Mets Outlast Phillies

Like yesterday, the finale of the three game set between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies promised to be a real pitchers’ duel. It didn’t quite pan out that way due to the relative control issues of both starting pitchers.

With respect to Max Scherzer, he struggled out of the gate walking three in the first before he recorded two outs. As a testament to his status as a true ace, Scherzer would get out of it by striking out Jean Segura before getting Didi Gregorius to ground out to end the inning.

That first inning cost Scherzer as he would have to leave the game after five partially because he had already thrown 96 pitches. The only run he allowed was in the fourth when Bryson Stott singled home Nick Castellanos after Castellons led off the inning with a double. Overall, he left on the long side of the ledger after allowing one run on five hits and three walks while striking out seven.

By no means was this is good start by Scherzer, at least not by his standards. That said, it was more than good enough to get the Mets the win.

On the other side, Aaron Nola didn’t get out of the fourth. There may have been some issue with the ball early on because he too struggled with control to start the game, and he also walked three in the game. Still, the Mets were not able to get to him until Brandon Nimmo homered in the third:

The fourth inning is where the Mets offense started to take off. After Starling Marte singled to start the inning, Pete Alonso doubled him home. That’s when the Mets batters started getting plunked again. After Eduardo Escobar drew a walk, Mark Canha and Jeff McNeil would get plunked to force home a run.

Seranthony Dominguez relieved Nola, and he got Tomas Nido to hit into an inning ending double play. The Mets were up 3-0 at this point, but they were far from done.

After the Phillies got one in the fourth, the Mets got it back in the fifth. Francisco Lindor hit a one out double, and he would score on Alonso’s two out double. If nothing else, you could see in this game just how well Alonso is handling the DH position this season. In fact, he wasn’t done after those doubles.

In the sixth, the Mets appeared to blow the game wide open. Nido singled, and Nimmo walked. After a Lindor fielder’s choice advanced the runners, Marte drove home Nido with an RBI single. Alonso brought home the rest with a three run homer.

At that point, it was 8-1, and the Mets should have had smooth sailing. Of course, with the state of the Mets bullpen, that’s not what happened.

Sean Reid-Foley struggled. Right away, he hit Segura on the hand knocking him out of the game. SRF followed that by walking Gregorius. For a moment, it seemed Johan Camargo hit a two RBI double, but upon replay, it was ruled foul. Instead, Camargo brought one home with an RBI single. Successive RBI groundouts by Stott and Matt Vierling pulled the Phillies to within 8-3.

Buck Showalter went to Joely Rodriguez to get Kyle Schwarber and get out of the inning. Rodriguez did his job, but for some reason, with J.T. Realmuto leading off the next inning, Showalter stuck with him. Apparently, Showalter never learned his lesson.

Rodriguez would walk Realmuto and Bryce Harper back-to-back to start the inning. After letting him collect dust, Showalter went to Adam Ottavino. Ottavino was greeted with an excuse me RBI double, and then he allowed Alec Bohm to hit a sacrifice fly to pull the Phillies to within 8-5.

After Gregorius flew out to short, McNeil made a big play keeping a Camargo single in the infield. That kept Castellanos from scoring, and he would not score after Stott lined out to end the inning.

Fortunately, Seth Lugo would come on and pitch a perfect eighth to stabilize things.

In the top of the ninth, Escobar hit a one out triple against Bailey Falter. There was question whether it was a homer or not, but it was ruled fan interference. As Escobar busted it out of the box, and he made it safely to third, the umpires used their discretion in fan interference cases to put him on third.

Smith followed with a fly ball to shallow left. Joey Cora had another horrible send. With even a semi-competent throw, Escobar was dead to rights. Fortuantely, Castellanos made a horrendous throw, and Escobar was safe expanding the Mets lead to 9-5.

Edwin Diaz came on for the ninth, and he was greeted with a Harper homer. Diaz would rebound from there to get Castellanos to strike out. Diaz retired the final two. It was not a save situation, but considering the craziness of the final few innings, it might as well have been.

The Mets have now won their first two road series before returning home for Opening Day. All-in-all, it was an adventure, but the Mets held on to win.

Game Notes: Clayton Kershaw was pulled after seven perfect innings against the Minnesota Twins. Fortunately, the Los Angeles Dodgers would lose the perfect game and the no-hitter. Dominic Smith has had a terrible start to the season going 1-for-11 at the plate with eight strikeouts.