The Mets had a fireworks show planned for after the game but the fireworks were flying well before the game even started. There is always drama when these two teams get together and this game was no exception.
Storm clouds gathered at the start of the game which should have been a hint of how this night would go. Before a single pitch was thrown sparks were already flying when a report broke that GM Brodie Van Wagenen threw a chair in a team meeting after the previous night’s bullpen meltdown. That was only the start of the drama for the night.
The game was delayed about an hour but it seemed to have no effect on Noah Syndergaard. He had a quick and easy first inning, and the Mets jumped to an early lead on a Michael Conforto double in their half of the inning against Jake Arrieta. The damage could have been worse however since they left a few men on base.
Then everything changed. Jay Bruce and Maikel Franco both took Syndergaard deep the next inning to take the lead. Jeff McNeil continued his torrid hitting against Philadelphia in the bottom of the inning when he cut the lead to one on a RBI single. The Mets would leave the bases loaded though after, still-batting-third Robinson Cano, struck out and Michael Conforto flew out to end the inning. Despite leaving men on base in the first few innings, the Mets were at least getting to Arrieta but just not coming up with the big hit.
They were also their own worst enemy too. Noah Syndergaard had a couple of throwing errors on pickoff attempts that lead to runs, and Dominic Smith was later thrown out at third with nobody out after he doubled home Todd Frazier to cut into the Phillies’ lead.
Syndergaard eventually settled in, and with the score 4-3 in the fifth things got interesting. Todd Frazier got hit by a pitch, angrily spiked his bat, and yelled at Arrieta while walking to first. Arrieta of course yelled back, the two were separated, and Frazier was ejected from the game. Perhaps considering the bad blood between the two teams, the umpires warned both benches. Two batters later Amed Rosario was also hit by a pitch but Arrieta was allowed to stay in the game. Mickey Callaway was annoyed by this decision and he too ultimately got tossed from the game.
When the dust settled the Mets had the bases loaded for Tomas Nido, who Noah Syndergaard requested as his catcher. Nido came through with an opposite field double to give the Mets the lead.
With both Mickey Callaway and Todd Frazier gone, Adeiny Hechavarria came in to man third and Jim Riggleman was left with the managerial duties. Riggleman perhaps overmanaged a bit with the bullpen. Out of the five relievers the Mets used, only Justin Wilson and Edwin Diaz started their innings. Diaz would be the only one to complete a full inning. Overall, the bullpen wasn’t bad just weirdly managed. The Phillies cut the lead to one in the seventh against the combination of Robert Gsellman and new reliever Steven Matz.
Hechavarria entering the game ended up being a key moment. He made two stunning plays at third that helped preserve the lead. The first play happened with runners on first and second in the seventh. Rhys Hoskins hit a shot down the line that could’ve led to some runs had Hechavarria not grabbed it. He would make a similar play in the ninth to keep the bases clear for Edwin Diaz who seemed particularly amped up. He faced the heart of the Phillies lineup and was was able to shut the door on a 6-5 victory. He allowed only a single to J.T. Realmuto and struck out Jay Bruce to finish off the game.
It was a tense but well-fought victory for the Mets and finally it seemed like they could put the dysfunction aside and breathe, for one night at least. Unfortunately, things are never simple for this team. After the game Arrieta was apparently mad that Todd Frazier was mad and threatened physical violence against him. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail since the last thing this team needs is more bad blood with the Phillies. Wins are in short supply and drama still reigns over it all.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Tomas Nido +36.5%, Seth Lugo +20.0%, Jeff McNeil +16.6%, Edwin Diaz +14.4%, Dominic Smith +14.2%
Big losers: Noah Syndergaard -24.6%, Robinson Cano -14.7%, Steven Matz -11.7%
Total pitcher WPA: 3.0%
Total batter WPA: 47.0%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Tomas Nido double in fifth
Teh sux0rest play: Jay Bruce home run in second