Final Score: Phillies 6, Mets 5
On the eve of the one-year anniversary of Bryce Harper’s walk-off grand slam against the Chicago Cubs, he knocked his 11th walk-off hit of his career and first of 2020 on a ninth-inning base hit. Third base coach Dusty Wathan took a tremendous risk by sending Roman Quinn home at third, but the speedy center fielder was just able to get under Wilson Ramos’ tag at home.
After Spencer Howard left the game with an apparent injury, the ‘pen only allowed one run over five and two thirds innings. The only run, however, came in the ninth with Héctor Neris tasked with closing out the game. It was his second blown save on the season.
Bad fundamentals early gave way to timely defensive plays later on The game was truly a tale of two halves.
J.T. Realmuto also continued his hot streak, hitting his eighth home run on the season to provide the bulk of the Phillies’ five runs.
The series against the Mets continues on Saturday at 6:05 pm ET. Ace Aaron Nola will look to continue his hot start to the season against Steven Matz.
- The Mets scored first in the opening frame. Dominic Smith grounded to the second baseman Jean Segura. He turned to throw to Didi Gregorius. While he successfully got the first out at second, Gregorius dropped the ball and a run scored.
- The defense behind Howard didn’t help him much. Andrés Giménez, who reached on a single, tried to steal second and Realmuto’s throw to second was short of Gregorius and sailed into center field. A few pitches later, Giménez scored when Luis Guillorme hit a routine fly ball to right. Bryce Harper misread the ball initially, thinking it was deeper than it was. It fell a few feet short of Harper and Giménez rounded third and scored to make it a 2-0 game in favor of the Mets.
- Alec Bohm knocked in his first major-league RBI with a line-drive single to center on a nice and easy swing. The next batter Quinn drove in the tying run with an opposite-field single.
- Howard surrendered his third and fourth home runs of the season in the top of the third inning. The first one came off the bat of Smith and at first, it seemed as if the ball was going to be a warning track fly ball, but it carried just over the wall in right. The second was a healthy shot from Robinson Canó that bounced off the Pennsylvania Lottery advertisement board. Both were solo home runs that gave New York a 4-2 lead.
- Despite the abbreviated nature of the season, Realmuto’s 2020 campaign could go down as one of the best a Phillie has ever had. He continued on that path with a three-run home run in the fifth that gave the Phillies a 5-4 lead. The ball tragically smacked a young child’s cardboard cutout.
- With one out and a runner on second, Bohm made a spectacular basket catch in foul territory. Adam Morgan would go on to strand two runners in a scoreless top of the sixth.
- Billy Hamilton entered the game as a pinch-runner for Guillorme, who went 3-for-3. Hamilton took second and when he realized the ball was a few feet away from Segura, he somehow took off for third. Gregorius retrieved the ball, Bohm tagged Hamilton out and the Mets wasted an excellent opportunity to tie the game.
- Neris blew his second-consecutive save of the season. After striking out both Smith and Pete Alonso, Canó singled to right and drove in Brandon Nimmo from second to tie the game.
- Harper knocked in his third walk-off hit as a Phillie in the ninth with a clutch one-out single. The Phillies celebrated with social distancing guidelines in mind.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Walker Lockett: 6 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 84 pitches
The former 2012 fourth-round pick was tasked with spot starting for Jake deGrom after he was scratched from tonight’s start with a neck injury. Like many opposing starting pitchers who have faced the Phillies this season, he was crushed by the long ball from Realmuto. Overall, the Mets have to be pleased with Lockett for keeping the team in the game and eating six innings in his first appearance of 2020.
Spencer Howard: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB. 2 K, 69 pitches
In his second MLB outing, Howard was burned by bad defense, including two fly balls that were dropped in center and right field. Still, his stuff isn’t quite where he’d like it to be and both his velocity and his ability to get ahead of hitters decreased as the game moved along. He exited the game in the fourth with an athletic trainer.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Bryce Harper
Harper is definitely not happy with his effort on defense tonight, but he could add a walk-off hit to his lengthy 2020 resume. If Harper keeps up his production, he could go head-to-head with his teammate Realmuto for National League MVP honors.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Saturday, August 15 at 6:05 pm ET vs. the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Sportsradio 94 WIP
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