Incredible Mets rally stuns Philly as New York improbably completes comeback win
The Mets come up with their largest 9th inning comeback in 25 years to shock Philadelphia 8-7
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets rallied for seven runs on eight hits in the 9th inning to stun the Phillies 8-7 Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park (Box)
In his third start of the season (all against Philadelphia), RHP Taijuan Walker struggled, allowing seven runs (six earned) in only four innings
In his second appearance as a Met, RHP Adonis Medina fired 2.2 scoreless innings to earn his first big league win - the Mets bullpen tossed five scoreless innings in relief
Starling Marte homered and drove in two runs in the Mets comeback
Francisco Lindor homered for the first time since April 21st to start the Mets comeback in the ninth, snapping an 0-for-19 skid
Brandon Nimmo’s only hit was arguably the biggest of the night, a two run, two-out single which tied the game in the ninth
For the first time in 25 years, the Mets won a game while trailing by six or more runs in the ninth inning (courtesy of ESPN Stats and Information), a span of 330 games
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this was only the third time in Mets history the club has come back from a deficit of six runs or more:
1973 vs Atlanta
1997 vs Montréal
2022 vs Philadelphia
Starling Marte homered, had the game winning double in the 9th, drove in two runs, and finished a triple shy of the cycle
Edwin Díaz delivered his 5th straight scoreless with the save in Thursday’s outing and has now struck out 21 hitters in only 12 innings
Jeff McNeil had two more hits for his 11th multi-hit game of the season
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (19-9) @ Phillies (11-15)
Where: Citizens Bank Park — Philadelphia, PA
Starters: Max Scherzer (4-0, 2.61 ERA) vs. Kyle Gibson (2-1, 2.93 ERA)
When: 7:05 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Happy Birthday! 🎂
Willie Mays turns 91 today
Inside a Comeback for the ages 📝
Twice already this season, the Mets had become the poster child for this old baseball adage: You never know what you’re going to see in baseball.
First was their improbable comeback against St. Louis at Busch Stadium last week. Then their combined no-hitter at Citi Field just three days later.
Then came Thursday night in Philadelphia, a night which looked like a second-straight lopsided loss to a division rival with negative storylines ranging from their oft-injured starting pitcher to their slumping shortstop.
The night started with the Mets finding themselves behind the eight-ball on before many of the fans in Philadelphia were even firmly settled in their seats.
In his third start of the season, right-hander Taijuan Walker just didn’t have it, surrendering five runs on five hits in the first two innings. Back-to-back homers from Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos in the fourth put Philadelphia up 7-0, essentially ending Walker’s night and seemingly the night for the Mets.
From there it appeared the Mets were just playing out the string, hoping to use Chasen Shreve and Adonis Medina to finish the game on the mound and save the bullpen for the rest of the weekend, that which could feature a third doubleheader in the season’s first month thanks to what looks like a soggy next couple of days in the northeast.
“You get down that much early and you have got Nola out there, you don’t like your chances,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said afterwards.
However, sometimes things go off script, in all the right ways of course.
With two outs in the sixth, Starling Marte - who’s bat appeared to be coming around with a modest three-game hitting streak entering the night - crushed his third homer of the season, cutting Philadelphia’s lead to 7-1.
At the time it didn’t seem like much, only assuring New York would not be shut out by Aaron Nola on this night, who was looking like the co-ace the Phillies need him to be in 2022.
But four innings of scoreless relief from the aforementioned Shreve and Medina at least kept the Mets regulars in the game, which is noteworthy since Showalter said after the game had the Phillies increased their lead, he would have begun to pull some regulars.
Fast forward to the ninth, which if history was any indication would be more semantical than anything else. After all, over the past three seasons, all MLB teams were 0-684 when trailing by six or more runs in the 9th inning. Phillies’ manager Joe Girardi summoned righty James Norwood to try to close out the six run lead—hoping to give his more high leverage relievers the night off.
