts, which was his season-high, but fell victim as another tough-luck loser to the Mets offense.

If this rock bottom loss to end the month does not light a fire under the Mets, nothing will. They handed the Phillies their runs, wasted 14 opportunities to score, and were actively challenged to a fight. Hopefully, they can turn the calendar to May and flush the crazy month of April away. Saturday’s matchup will be a true test of the type of character this team is made of.

Taijuan Walker was on the front lines when the bench cleared and will start against former Met Zack Wheeler. The game will start an hour earlier at 6:05 p.m. ET and be ready for plenty of fireworks as the series continues.

Mets Game Preview: (4/30/21) @ Philadelphia Phillies (12-13)

Simeon Woods-Richardson

After taking a day off, the New York Mets take a trip to Philadelphia to face the Phillies in a three-game weekend series. Both teams enter one game under the .500 mark, but both sit in a three-way tie for first place in the NL East. The first pitch from Citizens Bank Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET as both teams try to close out April on a high note.

If there were ever a place for the Mets to revive their offense, the hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park is the perfect place. The Mets have only scored more than four runs in just three games this season and are dead last in MLB in runs scored. They hit a new low in the two-game series against the Boston Red Sox with just nine hits and one run. Their only bright spot has been their pitching staff with a 3.05 ERA, the fourth-lowest in baseball. If the bats ever wake up, they will immediately become a very dangerous team.

The Phillies have cooled off after their hot start to the season and come off a split in a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Their bullpen has regressed to the 2020 form with their ERA at 4.62 and has allowed 14 home runs. They also lead MLB in the most walk-off losses. Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto are the offensive leaders, but there has been little help elsewhere. Rhys Hoskins is 13-for-65 (.200) over the last 16 games, but six of those hits have been homers. Jean Segura is also in the IL with a Quad injury.

Pitching Matchup

Marcus Stroman looks to rebound from his first tough outing of the young season. He only lasted four innings against the Washington Nationals, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits which were all singles. In 12 innings against the Phillies this season, Stroman has allowed just one run and held them to a .171 batting average.

Chase Anderson is also hoping to bounce back from a rough start against the Colorado Rockies. In just 3.2 innings, he allowed six runs on the same amount of hits and inflated his ERA to 6.48. Anderson has very similar lines in his two prior starts against the Mets this year, allowing four runs in nine innings. His first start against the Mets was his longest so far, but he only pitched five innings.

Matchups To Lookout For

Marcus Stroman vs. Matt Joyce: 5-for-15 (.333), Double, Home Run, 5 Walks, 3 Strikeouts

Marcus Stroman vs. J.T. Realmuto: 5-for-10 (.500), Walk, Strikeout

Chase Anderson vs. Dominic Smith: 2-for-5 (.400), 2 Home Runs, Walk, 2 Strikeouts

Chase Anderson vs. Michael Conforto: 3-for-17 (.176), 3 Home Runs, 2 Walks, 4 Strikeouts

Villar Caps Off Comeback With Walk-Off Single in 4-3 Victory

The New York Mets sleepwalking offense desperately needed something to wake themselves up, and they finally found it their 4-3 walk-off win. It looked like the Mets would play in another miserable doubleheader after the Philadelphia Phillies took the lead in the top half of the inning, but there was no quit in them. Against closer Hector Neris, Pete Alonso led off the eighth with a lined single to tie the game, and Jonathan Villar‘s bases-loaded single brought the Mets back to .500.

The eighth inning started ugly as Trevor May ran into tough luck. James McCann‘s passed ball led to runners on second and third, then Didi Gregorious’s squib single allowed the Phillies to take a 3-2 lead. Miguel Castro suffered a similar fate when he allowed an infield single to Jean Segura, which allowed the Phillies to tie the game in the sixth inning. Both May and Castro were dominant in their outings and are proving to be their best relievers early in the season.

Sky WalKKKKKKKKer

Taijuan Walker had the strikeout pitch working as he recorded eight in 4.1 innings pitched. Due to the urgency of a seven-inning game, manager Luis Rojas opted not to stretch him out. Walker continued to show a fastball in the mid-90s, and he featured a slider which became his best secondary pitch.

