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Mets gloves and bats waste Porcello’s quality start

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The Mets are now 0-4 against the Phillies this season

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Mets starter Rick Porcello put in one of his best starts of the year, but it was to no avail as the Mets dropped the series opener to the Phillies 5-3.

Phillies center-fielder Roman Quinn hit the go-ahead RBI single in the top of the seventh with two outs off of Jared Hughes to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Mets shortstop Andres Gimenez dove to stop the ground ball and prevent Phil Gosselin from scoring, but Gosselin easily ran home after the ball ricocheted off Gimenez’s throwing hand.

The Phillies added an insurance run in the eighth inning off a Jean Segura infield single. Mets first baseman Dominic Smith mishandled J.D. Davis’s throw, allowing Rhys Hoskins to score from third on the error. They added a second insurance run after Brad Brach hit pinch-hitter Adam Haseley with the bases loaded later in the inning, a play that was initially not called a hit-by-pitch but was overturned upon replay review.

Attempting to leverage a struggling Phillies bullpen, the Mets got their best offensive opportunity of the night in the bottom of the eighth inning. After a Brandon Nimmo walk, a Davis single, and a Smith RBI single, the Mets found themselves with the tying run on first base with one out. Hoskins then dove and snatched a scorching Robinson Cano line drive just inside the first base line, and finished out the inning catching a Pete Alonso pop-up.

Struggling with runners in scoring position all season, the Mets bats faltered again, going 1-7 with runners in scoring position on the night. The lone hit came off of Smith’s RBI single, which scored Nimmo from third.

After giving up two runs on four hits in the first three innings, Porcello settled down his second and third time through the order, retiring his last eleven batters, four of which via the strikeout. He finished the game with six innings pitched, giving up four hits and two runs and striking out six batters, giving him his second quality start of the season and the first since an August 5th win against the Nationals.

Michael Conforto tied the game for the Mets on an opposite field home run in the fifth inning off of Phillies starter Jake Arrieta, giving him seven home runs on the season. Scoring on the home run was Gimenez, who reached first on his second single of the night.

On his 22nd birthday, Gimenez went 2-4 with two singles, but got picked off first base for the second time this year in the third inning, booted a ground ball that allowed the go-ahead run to score, and grounded out to end the ballgame.

Arrieta bettered Porcello’s quality start with his longest outing of the season, pitching for seven innings, striking out six batters, and giving up two runs. Conforto’s home run marked his only mistake of the night.

The Phillies opened the scoring in the top of the second inning on a Jay Bruce RBI single, scoring Jean Segura from second. They added a run in the second on an RBI single from Didi Gregorius, though a heads-up throw from Conforto forced an out at second on Hoskins.

The win gives the Phillies their tenth win in the last eleven games, which has positioned them comfortably in second place in the NL East standings. The loss now puts the Mets 4.5 games behind the Phillies and 6.5 games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves. The Mets host the Phillies tomorrow for game two of the series starting at 7:10 ET.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Michael Conforto, 28% WPA

Big Mets loser: Jared Hughes, -32% WPA

Mets pitchers: -25% WPA

Mets hitters: -25% WPA

Teh aw3s0mest play: Conforto home run, 27.7% WPA

Teh sux0rest play: Quinn go-ahead RBI single, 20.1% WPA