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Mets lose exciting pitchers duel in extras against a different (and better) Phillies team
The Mets went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position over 10 innings
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets lost to the Phillies 2-1 in ten innings at Citi Field on Friday (box)
Max Scherzer started for the Mets, and while he got off to a rocky start, allowed just one run in seven innings
The Mets mustered just one run which came in the second inning thanks to a Darin Ruf double and a sac fly from Mark Canha
Phillies LHP Ranger Suárez shutdown the Mets red hot offense, allowing just the run on three hits over seven innings
Mark Canha made his first appearance at third base since 2016 on Friday night
The Mets are now 37-15 against the National League East in 2022, 28-8 in series openers, 15-12 in one-run games, 9-3 in August, 57-12 when scoring first, 24-16 against left-handed starting pitching, and 10-34 when scoring three or fewer runs in a game
Who’s Hot 🔥
Max Scherzer went seven innings while allowing no more than one run for the seventh time in 16 starts this season - he has a 1.36 ERA in eight starts since returning from the injured list
Edwin Díaz has gone 19 straight appearances without allowing a run, striking out 61 percent of the batters he’s faced during that span
Francisco Lindor has reached base in 19 straight games, the second-longest such streak in his career. He is hitting .400/.482/.643 with five doubles, four home runs, 15 RBI and 20 runs scored during that span
Injury Updates 🏥
Jeff McNeil received multiple stitches for a right thumb laceration after being stepped on by Rhys Hoskins in the second inning on Friday night
Eduardo Escobar left Friday’s game in the second inning with left side tightness - he will soon undergo imaging for the injury
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets are 73-40 and lead the Braves by six games in the National League East with 49 games to go. They are on-pace for 104 wins, which would be the second-highest mark in franchise history (108 in 1986)
The Mets have the sixth-easiest schedule down the stretch of the season (.481 opposing winning percentage, per Tankathon)
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 90.3 percent ⬇️
Clinch first round bye: 90 percent
Win the World Series: 17.4 percent ⬇️
Magic Number to clinch the National League East: 4️⃣4️⃣
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (73-40) vs Phillies (63-49)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Jacob deGrom (1-0, 2.53 ERA) vs RHP Aaron Nola (8-8, 3.17 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: WPIX
An exciting game that just didn’t go the Mets way…📝
The last time the Mets and Phillies played each other on May 29, the two teams were going in different directions.
The Phillies were fumbling and bumbling the ball all over the place, experiencing inconsistencies with their entire pitching staff and the result was a 3-9 record against the Mets with a 21-27 season record with their hopes for a playoff run hitting a wall.
Well, just a couple of days later, the Phillies fired Joe Girardi, Rob Thompson was named interim manager, and the Phillies began a transformation that has turned them into one of the better teams in the league.
Since June 3, the day Joe Girardi got the axe, the Phillies have gone 40-20. While they haven’t gained a lot of ground on the Mets during that span this is a much different and much better team the Mets will be dealing with over the next week in which they will play Philadelphia six more times through August 21.
Now, the Phillies have gotten a lot of criticism for playing through a weak schedule during that span. That’s true to a large extent. But at the same time, they swept a series against the Brewers in Milwaukee, won a series against the Padres in San Diego (the Mets did not do that), won two series against the Cardinals, and split two series against the Braves.
So it hasn’t been that easy for them and they have handled the better teams quite well.
So, here they were at Citi Field playing the Mets for the first time in 2 1/2 months. They were up against Max Scherzer who had been magnificent since returning from the injured list in early July and the Mets suddenly found themselves on the fast track to winning the National League East.
Well, not so fast.
The Phillies brought their A-Game against Scherzer and the Mets on Friday night. Scherzer struggled early to find his rhythm and command and the Phillies took advantage of that, knocking the crowd out of the game for a few minutes thanks to a first inning run. It was the first time the Mets had trailed since Taijuan Walker’s clunker against the Braves last Friday - they had not trailed for one pitch during their six-game winning streak.
Fortunately, Scherzer was able to find his rhythm and as always, 70 percent of Scherzer is better than most anyone else in the league. The Phillies missed their chance to take command of this game early which is a testament to Scherzer and the quality defense behind him.
