Final Score: Mets 3, Phillies 2
The Phillies came into Sunday’s game with a chance to leave New York tied for first place in the National League East. Instead, the Phillies will begin their final homestand of the season two games back behind Atlanta after a loss in the series finale against the Mets.
Philadelphia had the go-ahead run at the plate with Bryce Harper up against Edwin Díaz in the ninth, but he flew out to left for the final out. Harper’s hitting streak ends at 14 games.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Harper had a bad game. He walked twice and made a spectacular catch on the right-field line with two runners on and two outs in the eighth. The Phillies defense was solid all around in Sunday’s game.
For the third straight game, the Phillies took an early lead against the Mets thanks to some superb baserunning from their best hitters. Harper reached on a walk with two outs. J.T. Realmuto worked an eight-pitch at-bat against Mets starter Rich Hill and hit a line drive into left-center field.
Harper rightfully deserves a ton of praise for being aggressive and getting home from first on a ball that looked like a single off the bat. Realmuto deserves just as much, if not more credit for sensing that Harper could score on the play and taking the extra base to redirect the throw from home to first.
In the top of the fifth, Harper drove in his 80th RBI of the season on a sacrifice fly to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
But the Mets tied it up an inning later. A leadoff single by Jeff McNeil followed by a Tomás Nido double gave pinch-hitter Dominic Smith a chance to drive in two with a base hit. He doubled to bring his 29th and 30th career RBI against the Phillies. The Mets stranded Smith at second as the top of the lineup couldn’t bring the go-ahead run home.
The Phillies tried to stretch Gibson and have him pitch into the seventh inning and it didn’t work out. Jeff McNeil caught a hanging changeup and crushed it to the Mets bullpen for a solo home run that gave the Mets a one-run lead.
The Braves defeated the Giants 3-0 earlier on Sunday, which means the Phillies fall to two games behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the National League East. They welcome the Baltimore Orioles to Citizens Bank Park as they open a seven-game homestand against last-place teams.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Rich Hill: 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 86 pitches
From an objective point of view, it was interesting to look up at the Citi Field scoreboard behind home plate and read 68 mph (unknown) next to Hill’s name whenever he threw his slow curve. Say what you want about the pitch, but he got three swings and misses on it. Phillies hitters ran up Hill’s pitch count so despite seven strikeouts and only two runs surrendered, Hill couldn’t reach five innings.
Kyle Gibson: 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR, 100 pitches
Gibson gave the Phillies his best start since Aug. 28 when he threw six shutout innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks. His command wasn’t as sharp in some innings, but the right-hander was able to induce weak contact early in at-bats and rack up nine strikeouts. The Phillies will take his line each time out. It’s up to the offense to put more runs on the board.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
The Phillies struck out 15 times during Sunday’s game — a season high. It’s the fourth time this season they have struck out 15 times and the sixth time they have struck out at least 10 times against the Mets in 2021. The Phillies are 2-4 in those games.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Monday, Sept 20 vs. Baltimore Orioles at 7:05 PM
- Citizens Bank Park
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: 94 WIP
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