Leading off for the Mets was Marte, who hit a slow chopper towards shortstop Johan Camargo, who made a nice charging effort but was unable to throw out the speedy Marte at first. On the very next pitch, Francisco Lindor sent one 421 feet into the Philadelphia night for his 5th home run, cutting the lead to 7-3. Pete Alonso followed with a ringing double down the left field line, but the momentum was stalled a little when Eduardo Escobar lined out to second base.
With one, Jeff McNeil stepped to the plate and did what Jeff McNeil does—hit a ball hard that found a hole into right field. Now two were on but the tying was run on-deck making it a save situation, so Girardi was quick to call upon his closer, Corey Knebel to try to stall the Mets rally.
It didn’t exactly go as planned for Girardi and the Phillies.
His first mark—no pun intended—was Mark Canha, who sent one back up the middle off of Knebel, for a run scoring infield hit that cut the lead to 7-4 and brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Dominic Smith.
After battling the count full, Smith swung over a bounced down and in curve ball for strike three, a disappointing outcome on a pitch that would have surely loaded the bases for the Mets had he laid off.
But New York still had a pulse, albeit a faint one being down by three runs and down to their last out.
Showalter sent pinch hit extraordinaire JD Davis up to hit for catcher Tomas Nido. Davis was already 1-for-4 as a pinch hitter after going 9-for-21 in that role last season.
And, Davis delivered, ripping a line drive down the left field line to score McNeil and send Canha to 3rd. Still down two but with the tying runs in scoring position, speedy Travis Jankowski was sent out to second base to run for Davis.
The ninth Mets’ hitter of the inning was Brandon Nimmo, who on a 1-1 count sent Knebel curveball into center field, easily plating Canha and Jankowski to tie the game and stun the Phillies bench and crowd. Marte then finished the job, crushing the first pitch he saw from Knebel off the left center field wall to plate Nimmo and give the Mets an 8-7 lead—a development that just 15 minutes earlier seemed completely outlandish.
Edwin Díaz entered for the bottom of the ninth and sealed the comeback with a dominant frame.
“It’s easy to give up when you are down 7-1 or 7-0,” Walker said. “But when you fight until that last out good things happen and it showed tonight.”
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Mets were 0-330 since 1997 when trailing by six or more after eight innings, prior to last night. It was only the third time in Mets history (1973 against the Braves and 1997 against the Expos were the others), that New York rallied to win a game they trailed by six runs in the ninth inning.
“You just never give up and you say, ‘When it comes to be my turn, I give everything I have got,’ ” Nimmo explained to reporters afterwards. “It seems like every guy on this team has that mentality and when you do that it allows for things like this to happen.”
In the grand scheme of a 162 game season, it’s important to remember that one day is only one day. But it’s also true that some days are bigger than others. What happened in the ninth inning on Thursday night is the kind of game that proves to the Mets and the rest of the league this team is never out of a game, and there is no quit in this team from outs one through 27.
And at the end of this storybook win, the Mets added to the underlying theme driving this season forward - you just never know.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Daniel Palka (1B/OF, AAA Syracuse): 1-for-4, HR, RBI
Francisco Álvarez (C, No. 1 Prospect, AA Binghamton): 2-for-3, 2 BB, run
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 2 Prospect, AA Binghamton): 2-for-5, 2 RBI
Around the League 🚩
Shohei Ohtani went seven scoreless and struck out 11 while also logging two hits and driving in a run in the Angels win over Boston
Twins SS Carlos Correa will undergo further testing on his injured hand
Milwaukee homered six times and hammered the Reds 10-5, dropping Cincinnati to an abysmal 3-22
Ex Met Andres Gimenez had two more hits and raised his average to .344 in Cleveland’s 6-5 win over the Blue Jays
C.J. Cron drove in a run in Colorado’s 9-7 win over Washington, pulling him even with Nolan Arenado for the NL lead
The Twins had to put infielder Luis Arraez and righty Dylan Bundy on the COVID-19 injured list, joining manager Rocco Baldelli
San Francisco DFA’d RHP Tyler Beede