Final Score: Phillies 5, Mets 4
Monday’s Phillies-Mets series opener was pretty emblematic of the scrappy April games we’ll see around baseball. Both starters went less than three innings, long relievers kept the middle of the game relatively uninteresting and the Phillies mounted an incredible comeback after playing some unsexy baseball through seven innings.
Five runs came around to score in the eighth for the Phillies, who entered the inning down by four runs. A two-run home run by J.T. Realmuto followed a Kyle Schwarber RBI fielder’s choice to make it a one-run game. Two batters later, Rhys Hoskins doubled home the tying run. Nick Castellanos hustled his way from first to home. Third base coach Dusty Wathan also deserves a nod for his read on the ball and the decision to send Castellanos, who does have above-average speed.
With the Citizens Bank Park crowd chanting “Let’s go Didi,” Didi Gregorius gave the Phillies a one-run lead with a double into the right-center field gap against Seth Lugo. Girardi went with the lefty Brad Hand to face the Mets in the ninth and the former Cleveland and Nationals closer pitched a 1-2-3 inning to give the Phillies a 5-4 victory.
The Phillies did get off to an ugly start.
The Mets scored three runs in the first on four singles and a costly decision by Alec Bohm at third base. Starling Marte hit a liner that deflected off Ranger Suárez and landed between the mound and third. Bohm threw to first at an impossible angle and the end result was runners on second and third with no outs. Eight Mets hitters came to the plate in the first with Suárez throwing 33 pitches.
The first three innings of the game were adventurous for Bohm. The ball found him seven times and he made three errors. Girardi opted to keep Bohm at third despite the errors. He did rebound at the plate with a double in the fifth and help turned a smooth 5-4-3 double play. His walk in the eighth began the Phillies rally.
Nick Nelson, who was acquired in a trade with the Yankees back in November, was excellent in long relief. He was charged with one run over four innings and was able to eat important innings for the Phillies despite his velocity diminishing after the first frame.
There was some concern regarding Harper and his elbow. The broadcast showed Harper grabbing at it following a throw to home in the seventh. Girardi said after the game that he’s OK.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Ranger Suárez: 2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 63 pitches
A lengthy first inning shortened Suárez’s much anticipated first start of the season. The line isn’t fantastic, but there’s no real reason yet to be concerned about Suárez. It’ll be interesting to see how he bounces back considering that his last stinker of an outing came in 2020 when he allowed four earned runs against the Marlins on Sept. 13.
Taijuan Walker: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 30 pitches
Walker asked a Mets trainer to follow him to the clubhouse following his second inning of work. The Mets says he left the game due to right shoulder irritation.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
The Athletic’s Tim Britton shared a pretty crazy note on Nelson’s first 3 1/3 innings of work:
- Closer Corey Knebel was not available during Monday’s game. He’s dealing with flu-like symptoms.
- Bohm, according to Girardi, is unlikely to start at third base in Tuesday’s game. Girardi communicated a preference to start left-handed batters against tomorrow’s Mets probable starter Tylor Megill.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Tuesday, April 12 vs. New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park
- 6:45 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia, MLB Network
- Radio: Sportsradio 94 WIP
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