Dominic Smith also made an impact both with the bat and with his mouth. His 2-run home run provided all the offense against Phillies starter Chase Anderson. It was his second one off of Anderson this season, except this one came on a fastball that was actually in the strike zone. When Jose Alvarado threw two consecutive up and in pitches to Michael Conforto, the latter drilling him on the hand, Smith was vocal toward Alvarado to cut it out. No altercation resulted from it, but it was clear that Smith was not happy with Alvarado’s lack of control at 99-100 mph.

Game two of the doubleheader will begin at 8:05 p.m. and features a good pitching matchup. Marcus Stroman faces Aaron Nola in the nightcap.

Mets Game Preview (4/12/21): 7:10 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Phillies (6-3)

The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies hope to play the first game of a four-game series at Citi Field if the weather holds up. Each team comes off of Sunday’s games riddled with controversy. The Mets wasted Marcus Stroman‘s start by forcing a game in the rain and the Phillies stole a win off a controversial call in the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves.

The Mets split their two games against the Miami Marlins but should have taken both easily. Their offense has started slow out of the gates and they were lucky to even take the first game of the series. Jeff McNeil’s game-tying home run tied it in the ninth inning and Michael Conforto‘s elbow won it with an awkward hit by pitch. In game 2, the Mets were shutout and wasted Jacob deGrom’s 14-strikeout effort.

The Phillies are rolling on all cylinders to start their season. Their 6-3 record puts them in first place in the NL East but they lost two of three games to the Atlanta Braves over the weekend. J.T. Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins are the team’s leading hitters with .333 and .306 batting averages. Jose Alvarado, Hector Neris, and Connor Brogdon are the three anchors leading their bullpen. They have allowed just one run in 14.1 combined innings pitched.

Pitching Matchups

David Peterson looks to rebound from his first outing against the Phillies where he allowed six runs in four innings. It started ugly for Peterson as Alec Bohm (solo) and Rhys Hoskins (three-run) tagged him for home runs in the first inning. There is no doubt there will be an emphasis on keeping Hoskins in check this time out.

Chase Anderson makes his second start again the Mets and did a terrific job of battling the first time. He only pitched five innings and struck out three but held the offense just to one run. Anderson is notorious for allowing home runs but only allowed one to Dominic Smith on a ball that was at his shoulders.

Matchups To Lookout For

Chase Anderson vs. Michael Conforto: 3-for-15 (.200), 3 Home Runs, 2 Walks, 4 Strikeouts

David Peterson vs. Rhys Hoskins: 4-for-5 (.800), 2 Doubles, 2 Home Runs, Strikeout

Mets Cannot Recover From Peterson’s First Inning in 8-2 Loss to Phillies

Simeon Woods-Richardson

David Peterson‘s first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies symbolized the New York Mets issues during their opening series. Flat, rusty, and a step slow as the Phillies tagged Peterson for four runs to put the Mets in an early first-inning hole. Rhys Hoskins‘s solo home run and Alec Bohm‘s three-run homer gave them a 4-0 lead they never looked back from in their 8-2 victory.

Peterson bookended three shutout innings with ugly first and fifth innings. Hoskins got to Peterson again with a double in the fifth, and Bryce Harper‘s drag bunt gave the Phillies a first and third situation. Peterson left the game, and Jacob Barnes made his Mets debut in relief but gave the Mets little help. J.T. Realmuto swatted Barnes’s first pitch over the right field fence to put the game out of reach at 7-1.

Wasted Opportunities

The Mets offense made Phillies ace Aaron Nola worked extremely hard through his four innings of work. Nola worked around eight baserunners to hold the Mets to one run on 92 pitches. The ability to get runners on base but failure to score them was the story of their game. They recorded 11 hits but left 14 runners on base and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Combine all those factors, and you get their two-run effort. Michael Conforto struggled the most in his 0-for-5 day with two strikeouts and nine left on base.

The silver lining from the game is Joey Lucchesi‘s two innings to finish off the loss. Lucchesi struck out two and only allowed one hit as he tries to keep himself ready for a start next week. Jonathan Villar also finished a home run shy of the cycle.

A 1-2 start to year always stings, but a full 162 game season allows plenty of time to rebound from a rough start. The Mets return to Citi Field for their home opener, with Taijuan Walker making his Mets debut. They will face the Miami Marlins, who have not announced a starter yet due to the current injuries in their rotation. The first pitch from Queens is at 1:05 p.m.