Coming into a big game against a 4-0 starter who apparently didn’t even warrant a competitive contract offer the previous offseason, the Mets would seemingly need a big outing from rookie starter David Peterson to compete. The young lefty was unable to deliver, struggled mightily over two wild innings and putting the Mets in an early 5-0 hole against their former teammate Zack Wheeler.
While he scattered a few hits, Wheeler looked dominant early. Erasmo Ramirez came on in the third to make his Mets debut in what seemed to be pure mop-up, preserve the bullpen mode. And Ramirez was efficient, allowing his defense—in particular a sparkling Andres Gimenez—to make a number of plays behind him. Ramirez’s only blemish wound up being a J.T. Realmuto solo home run, which felt like a mere tack-on run to put the Phillies up 6-0 in the middle of the fifth.
However, the Mets finally began to get to their former teammate in the bottom of the fifth. It was the rookie Gimenez who would get the inning going with a leadoff double to right. Wheeler would retire the next two before Michael Conforto, J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith would hit back-to-back-to-back doubles of their own to cut the deficit to 6-3.
Ramirez kept the Phillies in check over the sixth and seventh, when Joe Girardi made the curious decision to remove Wheeler after six innings and 83 pitches. The Mets promptly pounced on the Phillies bullpen for four runs, capped by a dramatic Jeff McNeil three-run home run off of David Phelps to give the team a 7-6 lead.
The elusive lead proved unfortunately short-lived, as Jeurys Familia was unable to preserve it in the top of the eighth. Jean Segura singled up the middle and advanced to second on a Didi Gregorious ground out on another spectacular play from Gimenez. Alex Bohm followed with a clutch two-out RBI single to tie the game.
The score would hold until the tenth, when Luis Rojas made his own curious decision to start the frame with recently acquired Miguel Castro. Castro did record two outs, and seemed poised to escape the 2020 extra inning setup, but Segura would haunt the Mets again with his fourth hit of the game—a two-run blast to left center to give the Phillies a 9-7 lead. A Brandon Nimmo single plated the designated tenth inning runner, but Davis flew out to deep center, leaving the Mets painfully short and giving them a split of a four-game series in a game that seemed particularly crucial to their postseason hopes.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Jeff McNeil, +55.2% Edwin Diaz, +13.0%
Big Mets loser: Miguel Castro, -41.7%, David Peterson, -34.7%, Jeurys Familia, -15.5%, Robinson Chirinos, -14.1%, Dominic Smith, -13.2%, Robinson Cano, -11.4%
Mets pitchers: -74.3% WPA
Mets hitters: 24.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh, 56.9% WPA.
Teh sux0rest play: Jean Segura two-run home run in the top of the tenth, -45.0% WPA.