Despite a poor start from Zack Wheeler and a poor outing from Fernando Salas, the Mets managed an exciting comeback win as they topped the Phillies 7-6. Down three in the bottom of the seventh, the Mets launched two home runs, including a go-ahead blast off the bat of Asdrubal Cabrera on his bobblehead night. Addison Reed worked through a four-out save to lock down the victory.
The Mets struck first, scoring in the bottom of the second against Jeremy Hellickson. Lucas Duda, back in the lineup after missing a couple days with flu-like symptoms, doubled with one out, and scored two batters later on a double by the suddenly hot Jose Reyes. A healthy and hitting Duda is great for the Mets, both for what slim playoff hopes remain and for his value at the trade deadline.
Zack Wheeler, meanwhile, had one of those games where it seems like he throws ten pitches to every batter. While he struck out two in the first inning, he threw 21 pitches to do it. He threw another 19 pitches in the second but had little traffic on the basepaths against a bad Phillies team the first time through the order. He had a relatively efficient third, but everything fell apart in the top of the fourth.
After Aaron Altherr grounded out weakly, Tommy Joseph reached on a fielding error by T.J. Rivera. Wheeler then walked the next two batters, loading the bases for former Met Ty Kelly. Kelly hit a ball to Lucas Duda that should have been a double play, but Wheeler somehow missed the throw from Reyes while covering first. Instead of an inning-ending double play, two runs scored and the Phillies took the lead.
After allowing a single to Cameron Rupp, Wheeler was pulled with two outs in the third at 82 pitches. It was definitely the smart move, given his injury history and the state of the Mets, but it was disappointing that he couldn’t make it through four innings. Erik Goeddel entered and quickly retired Hellickson to end the inning.
The Mets jumped right back on top in the bottom half of the inning. Asdrubal Cabrera led off with a double, moved to third on a fly out from Yoenis Cespedes, and scored on a ground out from Jay Bruce to tie the game at two. Lucas Duda then jumped on the first pitch he saw, blasting a go-ahead solo home run off the apple to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.
Unfortunately, Goeddel couldn’t make this Mets lead stand up either. In the top of the fifth, Aaron Altherr walked with two outs and stole second, moving to third on a poor throw by Travis d’Arnaud. Tommy Joseph then doubled to left to tie the game at three. Usually it’d be fair to question why Goeddel was forced to throw multiple innings, but Wheeler lasting only 3.2 makes the decision more understandable, even if it did not work out.
The Mets squandered a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the fifth due to some poor baserunning. Jose Reyes led off with a double but was caught at third on a fielder’s choice when he hopped back towards the base. Brandon Nimmo doubled later in the inning, but Travis d’Arnaud was unable to score. The game continued to the sixth, still tied at three.
Fernando Salas worked a clean sixth, but he too was asked to work a second inning, and that didn’t go very well at all. Freddy Galvis and Aaron Altherr led off the top of the seventh with singles before Tommy Joseph launched a three-run home run to give the Phillies a 6-3 lead. Salas, overworked early in the season, now has a 5.88 ERA and a 4.39 FIP this year.
The Mets weren’t going to take a loss to the worst team in baseball lying down, however. T.J. Rivera lead off the bottom of the seventh with a home run to cut the Philly lead to 6-4 and chase Jeremy Hellickson. He was replaced by Pat Neshek, one of the best relievers in baseball in the first half. The Mets pounded him—Travis d’Arnaud doubled, Wilmer Flores drove d’Arnaud in with a single, and Asdrubal Cabrera launched a two-run, go-ahead home run to right center field to put the Mets on top 7-6. He added a little grin at the plate as he watched the ball fly, likely reminiscing about similar heroics down the stretch last season against the Phillies.
With a newly forged 7-6 lead, Paul Sewald entered to work the eighth. He allowed a single sandwiched between two strikeouts before the rain came and caused a delay. When play resumed, Addison Reed entered and quickly struck out Freddy Galvis to end the inning.
The Mets went quietly in the bottom of the eighth, bringing Reed back out to complete the save. He allowed a leadoff double to Aaron Altherr, but then induced a weak fly out from Tommy Joseph, a ground out from Nick Williams, and a pop out from Maikel Franco to secure his 14th save of the season.
With the victory, the Mets stretch their winning streak to four straight, improving to four games under .500 at 38-42. Rafael Montero will toe the rubber against Nick Pivetta as the Mets go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon.
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Win Probability Added
Big winners: Adrubal Cabrera, +34.1% WPA; Lucas Duda, +16.6% WPA; Jose Reyes, +13.6% WPA; Brandon Nimmo, +11.6% WPA; Wilmer Flores, +12.2% WPA; Addison Reed, +20.7% WPA
Big losers: Zack Wheeler, -12.0% WPA; Fernando Salas, -31.8% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Asdrubal Cabrera’s two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh, +48.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Tommy Joseph hits a three-run home run off of Fernando Salas in the top of the seventh, -25.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -20.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: +70.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Asdrubal Cabrera