The Mets (26-29) beat the Phillies (24-29) by a score of 5-4 in 14 innings at Citizens Bank Park.
Jacob deGrom took the ball for New York and was once again solid, striking out 11 in 6.1 innings, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks (with all of the damage coming on a 3-run homer by Ryan Howard). deGrom, however, failed to pick up his first Major League win.
According to historical sources, the Mets jumped on Kyle Kendrick in the 1st inning, scoring 2 runs. Chris Young led off the game with a single and Daniel Murphy followed him with a hit of his own. David Wright was robbed for the 2nd game in a row by a diving Marlon Byrd, and when Curtis Granderson hit one right at Ben Revere in center, it looked like the Mets were on their way to a few more tallies in the LOB column. However, a Bobby Abreu single and a Lucas Duda double gave New York the 1st 2 runs of the afternoon.
The Mets struck again in the top of the 4th, when Ruben Tejada (yes, THAT Ruben Tejada) hit a home run. Thank you, CBP.
deGrom retired the 1st 11 hitters he faced before Chase Utley knocked a single into right field for Philadelphia’s first hit of the ballgame. deGrom got some help in the bottom of the 5th, when Dom Brown was deemed out at 2nd base to end the inning after video review overturned the original call.
Tejada drove in another run in the top of the 6th, singling to left field to bring home Abreu and make it 4-0 Mets.
The Phillies got back into the ballgame in the bottom of the 7th. Jimmy Rollins singled and Utley walked to lead off the inning, and Ryan Howard made deGrom pay for a hanging slider by taking him deep to cut New York’s lead to 1. deGrom bounced back to strike out Byrd before being pulled for Josh Edgin. Edgin retired Brown before immediately being pulled for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had to work around a Daniel Murphy error to get out of the inning unscathed.
Matsuzaka ran into trouble in the 8th, when Ben Revere hit a one-out triple to put the tying run on 3rd for Philadelphia. Rollins hit a ball out to second which Murphy knocked down before recovering and looking towards the plate. Revere, for some reason, chose not to get on his horse, and with the tying run holding at third, Murphy threw out Rollins at 1st for a huge 2nd out. Terry Collins brought in Scott Rice to get the final out, and the frequently-used lefty pitched around Chase Utley before striking out Ryan Howard to end the inning.
Jeurys Familia came in to close things out for the Mets in the bottom of the 9th, but after a leadoff double by Byrd, Brown singled through the hole into left field to tie the game and erase deGrom’s shot at his first win. Familia got the Mets out of the inning alive, and the 2 teams headed to extras.
Familia threw himself back into the frying pan in the bottom of the 10th, allowing a leadoff hit and a stolen base to Revere, and then walking Rollins. Familia got Utley to pop out, and then got Howard to hit what seemed to be a tailor-made double-play ball out to Murphy. Murphy, however, decided to try to tag Rollins instead of throwing to 2nd for the force, and as a result, was only able to get 1 out. With the winning run on 3rd and 2 outs, Marlon Byrd stepped to the plate with a chance to win it for Philadelphia, but with 2 strikes, Familia got the former Met to chase a breaking ball in the dirt to retire the side.
Philadelphia’s Jeff Manship and New York’s Buddy Carlyle (who had been called up from Vegas earlier in the day at Rafael Montero‘s expense) got through the next couple innings without much drama before Buddy ran into some trouble in the 13th. Carlyle gave up a leadoff hit to Byrd and walked Howard, before getting Brown to hit into a double-play. With Byrd at 3rd and 2 outs, Manship came to the plate, looking to get the winning hit after 4 perfect innings of relief. Manship hit a chopper to Tejada that looked like it might win the game, but capsized on his way to first, pulling up lame while trying to beat out a bang-bang play and helping the Mets get out of the jam.
Antonio Bastardo came in to replace Manship and issued a leadoff walk to Tejada, who moved to 2nd on a pinch-hit sacrifice bunt from Juan Lagares, who had been scratched from the lineup before the game with a ribcage injury. Bastardo walked Chris Young intentionally for some reason, and after Murphy popped up for the 2nd out, David Wright came up big with a single to drive in Tejada and give the Mets the lead.
Carlos Torres came in to pitch the bottom of the 14th, and immediately ran into trouble, walking Reid Brignac and giving up a single to Carlos Ruiz to start the frame. However, Torres fanned Revere and got Rollins to line out to Curtis Granderson in left, before striking out Chase Utley to end the ballgame and give the Mets a big win.
We had to win this game, guys. You can’t lose a game in which Ruben Tejada hits a home run.
Speaking of Tejada, he seems to respond well to having his job threatened by Wilmer Flores. The Mets should keep giving Flores some playing time to keep him from rotting on the bench, but also to keep Tejada sharp, apparently…
Every time Chris Young strikes out while Nelson Cruz hits a homer over in Baltimore, I die a little inside.
Our bullpen is getting pretty good. Sure, they blew a lead in the 9th and were in and out of trouble all day long, but keep in mind that they had been asked to pitch 10 innings on Friday night and were tasked with 8 more frames in this ballgame. Familia could really do himself a favor by throwing more strikes, though…
Speaking of throwing strikes, Jacob deGrom seems to have the right idea. As the league adjusts to him and starts getting a bit more aggressive on the 1st pitch, he might have to start mixing in a few first-pitch breaking balls, but he’s shown that he’s pretty good at getting those over the plate, as well. He seems like a Dillon Gee clone, and since Gee doesn’t seem like he’ll be back and healthy any time soon, we need guys like Jacob to keep stepping up like this.
All these extra innings can be taxing on our players. I hope the guys in our bullpen can somehow stay healthy through all of this, but Terry is having to (and sometimes just choosing to) lean on those guys a lot these days. It might help if he stopped having guys like Rice and Edgin depart after just one batter… the problem is, we don’t have any lefties who aren’t LOOGYs. Remember that Venters guy Atlanta had? He’s a real left-handed reliever. Hopefully Edgin can become a good all-around reliever as well, but Rice is what he is at this point.
The Mets’ record in one-run games isn’t good, and it’s probably going to stick out like a sore thumb when we check the standings at the end of the season. But they got a much-needed win today, and have taken 2 out of the 1st 3 here in Philly. Hopefully they can keep it going. It’s always extra satisfying to beat the Phillies. Even their mascot is annoying.
Up Next: The Mets and Phillies will look to settle the score in a more traditional nine innings tomorrow afternoon at CBP. Jon Niese (3-3, 2.74 ERA) will face off against Cole Hamels (1-3, 4.43 ERA) at 1:35 PM.