The Mets didn’t beat the Phillies in their series opener on Friday, but they did push across three runs against Philadelphia ace Aaron Nola, raising his ERA and in theory helping Jacob deGrom inch closer to the Cy Young award. In a season that has been lost for several months now, you have to take the small victories when you can get them.
New York actually got off to a nice start in this one, as Steven Matz breezed through the first two innings with little difficulty, and Jay Bruce deposited Nola’s first offering of the home second into the bullpen to give the Amazins the early lead.
Philadelphia responded quickly in the next inning, however, as two batters after Matz issued a leadoff walk to Jorge Alfaro, Carlos Santana crushed a long homer to left center to flip the game and give the Phillies a 2-1 edge. New York got it right back in the bottom of the frame though, when Jeff McNeil plated Brandon Nimmo with a double.
The 2-2 score held through the middle innings, and a high pitch count forced Matz to depart after only five innings. Eric Hanhold entered for the Mets in the sixth and was greeted rudely by pinch-hitter Odubel Herrera who led off with a double. Two batters later, former Met Asdrubal Cabrera gave the road team the lead with a run-scoring single, but the Mets again responded an inning later when first baseman Dom Smith crushed a game-tying opposite field long ball.
The Mets summoned Tyler Bashlor in the seventh and the hard-thrower tossed a 1-2-3 inning prior to Smith’s tying home run, but the righty was not as fortunate in the eighth, when Rhys Hoskins crushed a lead-off bomb that would prove to be the difference in a 4-3 victory for Philadelphia.
Up next, New York will send Noah Syndergaard to the bump in search of his 11th win, opposing Phillies’ righty Zach Eflin.
Photo credit: Gregory Fisher – USA Today Sports