2019 Postgame Recaps

Phillies miss multiple opportunities, fall to Mets in extra innings



Rhys Hoskins has struggled defensively back at his natural position of first base. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Final: Mets 7, Phillies 6

If you showed up to Citizens Bank Park Monday night expecting to see a pitcher’s duel between Aaron Nola and Noah Syndergaard, you didn’t get one.

Both Nola and Syndergaard are one-time National League All-Stars. The start that each has had to their 2019 season suggests they won’t be taking part in this year’s midsummer classic at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

The New York Mets got three runs off of Nola in the top of the third inning. Two of the three runs came off of the bat of former Phillie Wilson Ramos, who laced a two-out, two-run single into left field:

Ramos would ultimately score the third run of the inning, with a Jeff McNeil single into right field plating him. As Phillies fans remember, Ramos doesn’t run well. Bryce Harper had a chance to throw him out from right field, but didn’t make a great throw and Rhys Hoskins cut the ball off, perhaps something he shouldn’t have done.

The Phillies tied the game in the home-half of the third inning, though. Harper got the Phillies on the board by singling in Nola, who had reached first base on a walk. Harper, like all players in baseball today, donned the No. 42, as the sport paid homage to Jackie Robinson. Harper, however, took things a step further, with a UCLA Bruins arm sleeve, UCLA colored batting gloves and Under Armour cleats that were inspired by Robinson’s college athletic career:

Following his single, Harper took second base with aggressive baserunning. That later allowed J.T. Realmuto to tie the game by singling in Andrew McCutchen and Harper.

The tie didn’t last very long. In the top of the fourth inning, which proved to be Nola’s final inning of the night, eight-time All-Star Robinson Cano roped a single into right-center field, which allowed Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis to cross the plate, giving the Mets a 5-3 advantage:

After getting the day off Sunday, Maikel Franco faced perhaps a crucial test Monday. Scott Kingery performed well while starting at third base Sunday, as he turned in three hits and stolen base. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said prior to Monday’s game that while Kingery wasn’t in the starting lineup, the Phillies planned to get creative in trying to get his bat into the lineup in the coming days.

Cesar Hernandez – the incumbent at second base, Kingery’s natural position – homered Sunday and reached base multiple times again Monday. Chances are, Kingery won’t be getting a ton of at-bats at second base if Hernandez plays like that. But in the fifth inning, with Hernandez on-base, Franco launched a 429-foot home run, his fifth of the season, to re-tie the game:

But after a clean fifth inning from Jose Alvarez, Nimmo tagged Alvarez for a solo home run in the top of the sixth, with the wind blowing out to right field:

The Phillies were able to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, on a Jean Segura bases loaded walk. Still, the bottom of the eighth left Phillies fans feeling unsatisfied.

After a leadoff single from Odubel Herrera, Jeurys Familia walked Cesar Hernandez. Maikel Franco very nearly tied the game on a 3-1 ball that he scorched to third base, but Jeff McNeil made a defensive play at third base, fielding the ball and turning a double-play. Familia’s final two batters – Andrew Knapp and McCutchen – he walked to load the bases up. Mets manager Mickey Callaway pulled Familia in favor of Robert Gsellman, but not before Herrera very nearly ended the inning. Herrera, in his fifth season, thought that McCutchen’s walk forced him in. It didn’t, it only loaded the bases, and Ramos very nearly threw Herrera out as he retreated to third base.

Fortunately for the Phillies, Gsellman had no control when he entered the game. So he walked Segura, which tied the game. With the bases still loaded, Harper came to the plate and swung at a first pitch in the middle of the zone, popping up to end the inning. It wasn’t a bad pitch for your best hitter to swing at. The result of said swing, of course, was suboptimal.

In the bottom of the 10th, with Scott Kingery standing on third base and McCutchen on second base, Jean Segura chased a change-up from Luis Avilan, who was briefly a Phillie in 2018, and struck out to end another threat.

The Phillies missed opportunities in the eighth and 10th proved to be crucial, as the Mets took the lead for good in the top half of the 11th. With runners on first and second, Michael Conforto sharply lined a ball at first base. Rhys Hoskins, at the very least, should have knocked the ball down. Instead, the ball ate him up entirely, and trickled in the direction of Hernandez. Hernandez should have had a play at the plate, but he didn’t grip the ball well and made a throw to the plate that wasn’t even close, allowing Juan Lagares to score the winning run.

Edwin Diaz, who the Mes feared would be traded to the Phillies if they didn’t acquire him this past offseason, set the heart of the Phillies lineup down in order in the bottom of the 11th to end the game.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

In total, Nola allowed seven hits and surrendered three walks over his four innings of work. All five of the runs that the 25-year-old gave up were earned. It was the third consecutive start that he’s allowed four or more earned runs. He only allowed four earned runs in three starts the entire 2018 season. As Joe Giglio of SportsRadio 94 WIP pointed out, Nola has allowed five or more total runs in three straight starts, something he didn’t do once a season ago.

While Nola’s ERA spiked to 7.32, Syndergaard wasn’t effective on a windy Monday night either. The 26-year-old righty allowed nine hits and five earned runs over five frames, pushing his ERA on the season to 5.63. For a team whose success is predicated on their elite pitching, Syndergaard’s start to the 2019 season has to be concerning to the Mets, at least to some degree.

Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Jeff McNeil

In a game that featured Aaron Nola, Noah Syndergaard, Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, among others, it was McNeil who was the best player on the field Monday.

The 27-year-old made two crucial plays at third base, while going 3-5 with an RBI. It’s fair to say that the Mets likely wouldn’t have won Monday evening had it not been for McNeil.

Next Game

  • Tuesday April 16 vs. New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park
  • 7:05 p.m.
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia 
  • SportsRadio 94 WIP

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