The Mets (56-62) lost to the Phillies (53-65) by a score of 7-6 in walk-off fashion on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.
The Mets scored 6 runs in the first 5 innings to jump out to a 6-1 lead. David Wright drove in an unearned run with a base-hit in the 1st. In the 2nd, Daniel Murphy drove in a run on a sacrifice fly which became a double-play when Wilmer Flores was caught trying to sneak to 3rd base. Juan Lagares drove in a pair with a triple in the 3rd, before Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud went back-to-back with a couple solo shots in the 5th.
Zack Wheeler did a pretty good job with the Philadelphia lineup, but gave up a solo shot to Chase Utley in the 1st and a 2-run double to Domonic Brown in the 6th. Wheeler finished his outing with 3 runs allowed on 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5 and throwing 112 pitches.
Vic Black came in for the 7th and got 2 quick outs, but when Wilmer Flores failed to make a play on a grounder from Ben Revere, the inning was prolonged and the Phillies ended up scoring 2 runs on a Chase Utley triple to cut the Met lead to 6-5. Josh Edgin came in to strike out Ryan Howard with the tying run 90 feet away (despite Howard being given the call on an 0-2 pitch down the middle). Edgin came back out for the 8th and struck out the side, sending the teams to the 9th with the Mets up 6-5.
Jenrry Mejia came in to pitch the bottom of the 9th, looking to close things out for the Mets. Cody Asche led off by hitting a hard shot down the 1st-base line for a double. It was unclear whether the ball was fair or foul, but Terry Collins could not challenge the call with replay because the play was right in front of the umpire (don’t worry, I don’t understand this rule either). Asche came in to score when Marlon Byrd lined a base-hit up the middle, and the game was tied at 6.
Mejia bounced back and struck out Revere, and Jimmy Rollins‘ hard shot into right field found Granderson’s glove for the 2nd out. With 2 outs and Utley at the plate, Byrd broke for 2nd on Mejia’s 2-2 pitch. The pitch was practically down the middle for strike 3 (see the picture), but d’Arnaud caught the ball and came up throwing in an attempt to nab Byrd, which might have distracted the home-plate umpire from… you know… doing his job. The pitch was ruled a ball, and Byrd made it in to 2nd base safely. With the count full and 1st base now vacant, Terry Collins decided to have Mejia throw an intentional ball to Utley to bring Ryan Howard to the plate. Mejia got ahead of Howard 1-2, but after missing with a couple pitches, served up a hanging slider to Howard, who smacked it into right field for the game-winner.
Well, that was infuriating. Wheeler did pretty well, although his pitch counts still get too high, too quickly. Black was victimized by Flores’ misplay (which should have been ruled an error), and Mejia just didn’t have it in the 9th (although the game would have gone to extras if not for the umpire). We had no business losing that game.
Mejia has been HORRIBLE lately, and he’s pitching hurt. I will say it again: I do not believe for one second that this is a coincidence. The Mets need to give him a break, and maybe put him on the DL. If he pitches hurt, he’ll change his mechanics, and he’ll be terrible. And he’ll probably injure his arm while trying to compensate for his injured leg, or back, or whatever it is right now.
I don’t like the intentional ball to Utley with a 3-2 count. Even if you don’t want to give him anything to hit, why not just throw him a breaking ball off the plate and hope he chases (no pun intended)?
On the bright side, the offense was pretty good today. d’Arnaud has had a great series, Wright is really getting it together (2 more hits today, 9 game hitting streak), Duda went yard, Lagares got himself a triple, and Granderson reached base 4 times. When the Mets score 6 runs, they’re usually going to win. So it stinks that they didn’t today…
Let’s bounce back and get the series win tomorrow.