Robert Gsellman impressed with his best appearance yet – eight strikeouts over seven scoreless innings. However, the more notable pitching performances came from the Phillies, whose pitchers combined to hit four batters, walk nine, and allow 14 hits. Emblematic of these struggles, Jose Reyes came to the plate with the bases loaded in four (!) separate innings. The 17-0 final score accurately summarizes the proceedings.
BATS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF INABILITY TO THROW STRIKES
The Phillies sent six different pitchers to the mound today, and not one of them had anything resembling a good day. Starter Jake Thompson did look good early in the game – he had a low 90s fastball that he placed well in the first three innings, as well as a biting slider that generated a few whiffs. During those innings, the only run to score was by Jay Bruce on a ball that James Loney grounded into a double play.
Things fell apart for Thompson in the fourth, as Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff homerun into the stands in right field. T.J. and Rene Rivera each walked while Loney singled to load the bases. Gsellman then grounded into a force out at home. Reyes’ first walk of the day brought in the inning’s second run.
Phil Klein appeared in relief in the fifth inning and could not control his fastball. He walked both Yoenis Cespedes and Granderson to start the inning, followed by a single by Bruce to load the bases. After the Mets scored two runs on a T.J. Rivera single and a Rene Rivera hit-by-pitch, Colton Murray replaced Klein with only one out in the inning. Bruce scored on a wild pitch.
Murray had a pretty good sixth inning – getting two strikeouts and a popup. The team then made the decision to have him come out for a part of the seventh, which is predictably when things went south again. Unable to throw a strike, Murray hit a batter, walked a batter, and allowed a single before being replaced by Frank Herrmann. Herrmann immediately walked Reyes with the bases loaded and allowed a grand slam to Asdrubal Cabrera before getting two strikeouts to end the inning.
Lefty Patrick Schuster entered in the eighth and did strike out two batters, but also allowed three hits, a walk, and a hit batter. He was then replaced by Luis Garcia, who walked Ty Kelly and allowed a Michael Conforto double before striking out Gavin Cecchini (in his second appearance of the inning).
In total, the Phillies’ staff allowed two home runs, three wild pitches, four hit batters, five inherited runners to score, nine walks, 14 hits, and 17 earned runs in eight innings. The Mets deemed a bottom of the ninth unnecessary.
ROBERT GSELLMAN STIFFLES THE PHILLIES’ LINEUP
Robert Gsellman continued to impress as he pitched what is probably his best MLB start to date. He had some command issues in the first inning as he allowed a single to Freddy Galvis and walked Maikel Franco, but suffered no damage on the scoreboard. He settled down in the second and really had his 94 mph fastball working as he generated three groundouts and three strikeouts over the next two innings.
He allowed two singles to Jorge Alfaro and Cody Asche through the rest of his outing, but was basically dominant throughout. Seventy-five percent of his batted balls were grounders, and he struck out eight batters in total. It will be overlooked because of the gaudy numbers on offense, but it was a really encouraging outing for the rookie right-hander.
SALAS, BLEVINS MAKE QUICK WORK OF LATE INNINGS
There’s not a ton to write here about the relief appearances of Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, but each quickly retired the three batters they were assigned. Salas in particular struck out the side in order and looked really good with his fastball while doing it. Blevins finished the game with two grounders and a lineout on 10 pitches.
On Monday, the Mets head to Miami to begin a three-game series against the grieving Marlins, in the first game since the passing of Jose Fernandez. Since Fernandez was scheduled to pitch that game, the Marlins’ starter is unknown, and it isn’t clear how the cancellation of Sunday’s game will affect the remaining schedule. Adam Conley was originally scheduled to pitch on Sunday, so he may be the Marlins’ most likely starter. Bartolo Colon will pitch for New York, who sit atop a tight three-team race for the two NL Wild Card spots. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
Photo credit: Anthony Gruppuso – USA Today Sports