Even if the Mets are bad, they’re not as bad as the Phillies, a fact reinforced by the 10-0 thrashing the Mets put on Thursday night. Jacob deGrom righted the ship with a fantastic outing, and the offense exploded to support their ace. Neil Walker broke out of his post-DL malaise, recording four hits with a home run, while Wilmer Flores finished a triple shy of the cycle. Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson also went deep in the win.
Wilmer Flores got the fireworks started early. Yoenis Cespedes doubled and Michael Conforto walked with two outs in the first, and Flores followed that with a three-run home run into the bushes in center field. Jose Reyes followed that with a double of his own, but the inning ended when Travis d’Arnaud lined out sharply to left field.
That would be all for Vince Velasquez, who left with numbness in his middle finger. He was replaced by right hander Mark Leiter Jr., who pitched an excellent five innings out of the bullpen. He struck out seven, allowing only one run on a solo home-run to Neil Walker in the third inning. For a game that could have potentially gotten very out of hand with the Phillie starter leaving after only one inning, Leiter did a fantastic job of keeping them in the game.
Unfortunately for the Phillies, that effort was wasted by the rest of their bullpen. Jesen Therrien entered in relief of Leiter and gave up a hard line drive out to Jacob deGrom. Curtis Granderson and Neil Walker followed with singles, and after Yoenis Cespedes struck out, Michael Conforto dinked a three-run home run off the left field foul pole. His 24th home run of the season pushed the Met lead to 7-0.
Of course, even if the rest of the Phillie bullpen had replicated Leiter’s success, it wouldn’t have mattered against Jacob deGrom. The Met ace was on point, flashing sharp breaking pitches and exquisite fastball control en route to six-and-two-thirds shutout innings. After allowing a leadoff double to Maikel Franco in the second, deGrom retired the next sixteen batters before Odubel Herrera singled with one out in the seventh.
After Herrera’s single, deGrom got Maikel Franco to pop out in foul territory. Sitting at 95 pitches and nine strikeouts with two outs in the sixth, it seemed like Nick Williams would be deGrom’s last chance for a ninth game with ten or more strikeouts. Instead, Williams lined a ball off of deGrom’s right tricep for a single, and the last Met ace left standing was forced to leave the game.
Thankfully, deGrom seemed to avoid serious injury, and X-rays came back negative. Erik Goeddel struck out Tommy Joseph to end the line on deGrom, who finished with 6.2 shutout innings, nine strikeouts, three hits allowed, and no walks. His ERA on the season is now 3.21, good for 12th best among qualified pitchers.
Erik Goeddel remained in the game for the eighth inning and worked around a walk by inducing a double play and striking out Andres Blanco. In the top of the ninth, Brandon Nimmo lead off with a walk, and Curtis Granderson launched the Mets’ fourth home run of the game to stretch the Mets lead to 9-0. Three batters later, Wilmer Flores came to the plate with the bases loaded and needing a triple for the cycle, but he struck out after a nine pitch at bat to fall one hit short.
Jose Reyes managed to drive in a run with an RBI ground out, but that’s all the Mets would get from their bases loaded, no out situation, with Travis d’Arnaud hitting into another hard out in the outfield. Paul Sewald entered for the bottom of the ninth and struck out two in a perfect inning to seal the victory.
With the win, the Mets improve to 51-61, which drops them into a tie for seventh with the Atlanta Braves in the reverse standings. On a more positive note, it was the Mets’ fourth shutout victory of the season and the seventh time they’ve score ten or more runs in a game.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jacob deGrom, 24.1% WPA; Wilmer Flores, 27.3% WPA
Big losers: None
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wilmer Flores hits a three-run home run in the first inning, +25.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Maikel Franco doubles with nobody out in the second, -5.8% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +25.0% WPA
Total batter WPA: +25.0% WPA
GWRBI!: Wilmer Flores