The nature of last night’s game changed about three hours before first pitch, when the team announced that Jacob deGrom would be scratched from his scheduled start because of neck stiffness. Walker Lockett was chosen to start in place of deGrom, and what was a game the Mets hoped to cruise through suddenly became a game the Mets were going to have to get through.
For the most part, Lockett got through his outing, managing to pitch his way through six innings to eat some innings and keeping the game from getting out of hand. The Mets handed him a 1-0 lead in the first inning, when Brandon Nimmo scored from third on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Dominic Smith. Lockett managed to work his way in and out of trouble in the bottom of the first, and the Mets extended their lead in the top of the second. Andres Gimenez singled off of Phillies starter Spencer Howard with one out in the inning, stole second, his sixth of the year, and advanced to third on a throwing error from J.T. Realmuto. Gimenez scored shortly after on an RBI single from Luis Guillorme to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.
The lead proved to be shortlived. Didi Gregorius doubled off of Lockett to open the bottom of the second, and Jean Segura followed with a walk to put two men on. Alec Bohm drove Gregorius home on an RBI single up the middle, and Roman Quinn drove Segura home shortly therafter on an RBI single of his own to tie the game at 2-2. The game didn’t stay tied for long, as Dominic Smith and Robinson Cano hit back to back homers in the top of the third, putting the Mets back on top 4-2 and knocking Spencer Howard out of the game and forcing the Phillies to go into their bullpen. Lockett settled in a bit from there, retiring the Phillies in order in the third, and working his way around a one-out double from Jay Bruce to get through the fourth unscathed, but ran into trouble in the fifth. Rhys Hoskins doubled with one out in the inning, and Bryce Harper walked to put two men on with J.T. Realmuto at the plate. Realmuto continued his recent ho streak, driving a three-run homer over the wall and giving the Phillies their first lead of the night. Lockett came back out for the sixth and final inning with his team down 5-4, and managed to get through it unscathed before being pulled from the game following the inning.
The Mets struggled to get much going from there, and after Dellin Betances and Justin Wilson both contributed scoreless innings of relief, headed into the top of the ninth down 5-4 with the Phillies closer, Hector Neris, on the mound. Brandon Nimmo led off the inning with a single and advanced to second when Michael Conforto subsequently walked. Neris settled in a bit from there, and got Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith to ground out, bringing Robinson Cano to the plate with two outs in the ninth. Cano singled Nimmo home from second to tie the game at 5-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Seth Lugo came in to relieve Justin Wilson for the bottom of the ninth, and did not look sharp from the start. He immediately gave up a single to Roman Quinn, followed by another single from Andrew McCutchen to put two men on. He subsequently got Rhys Hoskins to strike out, bringing Bryce Harper to the plate with one out and a runner in scoring position. Harper lined a single to right field, and Quinn managed to score from third despite a nearly perfect throw from Michael Conforto that would gotten the runner if not for Wilson Ramos being a second late with the tag. The Mets challenged the call, but the ruling stood, and the Mets lost 6-5 to the Phillies in walk-off fashion.
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Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Robinson Cano, +36.2% WPA
Big Mets loser: Seth Lugo, -35.7% WPA
Mets pitchers: -57.3% WPA
Mets hitters: 7.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Robinson Cano’s game tying RBI single in the ninth, +35.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: J.T. Realmuto’s three run homer in the bottom of the fifth, -33.4% WPA