The Mets’ loss to the Phillies last night wound up being a whole lot more about escaping the game without any serious injuries than losing ground in the home-field advantage race with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After taking a 5-0 lead, that the Mets blew the game seemed a whole lot less important than the health of Yoenis Cespeds and Wilmer Flores.
In scoring five runs in the first inning, the Mets chased Phillies starter Alec Asher after just two-third of an inning. They had other opportunities against Philadelphia’s bullpen the rest of the way, but they never scored again in the game. And the first pitcher in after Asher was Justin De Fratus, who hit Yoenis Cespedes’s left hand with a pitch.
Cespedes left the game immediately, but after what felt like forever, the Mets had good news: x-rays on his left hand were negative. The outfielder has contusions on a couple of his fingers on that hand, but he told Terry Collins that he wanted to play this afternoon. He won’t, but that’s an encouraging sign.
On top of that, Wilmer Flores was replaced mid-game, and for a while, everyone assumed he was still feeling the effects of a bad cold or strep throat—one or both of which he had been dealing with before the game. It turned out that Flores’s lower back stiffened up on him, but he, too, sounds like he’ll be able to play again soon.
As for the game itself the rest of the way, it was mostly forgettable. Logan Verrett and eight Mets relief pitchers combined to give up seven runs. Three were charged to Verrett. Jon Niese made his second relief appearance in his bullpen experiment this week, but he gave up a run-scoring hit to the first man he faced, the left-handed-hitting Cody Asche.
In the fifth, Hansel Robles gave up a run and after he got ejected for nearly hitting Cameron Rupp in the head—both teams had been warned after the Phillies hit Kirk Nieuwenhuis—Bobby Parnell gave up two runs in his still-ineffective season back from Tommy John surgery.
On the upside, the Dodgers lost last night, too, so the Mets still have a one-game lead in the home-field advantage battle. And should the teams tie, the Mets have the tiebreaker.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: none
Big losers: Bobby Parnell, -37.5% WPA, Carlos Torres, -15.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Daniel Murphy hits a three-run home run in the first, +15.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Freddy Galvis ties the game with a two-run single in the sixth, -23.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -53.7% WPA
Total batter WPA: +3.7% WPA
GWRBI!: none (wild pitch)