It was yet another miserable day at Citi Field, with showers pushing the start time of the game back by 95 minutes, but the Mets waited out the rain drops and played baseball on Wednesday—viewable exclusively on Facebook Live—and took the second act of their rain-shortened series with the Phillies by a score of 4-2.
Noah Syndergaard toed the rubber for the Mets for the second time on the young season, and he picked up right where he left off in his 10-strikeout performance on Opening Day by fanning two in a perfect first inning on Wednesday.
In the bottom of the first, a Brandon Nimmo leadoff walk set the stage for Yoenis Cespedes to do what he does best, blasting a no-doubter into the Porsche Grill in left field to give the Mets the early 2-0 advantage.
Syngergaard hit some bumps in the second inning by surrendering a double to Rhys Hoskins and a walk to Andrew Knapp, but he still struck out the side and maneuvered out of the jam. He struck out Aaron Nola to start the third but ran into more trouble once the lineup flipped back over. After Cesar Hernandez singled, Carlos Santana followed with a double, putting runners at second and third with only one out. Syndergaard, seeing his pitch count rise to concerning levels, induced a ground out that scored a run, but then walked Hoskins, setting up first and third with two outs.
Then, with Aaron Altherr at the plate, Hoskins took off for second, but Kevin Plawecki’s throw forced him to retreat, getting him in a rundown. However, the Mets’ infield was slow to react to Santana breaking for the plate from third, and allowed him to score the tying run without getting an out on the play.
After the mishap, Syndergaard still got out of that third inning, but at a price. He was already over 70 pitches at that point, and was not long for the game. He’d get through the fourth inning unscathed, but at 92 pitches, he was pulled for a pinch hitter in the bottom half of the inning. Syndergaard finished the day allowing two runs on four hits, with two walks and seven strikeouts in the four innings of work. Robert Gsellman came on in relief and had another strong showing, tossing two perfect innings with three strikeouts.
The Mets were largely dormant on offense until the sixth, when Phillies manager Gabe Kapler once again pulled a cruising Aaron Nola early, this time with only 87 pitches. Drew Hutchison came on in relief, and waked Asdrubal Cabrera walked to start the frame. He would retire the next two Mets hitters, but then walked Wilmer Flores, who was pinch-hitting for Gsellman. That set Amed Rosario up with the Mets’ best chance to score since the first inning. The young shortstop promptly knocked the first pitch the other way, over the head of right fielder Nick Williams. Both Cabrera and Flores scored as Rosario raced into third with a two-RBI triple to give the Mets a 4-2 lead.
And that was all the Mets’ bullpen needed. Freshly-recalled Hansel Robles came on in the seventh, and with Mets fans shielding their eyes the whole time, he struck out the side on 14 pitches. A.J. Ramos pitched a perfect eighth, and Jeurys Familia locked down the save with a scoreless ninth to cap off the victory.
The Mets are now 4-1 on the year as they travel to Washington for a big series with their main division rival and biggest competition, the Nationals.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Amed Rosario +25.2% WPA, Robert Gsellman, +13.8% WPA, Yoenis Cespedes +11.4% WPA
Big losers: Adrian Gonzalez, -7.6% WPA,
Teh aw3s0mest play: Amed Rosario hits a two-RBI triple to right field in the sixth inning, +27.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Carlos Santana steals home in the third inning, -8.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +32.6% WPA
Total batter WPA: +17.4% WPA
GWRBI!: Amed Rosario