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Nimmo, Mets’ bullpen help keep playoff hopes alive in comeback win in Philadelphia

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The Mets blew an early lead but came back to beat the Phillies in dramatic fashion.

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

If you were told ahead of the Mets’ three-game series in Philadelphia that the team would win two out of three games, you probably would have picked the two started by Jacob deGrom and Seth Lugo. And you would have been right.

The path the Mets took to their victory last night was just as bumpy as the one the night before, when deGrom went just two innings, wasn’t sharp, and left the game with a hamstring issue. Last night, Lugo was far less sharp, didn’t even finish the second inning, and gave up six runs. He gave up four home runs, three of which were in a back-to-back-to-back sequence in the bottom of the first, a series of solo home runs that erased the 3-0 lead the Mets’ lineup had established in the top of the first.

Starting with Erasmo Ramirez, though, the Mets’ bullpen was fantastic, putting together seven-and-one-third innings of scoreless work. Ramirez and Chasen Shreve each went two-and-one-third innings without much issue. Jeurys Familia inadvertently drilled Jean Segura on the left elbow to start his outing but got the last two outs of the seventh and the first two of the eighth before he walked Andrew McCutchen and Justin Wilson came in and made things very stressful.

Wilson walked Bryce Harper and Alec Bohm and wouldn’t have hit even the most generous strike zone—in a game with brutal home plate umpiring and a zone that was incredibly unfriendly to pitchers on both teams. But after he fell behind Didi Gregorius with the bases loaded and the go-ahead run on the third, Gregorius did him a huge favor and swung, flying out to center to end the inning in the process.

Along the way, the Mets’ offense had put up a total of six runs. The first scored on a Dom Smith double in the first, and Robinson Cano singled to bring the second and third runs of the night home in that inning. From there, Aaron Nola settled in against them for a while, but he recorded just one out in the sixth before giving up a solo home run to Pete Alonso and walking Jeff McNeil.

Enter the Phillies bullpen. Blake Parker walked Andres Gimenez, got pinch hitter Luis Guillorme on a well-hit line out to left, and served up a game-tying, two-run triple to Brandon Nimmo, who smoked the ball into right-center field.

Neither team scored in the seventh or eighth, but the Mets struck several decisive blows in the ninth, starting with leadoff man Brandon Nimmo, who hit a no-doubt home run to right field to give his team its first lead since the first inning. One out and one baserunner later, Dom Smith tripled on a shot that barely missed being a home run and ricocheted off the outfield wall just left of center. And Robinson Cano followed up the triple with another no-doubt home run, stretching the Mets’ lead to 10-6.

Edwin Diaz, pitching for the third night in a row, tried his best to induce stress, striking out Scott Kingery before putting runners on first and second with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. He struck out Roman Quinn next, but he loaded the bases with another walk. Thankfully, he got Andrew McCutchen to ground out to shortstop to end the game.

The Mets still have a tough task ahead of them if they want to make the expanded playoffs, but this dramatic win in Philadelphia kept them alive, putting them just 1.5 games back of Phillies, who currently occupy a playoff spot. There are a bunch of other teams in the mix, too, and the Mets will have to have their best stretch of the season over the next six games—against the Braves and Rays, the leaders of their respective divisions—in order to really have a shot going into their final four games of the regular season against the Nationals.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Brandon Nimmo, +64.9% WPA
Big Mets loser: Seth Lugo, -49.3% WPA
Mets pitchers: -9.4% WPA
Mets hitters: +59.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Brandon Nimmo hits a go-ahead solo home run in the ninth, +33.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Didi Gregorius hits a solo home run in the first, -10.0% WPA