Final Score: Mets 8, Phillies 7
If you wanted to see great defense at Citizens Bank Park Sunday, you had to look to some of the 10,964 fans in the stands, because the Philadelphia Phillies didn’t provide it on the field against the New York Mets.
In the rubber match of the series, it appeared that a Didi Gregorius go-ahead home run in the bottom of the sixth inning would allow the Phillies to escape with a series-clinching victory.
Instead, what had already been an ugly night defensively turned into a complete disaster in the top of the eighth inning, which – when coupled with poor pitching – cost the Phillies the game. The Phillies finished the evening with two errors, but realistically there were six or seven plays in the field that should have been made and weren’t.
Rhys Hoskins nearly atoned for a crucial defensive mistake with what appeared to be a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth. Instead, the call was overturned and Hoskins had to go back to second base. The Phillies would stand that runner at second base, with Bryce Harper striking out to end the game.
With the loss, the Phillies slip two games below .500, and are now 13-15 in 2021. They’ll welcome the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers to Citizens Bank Park Monday to open a four-game set.
- Andrew McCutchen wasted no time in the bottom of the first inning, launching a 445-foot bomb into the left-center field stands. It was McCutchen’s 16th career lead-off home run:
- Given that the Phillies were on Sunday Night Baseball, there had to be a crucial play at the plate. In the top of the second inning, Kevin Pillar singled into center field with Dominic Smith on second base. Smith – who has become public enemy No. 1 at Citizens Bank Park – was thrown out at home plate by Roman Quinn, the second outfield assist for the center fielder this season:
- The Mets evened the game in the top of the third inning when Michael Conforto singled into right field. It would have been a difficult play for Harper to make even if he fielded it cleanly, but after bobbling the ball in right field, Jeff McNeil scored with ease. Alec Bohm had an error on the very next play – on top of poor plays from McCutchen and Nick Maton earlier in the game – continuing what’s been a pretty disastrous start in the field for the Phillies this season.
- With Smith and Pillar on the corners and one out in the top of the sixth inning, James McCann hit a sharp ground ball back at Zach Eflin. Eflin could have thrown out Smith at home plate rather easily, but instead, he tried to fire to second base and get an inning-ending double play. Unfortunately for him, his throw was to the left of the second base bag and everyone was safe all around. Eflin was charged with an error, and the Mets took a 2-1 lead:
- The Phillies would retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Miguel Castro, an undisclosed amount poorer than yesterday, allowed a three-run home run to Didi Gregorius after Harper and Bohm reached base:
- A struggling Kevin Pillar helped the Mets to pull within one run in the top of the eighth inning when he hit a 108.6 mph home run off of Brandon Kintzler:
- The Mets tied the game later in the inning, as the Phillies made another defensive miscue. With Jonathan Villar on first base, José Peraza lined a ball off Rhys Hoskins’ glove that allowed Villar to go all the way to third base. When Hoskins got to the ball, he seemed to take for granted that Villar was staying at third. But in a very Jayson Werth-like fashion, Villar sprinted home and tied the game:
- José Alvarado, in the process of appealing his suspension, came on to relieve Kintzler, but just didn’t have it tonight. The hard-throwing lefty allowed a weak single to Jeff McNeil before walking Francisco Lindor to load the bases. Conforto, who is red-hot in this series, worked a walk with the bases loaded, bringing in the go-ahead run.
- David Hale came into the game with the bases loaded and one out, and Pete Alonso promptly unloaded them with a bases-clearing double into right-center field, extending the Mets lead to 8-4:
- Mets closer Edwin Díaz did allow the Phillies to cut into the lead early in the bottom of the ninth, with a Roman Quinn triple into right-center field plating Gregorius.
- Later in the inning, with Quinn on third base and Joyce on third base, Hoskins hit what appeared to be a game-tying home run off Díaz. However, after further review, the call was overturned and Hoskins was forced to go back to second base with a two-run double:
- Jeurys Familia would replace Díaz with two outs, and Scott Kingery pinch-ran for Hoskins at second. Ultimately, though, Familia struck Harper out to end the game.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- David Peterson struggled in the first inning, but the Phillies were only able to get one run out of that inning. From there on out, the 25-year-old pitched very well, finishing the evening with eight strikeouts over five innings of one-run ball.
- Zach Eflin limited the damage for the Phillies Sunday, but he really wasn’t especially good. In addition to a key defensive miscue, Eflin scattered 10 hits over six innings. Give credit where it’s due, though, most pitchers don’t hold opponents to just two runs when they allow 10 hits.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Pete Alonso
- Alonso only had one hit in five at-bats Sunday, but the one was a three-run triple in the top of the eighth inning that essentially put the game on ice. The former National League Rookie of the Year has now driven in 16 runs in 2021.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Monday, May 3 vs. Milwaukee Brewers
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- TV: PHL 17
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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