The Mets (56-61) beat the Phillies (52-65) by a score of 2-1 on Saturday night in Philadelphia.
Dillon Gee got the start for the Mets and was very solid, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks in 7 innings, striking out 4. Dillon tossed 109 pitches to get through his outing.
Both offenses got off to slow starts in this game, and there were no real scoring threats through the first few innings. Marlon Byrd hit a deep drive to center in the bottom of the 2nd against Gee, but Juan Lagares was there as usual to make the catch. Lagares was drilled in the shoulder by Phillies starter Cole Hamels to give the Mets their first baserunner leading off the top of the 3rd, but was erased when Wilmer Flores hit into a double-play.
The Mets got their first hit of the game when Curtis Granderson led off the top of the 4th by bunting away from the shift (the 2nd time he has done so in the past few days). After Daniel Murphy traded places with Grandy on a Fielder’s Choice, David Wright walked, putting runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. However, Murphy was caught trying to steal 3rd for the 2nd out, and Eric Campbell lined out to Byrd to end the threat.
New York broke through against Hamels in the top of the 5th. After Duda singled to lead off the inning and moved to 2nd when a ball got by Carlos Ruiz behind the plate, Travis d’Arnaud walked to bring Lagares to the plate. Juan blooped one into left that fell in front of Domonic Brown (who would have caught it if he had been Juan Lagares) for a single, but Duda held up at 3rd, bringing Flores to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. Flores hit a hard shot to the left side, but a diving Cody Asche knocked it down at 3rd base and fired to 2nd to get the 1st out. Duda came in with the game’s first run, but Asche had cost Flores a base hit and an extra RBI. After Gee popped one up while trying to bunt with men on the corners for the 2nd out, Granderson lined out to left to end the inning as Hamels escaped from the jam with just 1 run on the ledger.
The Mets got a couple more baserunners in the top of the 6th when Wright walked and Campbell singled with 1 out, but a pretty hard-hit one-hopper from Duda found a glove and turned into an inning-ending double-play. Another runner was left in scoring position in the top of the 7th after the Mets could not cash in on Lagares’ 1-out double.
Gee came out for the bottom of the 7th and got the first 2 hitters to pop-out to Duda in foul territory, but Carlos Ruiz crushed a solo shot to left to tie it up at 1-1. Dillon bounced back to retire Grady Sizemore and finish a strong outing.
Jake Diekman and Jonathan Papelbon came out of the bullpen for Philadelphia and stifled the Mets for a couple innings, while Josh Edgin and Vic Black held down the fort for New York. The teams headed to extras with the score still even at 1-1.
The Mets couldn’t put anything together against Ken Giles in the top of the 10th. But after Dana Eveland retired the Phillies 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame, New York’s offense put something together in the top of the 11th. Granderson led off against Antonio Bastardo and looped a base hit into center to get things started. After Daniel Murphy flew out, Wright singled into left field, and Granderson went 1st-to-3rd on the play to put men on the corners with 1 out. After Campbell walked, Duda came through with a base-hit into right field to plate Grandy with the go-ahead run. Justin De Fratus came in and induced a pop-out from d’Arnaud before striking out Lagares to end the threat, but the damage had been done.
Jeurys Familia came in to pitch the bottom of the 11th, looking to close things out for the Mets. Familia retired Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, but Ryan Howard singled and Marlon Byrd walked, bringing Brown to the plate with the tying run on 2nd and the winning run on 1st. Familia got Brown to ground one out to Flores, who fired it over to Duda at first to seal the victory for New York.
Gee looked good tonight, which was encouraging to see as he seeks to settle back into the groove he was in before he got hurt. The Phillies have always dominated Gee, but that wasn’t the case tonight. Great start from Dillon, now hopefully we can get Jon Niese going…
Familia made things a bit tense at the end, but he got it done. Jenrry Mejia was out tonight after pitching 2 straight games with a sore calf. It looks like Mejia’s suffered a couple tweaks lately (it looked like something was wrong against the Braves in that game he lost, but that might have been the calf), and if he is hurt, the Mets should rest him so he doesn’t end up changing his mechanics and hurting his elbow. Still, it was nice to see Familia step in tonight. Black, Edgin, and Eveland all pitched effectively as well. Remember Jose Valverde?
We left way too many runners stranded tonight. But Duda got a big hit in the 11th, so we escaped with a win anyway. Still, it’d be nice to see the Mets improve their situational hitting a bit. The one semi-frustrating play I really can’t complain about is Flores’ “ground-out” in the 5th. Not only did a run score on the play, but that was an absolute shot which would have driven in at least 2 if not for Asche’s amazing diving play to keep the ball in the infield.
Um, so how does it work with these Unwritten Rules, again? When Hamels hit Lagares, my gut reaction was that we should drill Hamels in the face. I know, I know… that’s totally not what should happen and I might need an intervention for my obsession with Juan Lagares, and Atlanta’s Chris Johnson will probably show up at my doorstep with a pitchfork tonight for misinterpreting the Unwritten Rules of Baseball… but do we only retaliate if David gets hit? Is that how it works? And who would we hit? Utley or Rollins? Howard is pretty washed up, and there’s nothing that could happen to Grady Sizemore that hasn’t already. Byrd is a former Met. You know what, I’ll pick Rollins. But I’m getting off-topic…
Wright got on base 3 times tonight and made a heads-up play by letting Ben Revere‘s bunt roll foul. He might be starting to emerge from his slump. At the very least, he’s no longer ice-cold. Hopefully the Captain can really get it going.
Flores showed on a couple different plays that he is not a natural shortstop, but his defense doesn’t look atrocious out there, and when you consider the fact that Flores has more upside and a better bat than Ruben Tejada, and factor in that Tejada’s defense has regressed since his days as the backup for You-Know-Who, I think it’s a good thing that the Mets plan on giving Flores more playing time as the season winds down. And he did NOT make an error on the last play of the game with the tying run in scoring position. Looks like the “Most Clutch Shortstop in New York” trophy might be changing hands!
By my count, that’s 12 strikeouts in this series for Mets Pitching. OK, I didn’t count, I checked the box scores. But still, that’s at least 12% off on tickets for the next homestand. Hopefully Zack Wheeler can really tack on to that number tomorrow, although I guess it’s more important that he get some first-pitch outs and keep his pitch count down for once. Also, the Mets should do this more often. How about 4% off every time somebody hits a home run during a series? Or 2% every time they work a walk during a series? Switch it up a little! Those seats won’t fill themselves…
Vic Black retired Marlon Byrd in the 9th. In case you forgot, they were traded for each other. Game, Set, Match: Sandy Alderson.
Nice win tonight. Beating the Phillies is fun. Seeing their dynasty crumble is delightful. Let’s get another W tomorrow.
Up Next: The Mets will look to continue their recent dominance in games played at Citizens Bank Park when they play the Phillies on Sunday afternoon. Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.48 ERA) will face Kyle Kendrick (5-11, 4.74 ERA) at 1:35 PM in Philadelphia.