Maybe a rainout Sunday wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. The Mets and Phillies could probably use a break after playing back-to-back 14-inning games. Both teams exhausted their bullpens during the 10+ hours of baseball they played Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and several players -- namely Daniel Murphy -- look ready for a mental health day. Mercifully, the Mets won today's marathon less than 24 hours after losing the first one. It seems fair; no fanbase, not even the Phillies', deserves to watch their team lose two games like that in a row.
Today's game started out innocently enough. The Mets scored two runs in the top of the first inning off Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. Bobby Abreu provided an RBI single and Lucas Duda added an RBI double. Then Jacob deGrom went to work in the bottom of the inning. He recorded two strikeouts in the frame, a preview of his game to come. Our heroes added two more runs, on a Ruben Tejada solo home run in the fourth inning, and a Tejada RBI single in the sixth inning. It was Tejada's first home run since August 1, 2012. Maybe "Muscles" was motivated by the Wilmer Flores call-up?
deGrom struck out 11 Phillies in 6.1 innings, besting the nine strikeouts Zack Wheeler tallied Thursday night. He cruised through his first six innings, yielding just two baserunners over that stretch. Phillies hitters looked hapless against him. However, he faltered in the seventh inning and allowed a three-run opposite field home run to Ryan Howard that made the score 4-3 Mets. deGrom departed for Josh Edgin after striking out Marlon Byrd.
After 1.2 innings of scoreless relief provided by Edgin, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Scott Rice, Jeurys Familia started the bottom of the ninth inning with a chance to clinch a 4-3 Mets win. However, he allowed a leadoff double to Byrd, who was driven in one batter later by Domonic Brown. Tie game, blown save. It's tough to get on Familia though, considering how often and how well he has pitched lately.
The Mets and Phillies traded zeroes in extra innings 10 through 13. Familia threw one inning and Buddy Carlyle threw three for the Mets, and Jeff Manship threw four innings for the Phillies. The Mets finally broke through in the 14th inning after Manship departed with an injury he sustained while running down the line to first base. Ruben Tejada led off with a walk against Antonio Bastardo. He then moved to second base after a sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Juan Lagares. After an intentional walk to Chris Young and a pop out by Daniel Murphy, David Wright drove in Tejada with a single to left field to give the Mets a 5-4 lead.
Carlos Torres was called on to close the game in the bottom of the 14th inning, after pitching 2.2 innings Friday night. He allowed the first two batters to reach base, driving nuts every Mets fan insane enough to still be watching. However, he settled down thereafter, and retired Ben Revere, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley to secure the victory. Exhales all around.
The Mets could have made the game less nerveracking had they taken advantage of opportunities to blow the score wide open. They didn't hit well with runners on base, and a bad Daniel Murphy baserunning mistake hurt a promising rally in the seventh inning. Murph was on third base with no outs, and was tagged out at home attempting to score on a wild pitch. Not only was it a bad idea to try to score, but he didn't even slide and just gave himself up at the plate. Here are several other Murphy mishaps from today's game:
- Committed a fielding error in the seventh inning (though it did not lead to any Phillies runs);
- Boofed an easy double play ball in the 10th inning when he opted to tag the runner coming from first base rather than flipping to second base;
- Did not run to first on a dropped strike three in the 12th inning; and
- Weakly popped out in the 14th inning on the first pitch when Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo was struggling to find the plate.
There may have been others. I can't remember. Giving Murphy a day off Sunday might not be a bad idea. Get Wilmer Flores some reps at second base.
Game four of this epic series starts Sunday at 1:35 pm. The pitching matchup is Jon Niese vs Cole Hamels. How about a shutout, Jon?!
Three Stars of the Game
First Star: Ruben Tejada
Second Star: Jacob deGrom
Third Star: David Wright
Honorable Mention: Buddy Carlyle
SB Nation GameThreads
* Amazin' Avenue GameThread
* The Good Phight GameThread
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Buddy Carlyle +40.5%, David Wright +24.9%
Big losers: Daniel Murphy -17.1%, Jeurys Familia -16.9%
Teh aw3s0mest play: David Wright RBI single in 14th inning, +35.7%
Teh sux0rest play: Domonic Brown RBI single in 9th inning, -26.9%
Total pitcher WPA: +68.4%
Total batter WPA: -18.4%
GWRBI!: David Wright RBI single in 14th inning