Final Score: Phillies 4, Mets 2
The story in New York will revolve around the Mets’ failure to retain Zack Wheeler two seasons ago. They could have had one of the most dominant rotations in the history of baseball if it wasn’t for the previous ownership and front office group’s stubbornness and arrogance.
Instead, Wheeler is delivering gem after gem for the division-rival Phillies. He threw seven innings of shutout ball against his former club. It’s what the Phillies can reasonably expect out of their stud right hander.
But it wouldn’t be a Phillies victory without the bullpen making it interesting. Both Jose Alvarado and Archie Bradley gave up a run in the eighth and ninth innings. Luckily, the Phillies offense did just enough earlier in the game to ensure that the bullpen could get out of its own way today.
Andrew McCutchen, Nick Maton and Ronald Torreyes all had multi-hit games. Position players combined to strike out only four times throughout the day. It seems small, but it’s a positive the Phillies can take out of today.
For the Phillies, today’s win means they are right back where they are when they left Philadelphia after the season’s most horrific loss. A defeat today meant that the Phillies would have been seven games out of first place in the NL East. While this weekend will surely go down as a missed opportunity, the Phillies are now five games out of the division after a series salvaging win on Sunday.
- The expectation heading into this season was that the NL East was going to be a great division with poor defensive teams all around. Unlike the Phillies, the Mets have graded well in 2021. They began today’s game with two diving catches from Michael Conforto and Kevin Pillar that robbed both Odúbel Herrera and J.T. Realmuto of extra bases. The catch probability on Pillar’s grab, according to Statcast, was a mere 40 percent.
- The Phillies struck first on a sacrifice fly from Herrera in the second. The run was unearned thanks to an error by second baseman Jeff McNeil on a bunt from Wheeler.
- The Phillies added on three more runs in the third, partially with the help of the Mets’ defense. Following a Travis Jankowski sacrifice bunt, Bohm plated home a run on a sharp grounder to Francisco Lindor. Two more came home on a Nick Maton double and a Ronald Torreyes infield single. Third baseman Luis Guillorme probably should have held on to the soft ground ball, but he threw it instead with not enough on it. Score that a single, E5 and no RBI.
- With two runners in scoring position, the Mets’ McNeil had a chance to cut the Phillies’ lead in half. Instead he lined out to center to end the inning. Wheeler came into the bottom of the fifth with a streak of 11 straight batters retired.
- Mets reliever Corey Oswalt did an excellent job in relief of Stroman, Through four innings, Oswalt struck out four and saved an overworked Mets bullpen from being further taxed.
- The Phillies bullpen took over in the eighth and things got dicey. Following a double from Lindor, Alonso smacked his third single of the day to put the Mets on the board. Alvarado managed to limit the damage as he got Conforto and McCann to strike out swinging.
- Stop me if this sounds familiar. Pillar homered for the second consecutive day in the later innings. This one didn’t tie the game, but it gave the Mets and their home fans some belief that the team could come back. Who could blame them? The Phillies bullpen has been that bad as of late.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Marcus Stroman: 3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 74 pitches
Stroman was originally scheduled to start the Mets’ game on Monday, but he was deemed healthy enough to take his turn on Sunday following a left hip injury in his previous outing. It was bad news for the Phillies as Stroman came into this game with a career 2.38 ERA against Philadelphia. His outfield defense bailed him out of a big inning in the first, but the Phillies were able to work out a few walks, raise his pitch count and get a few timely hits. It’s exactly what you’d like to see from a Phillies offense that has scored just six runs in their last three games.
Zack Wheeler: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 SO, 103 pitches
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Zack Wheeler
It’s a great sign to see Wheeler back to his usual form after an uncharacteristic outing his last time out against Washington. He struck out eight New York hitters over seven innings and became the first pitcher in MLB this season to throw at least seven innings in 10 starts. It was a huge outing for a team that spent the weekend playing in two doubleheaders along with three extra-inning games.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Monday, June 28th vs. Cincinnati Reds at 6:40 PM ET
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- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- 94 WIP
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