The Phillies ambushed Noah Syndergaard in the bottom of the first inning Friday night, scoring twice before the Mets’ righty had even recorded an out, and while he was able to settle in as the night progressed, the poor beginning to the contest was enough to do him in.
Matched up against Philadelphia ace Aaron Nola it was clear Syndergaard would have to be at his best, as Nola easily struck out the side in the road first to open the game. Trouble unfortunately found Syndergaard from the outset of his outing.
Cesar Hernandez led off the Philly first with a single and advanced to second base when Rhys Hoskins walked. Up stepped our old friend Asdrubal Cabrera, who sent a sinking line drive past a diving Jack Reinheimer into the left field corner to open the scoring and put two more Phillies in scoring position. Nick Williams then lined a shot up the middle to plate Hoskins and chase Cabrera to third, giving the home team a 2-0 lead. Syndergaard was fortunate to get a double play ground ball from Carlos Santana for his first two outs of the night, but Cabrera was able to walk home on the play to put the Phillies ahead 3-0.
That score would hold into the fourth, when the Mets used hits from Jeff McNeil and Austin Jackson to set up a sacrifice fly off the bat of Todd Frazier to get on the board. Philadelphia would immediately answer in their half of the frame though, as Roman Quinn led off with a triple and scored on a hit from Jorge Alfaro. Alfaro then stole second base which further exacerbated a main storyline in this game.
Syndergaard had shown flashes of getting better at limiting the running game earlier this season, but since returning from his brief bout with hand, foot and mouth disease, opposing teams have been running wild on him. Last night, Alfaro swiped the first two bases of his career, and slow footed runners like Santana and Maikel Franco were able to steal bases. All told, Philadelphia successfully stole five bases in 5.2 innings against Syndergaard, a trend that just can’t continue.
Following Syndergaard’s departure the Mets were able to get 1.1 scoreless innings from Daniel Zamora in his Major League debut, but on the other side of the field, Nola was showing no signs of letting New York get back in the game. Leaving after successfully registering a 1-2-3 seventh inning, Nola finished his outing with only one run and three hits allowed, while punching out 11 Mets batters.
In the eighth, New York was able to get one back against the Philly bullpen when the white hot Jackson scored McNeil with a two-out RBI hit. Unfortunately, that was as close as the Mets would come to making this a competitive contest.
Up next the Mets will send their Cy Young and MVP candidate Jacob deGrom to the mound this afternoon against Philadelphia’s Jake Arrieta.
Photo credit: Bill Streicher – USA Today Sports