Having had one of the best starts of his career in his last outing against San Francisco, Noah Syndergaard was noticeably less sharp in his follow-up start on Saturday against the Phillies at Citi Field. Fortunately, the Mets’ offense provided more than enough support to win, scouring ten runs on eleven hits on the way to a 10-5 victory over the Phillies on a rainy night in Flushing.
The Met offense got started in the bottom of the second inning when they worked the bases loaded against Phillies starter Zach Eflin. After allowing a leadoff single to Jay Bruce, Eflin hit Todd Frazier with a pitch and walked Brandon Nimmo to load the bases with no outs. It felt as if the Mets might squander the opportunity when Dom Smith struck out swinging for the first out, bringing defensive-minded catcher Tomas Nido, who entered play hitting just .175/.213/.211 in 61 plate appearances this season, to the plate with the pitcher due to hit next. Nido did not throw away his shot to give the Mets the lead, mashing a double down the left field line, driving in three runs and giving his team a 3-0 lead in the process.
After Syndergaard work himself in and out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the third, the Mets continued to roll in the bottom half of the inning when Jeff McNeil tripled on a hard ground ball over the first base bag that rolled all the way to the right field wall to open the frame. After a Jay Bruce intentional walk, Todd Frazier crushed a hanging slider from Eflin into the M&M Sweet Seats in left field, doubling the Mets’ lead to 6-0. Jay Bruce added an additional insurance run in the bottom of the fourth inning, when he blooped an RBI single to left field that Rhys Hoskins probably should have caught.
Having been given a sizable lead early in the game, Syndergaard managed to somehow keep the Phillies scoreless into the sixth inning, despite allowing entirely too many hitters to reach base. Rhys Hoskins hit a long homer to left field off Syndergaard to lead off the inning, cutting the Mets lead to 7-1. Asdrubel Cabrera followed the Hoskins homer with a double, and advanced to third on a Nick Williams groundout to shortstop. Syndergaard then allowed Cabrera to score on a Cesar Hernandez infield single in which he was late to cover the base on a grounder to first baseman Jay Bruce. Odubel Herrera followed the Hernandez single with a walk, one of a career high tying five walks Syndergaard allowed in the outing. With Hernandez and Herrera on first and second, and two runs already allowed in the inning, Syndergaard managed to get himself out of the inning when pinch hitter Maikel Franco grounded into a double play.
After seeing their lead get cut to a mere five runs in the top half of the inning, the Mets came out ready to blow the game open in the bottom of the sixth. Edubray Ramos entered to get Amed Rosario to ground out to start the inning, before Phillies manager Gabe Kapler decided to chase the platoon advantage and brought in southpaw Adam Morgan to face Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto. Morgan allowed both left-handed hitters to single, putting men on first and third with one out for Todd Frazier, who managed to bring McNeil home from third on a sacrifice fly. Brandon Nimmo followed with an RBI single, extending the Mets lead to 9-2 with three innings left to play.
Entering the seventh with a seven run lead, Noah Syndergaard saw his evening go south quickly. After allowing a run to score on three straight singles to open the inning, Syndergaard gave up a single to Cabrera to load the bases. He managed to get Nick Williams to pop out to shallow left field, bringing Cesar Hernandez to the plate with two outs. Hernandez then mashed a 103.7 MPH line drive straight into Noah Syndergaard’s ribcage, forcing the tall right-handed pitcher to fall to the ground in pain. Syndergaard was unable to make the play when he managed to find the ball, allowing Justin Bour to score and cutting the Met lead to 9-4. Clearly still in shock, Syndergaard exited the game after the play to go for x-rays, which later came back negative. Syndergaard left the game with the bases loaded after 6.2 innings, having and given up four runs on twelve hits and five walks, and struck four. Jerry Blevins entered the game in the middle of a bases-loaded jam, and managed to get pinch hitter Jose Bautista to strike out on a 3-2 fastball out of the zone to escape the jam.
The Met bullpen locked the game down from there. Jerry Blevins stayed on and gave the Mets a scoreless eighth inning. After a Michael Conforto home run in the bottom half of the inning, Robert Gsellman entered in the ninth with a 10-4 lead. The Phillies scored a meaningless run in the ninth on a Cesar Hernandez sacrifice fly, but Gsellman managed to get Scott Kingery to fly out to center field to end the game and secure the 10-5 win.
The Mets hope to secure a series victory against the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field, with NL Cy Young candidate Jacob deGrom scheduled to face off against Vince Velasquez at 1:10 PM.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Tomas Nido +18.4% Todd Frazier +13.6%,
Big losers: None
Teh aw3s0mest play: Tomas Nido’s double with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second +18.9%
Teh sux0rest play: Dominic Smith’s strikeout with the bases loaded in the second inning -6.7%
Total pitcher WPA: 15.8%
Total batter WPA: 34.2%
GWRBI!: Todd Frazier