But the Mets could not find their groove at the plate against LHP Ranger Suárez, which isn’t so much on them as it was Suárez simply pitching so well. He was helped by his defense for sure - Alec Bohm made a couple of nice plays at third for him, they turned two double plays behind him during his outing and even he made a couple of excellent plays in front of the mound to slow down and frustrate the Mets offense.
It was one of those nights where all of the bleeders seemed to fall for the Phillies, and the Mets couldn’t really buy a hit no matter what they did. Even so, outstanding pitching and outstanding defense was the story to this point.
With the two clubs were locked in an intense 1-1 duel going to the ninth inning, Edwin Díaz was summoned and he was nothing short of brilliant, per usual. He struck out the first two batters in style and then induced a weak pop up to end the inning and energize the 38,467 on-hand at Citi Field. Starling Marte led off the bottom of the ninth with a well-struck opposite-field double, seemingly setting the stage for another one of those grinding walk-off wins they’ve become known for in 2022.
But it was not to be on this night, as the Phillies came up with a big time play to keep the Mets from celebrating.
With Marte on third and one out, Daniel Vogelbach hit a medium depth fly ball to left field. With Marte tagging, Matt Vierling threw a seed to the plate and Marte was out by a few steps, knocking the collective wind out of the ballpark and setting up a ghost-run win for the Phillies in the tenth, that which the Mets could not respond to.
Yeah, it happens. It was a great game somebody just had to win and on this night, that somebody was not the Mets.
The stink of it is though the Mets played so well and were so close in the ninth inning that it just seems like a game they should’ve won but let slip away with some over-aggressive base running. Sure, the called strike three on Tyler Naquin was outside, but home plate umpire Scott Barry was calling that a strike all night for better or for worse, and the Mets should be able to trust their offense to tie if not win the game in extra innings (they were 9-1 in extra innings heading into the game). But these low-scoring games always come down to the little things and a break here or there which make the difference.
On Friday, the Mets didn’t get those breaks and the Phillies did that one extra little thing to win the game.
Again, this is a different Phillies team than the one the Mets faced earlier this year. They probably win a game like this against that version.
But this version of the Phillies is a lot better. They deserve credit for the way they’ve played and the way they handled the Mets on Friday night. They looked like a playoff team and if they can get Bryce Harper back in the lineup, they’re going to be a force down the stretch and potentially into October.
Looking ahead, the Mets have to navigate a little uncertainty with Jeff McNeil and the cut on his finger. It remains to be seen how long he will be out. They also have to get an understanding on Eduardo Escobar’s injury and what that means for the immediate term.
Is it time to give Mark Vientos an opportunity? His .868 OPS at Triple-A Syracuse certainly warrants a discussion should Escobar need to go on the injured list.
Onward and upward for the Mets - they have another challenge on their hands tonight against Aaron Nola. With Zach Wheeler on the mound tomorrow afternoon, this is a game the Mets need to get today.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Francisco Álvarez (C, No. 1 Prospect, Triple-A): 1-for-4, RBI
Brandon Mcllwain (OF, Double-A): 2-for-4, 2 R
Alex Ramirez (OF, No. 4 Prospect, Single-A): 1-for-4, RBI
Carlos Dominguez (OF, Low-A): 4-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
Around the League 🚩
Michael Harris II drove in two runs as the Braves edged the Marlins 4-3 in Miami, pulling back to within six games of the Mets in the National League East
The Padres put up seven runs in the fifth inning as they blasted the Nationals 10-5 in Juan Soto’s return to Washington
The Red Sox plated one in the ninth and one in the tenth to come from behind and beat the Yankees 3-2 at Fenway Park
The Dodgers and Royals went scoreless for six innings, but Los Angeles scored five runs in the seventh en route to an 8-3 victory over Kansas City for their 11th win in a row
Fernando Tatís, Jr., who has already missed the entire season thanks to a broken wrist, was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball for a PED violation - he will miss the remainder of the 2022 season, all of the postseason, and the first part of the 2023 season
Astros OF Michael Brantley will miss the rest of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery