It wasn’t a no-hitter, but the Philadelphia Phillies improved their record to 47-43 with an 8-3 victory over the host New York Mets (40-50) and allowed for a much-needed sigh of relief heading into the All-Star break.
Through 5.1 innings, Phillies ace Aaron Nola was toying with history. He had not allowed a hit through 79 pitches. But his 80th toss was tattooed by Mets rookie sensation and All-Star game reserve Pete Alonso, and ended up being a two-run home run. The 30th blast of the season and 67th and 68th RBIs by Alonso – who, on June 22, set a National League record for most home runs by a rookie before the All-Star break (Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers had slugged 25 in 2017) – was a rare highlight for the Mets faithful who watched the Mets drop their seventh game in the last eight tries against the Phillies. It also severed Nola’s 22-inning scoreless streak.
After throwing 99 pitches and surrendering three hits, one earned run and three walks while striking out six, Nola was lifted with two on and two out in the seventh. Adam Morgan, Tommy Hunter (perfect eighth) and Hector Neris (allowed pinch-hit homer by Adeiny Hechavarria) finished in relief.
The Phillies jumped all over Mets starter Zack Wheeler (6-6) in the first inning. They sent nine hitters to the dish and plated four runs on an RBI double by Rhys Hoskins, a two-run double by Phillies All-Star J.T. Realmuto and a run-scoring single by Jay Bruce.
As for the latter, Bruce was far from done. After the Phils went three up and three down in the third-through-fifth innings, Bruce slammed a two-run homer in the sixth to increase the Phils lead to 6-0:
A reminder that the Mets are literally paying Jay Bruce to do this to them.
6-0, Phillies pic.twitter.com/dphZHLwuT2
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) July 7, 2019
“It’s really important, especially going into the break,” Bruce said after the game, speaking to NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Everyone goes in with a little easier mind.”
After the Mets tallied two in the sixth, the Phillies regained momentum when Bruce rocketed a solo blast over the center-field fence, his 24th of the season and 57th RBIs. Of Bruce’s 28 career multi-home run contributions, three have occurred this season. In 28 games with the Phils, Bruce has slugged 10 homers and amassed a team-best 29 RBIs.
“Nola pitched great and we were able to put some runs behind him,” said Bruce. “It feels good to contribute. The trust that these guys have put in me and the team has just made it so easy for me to transition over here.”
For good measure, Hoskins belted a long home run in the ninth, particularly refreshing considering he was nailed in the thigh two innings earlier. The cleanup slugger’s 20th home run marks the 23rd time in franchise history that a Phillie has reached 20 or more homers before the All-Star break and the first since the much-maligned Domonic Brown hit 23 in 2013.
Phillies Nuggets Player Of the Game
In today’s case, you can’t go with just one. Although Nola (8-2, 3.74 ERA) was once again sensational in beating the rival Mets for the seventh time in eight decisions, Bruce knocked in half of the Phillies eight runs and made sure there would be no crazy comebacks against Philadelphia’s beleaguered bullpen. The duo’s overall performances have helped keep the Phillies relevant as the second-half of the season beckons with them trailing the first-place Atlanta Braves by a daunting six-and-a-half games, but squarely in sight of a Wild Card berth among multiple not-yet-dead opponents.
- Friday, July 12, 6:05 EDT versus the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680 (Spanish)