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Mets vs. Phillies Recap: First-place Mets win sixth-straight, lead division by six-and-a-half

The Mets scored nine runs on their way to another victory.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from one very bad inning from the bullpen, the Mets coasted to another win over the lowly Phillies last night in Citizens Bank Park. They continued their torrid pace at the plate, scoring nine runs, and got a great start out of Bartolo Colon to win the sixth-straight game. The Mets are now 70-56 on the season, and with the Nationals’ loss to the Padres last night, they lead the National League East by 6.5 games.

There is, of course, plenty of baseball left to play between now and the end of the season. But what the Mets and Nationals have done over the past few weeks has the Mets heavily favored to make the postseason. It’s still a little too early to zone in on the team’s magic number, but it’s not hard to imagine Mets fans will have the chance to do so in a couple of weeks.

As for this win specifically, the Mets jumped out to an early lead with three runs to begin the game. After Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera dropped a long fly ball from Curtis Granderson a few feet shy of the fence in slightly-left-center and Granderson moved to third on an infield single to deep shortstop by Yoenis Cespedes, Daniel Murphy grounded out to bring Granderson home. Michael Cuddyer, hitting cleanup, smoked a double to score Cespedes. And after moving to third on a Wilmer Flores single, Cuddyer scored when Michael Conforto singled through the right side.

Bartolo Colon pitched a gem, continuing his general pattern of following up terrible starts with great ones and great ones with terrible ones. Going back to the beginning of July, his game scores by start have been: 78, 46, 21, 72, 14, 69, 40, 68, 14, and 73. In total last night, he threw seven shutout innings, struck out eight, walked two, and allowed five hits. He threw 107 pitches, 75 of which were strikes, and generated nine swinging strikes.

In the top of the eighth, Cuddyer hit a no-doubt home run to the second deck in left field with Murphy on base to extend the Mets’ lead to 6-0. Those runs turned out to be pretty important, as the bullpen had a very tough time in the bottom of that inning.

Eric O’Flaherty started the inning, presumably because the Mets had a big lead and Terry Collins was trying to get some rest for his other relievers. But he allowed two singles and issued a walk—all to left-handed hitters—allowing a run on a ground out between them. Collins turned to Carlos Torres, who promptly gave up a long double to Cameron Rupp that scored the Phillies’ second and third runs of the night. In came Tyler Clippard, who got a ground ball that turned into a Wilmer Flores error at short. Pinch hitter Jeff Francoeur hit a bloop single to score another Philadelphia run, but Clippard got a strikeout to end the inning.

The Mets widened their lead significantly in the top of the ninth to make the rest of the game easier on the nerves, scoring on a Curtis Granderson double, a Yoenis Cespedes triple, and a Daniel Murphy sacrifice fly. And Clippard retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.

Tonight, Jon Niese takes the mound as the Mets attempt to win their seventh-straight game. David Wright, who had a scheduled night off last night, is set to be in the lineup at third base. This is fun.

SB Nation GameThreads

* Amazin' Avenue GameThread
* The Good Phight GameThread

Win Probability Added

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Big winners: Bartolo Colon, +26.7% WPA
Big losers: none
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Cuddyer’s run-scoring double in the first, +9.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jeff Francoeur’s run-scoring single in the eighth, -6.5% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +21.8%WPA
Total batter WPA: +28.2% WPA
GWRBI!: Michael Cuddyer