In case you missed it, the Mets beat the Phillies 5-4 in walkoff fashion on Tuesday night. So, what to make of it?
1. Hindsight is 20/20
Terry Collins caught his fair share of flak in this game after the Mets turned a 3-0 lead into a 4-3 deficit in the top of the eighth. Jacob deGrom had been cruising until, with one out in the eighth, he allowed two hits. Terry yanked the long-haired righty for Hansel Robles, who promptly allowed a triple and a single to tie the game. Alex Torres allowed one hit and got one out, before Carlos Torres let in the go-ahead run on an infield single.
Some felt that Terry should not have pulled deGrom when he did. However, deGrom had 106 pitches and had just allowed two consecutive singles. Others argued that Terry erred in allowing Jacob to begin the inning in the first place. However, deGrom had held the Phillies scoreless in the game after a dominant outing his last time out, and Robles hasn’t established himself as a reliable late-inning reliever yet.
But hindsight is 20-20. Clearly, what the Mets did didn’t work. Philadelphia plated four in the frame and it nearly cost New York the game. However, decisions can only be evaluated based on whether or not they made sense at the time they were made, not based on how things played out. Obviously, Collins did not elect to allow four runs. With Jacob cruising and under 100 pitches, sending him out there was probably the right move. With Jacob at 106 and having allowed two quick hits a few minutes later, pulling him was probably the right move as well. It just didn’t work out.
2. DeGrom Is Back On Track
The 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, Jacob deGrom, had suffered through a few rough outings, starting with the dud he turned in on the Yankee Stadium mound, but has been absolutely terrific over his last two starts. More recently, Jacob has looked like the pitcher who carved up opponents after being called up last season.
He had the best start of his career against the Cardinals and followed it up with a gem against the Phillies— his streak of 15 scoreless innings was not snapped until he was in the dugout (according to ESPN Stats, deGrom’s relievers had never let an inherited runner cross the plate).
Flores, Mets Hang Tough After Big Letdown
The Phillies have won some games lately, but there is no pretending that the aren’t one of the league’s worst teams. The Mets need to beat up on teams like Philadelphia, and they appeared to be sailing towards a victory— until the wheels fell off in the top of the eighth.
But rather than rolling over and suffering their most crushing defeat of the suddenly-not-so-young season, New York bounced right back. The Mets got two runners in scoring position to begin the bottom of the eighth, and although the tying run didn’t come easily, Wilmer Flores eventually knocked it in with a sacrifice fly. Gunning for a walkoff win in the home half of the tenth, the Mets again got two runners aboard to start things off, but Daniel Murphy hit into a double-play that threatened to kill the Mets’ chances of walking home winners. But with two outs, it was again Flores who came through, lining one over the shortstop’s head into left-center for a game-winning single.
The Mets came perilously and frustratingly close to letting this game get away from them and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. But with some timely hitting, it was the bats picking up the arms (for once), and the Amazin’s pocketed a victory that clinches a series win and will allow them to take a shot at the sweep on Wednesday afternoon.