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Mets lose series to Phillies after horrific eighth inning

Up three in the eighth, defensive flubs and suspect pitching doom the Mets

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

The Mets took a 6-3 lead to the bottom of the eighth inning looking for their first series win of the month, but in what announcer Gary Cohen described as the “most horrific” loss of the season, the Mets blew their lead and ultimately lost 7-6 to the Phillies Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

Trea Turner opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, sending a first-pitch, middle-middle fastball over the center field fence for a solo home run. Mets’ starter Carlos Carrasco settled in the second, but as happens more often than not found himself in an early 1-0 deficit.

Back-to-back singles from Brett Baty and Omar Narváez put runners on first and third with no one out in the top of the third, and Starling Marte’s hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with one out. Francisco Lindor’s strikeout threatened to cap the rally, but Pete Alonso’s bloop single salvaged the inning, scoring Baty and Narváez and giving the Mets a 2-1 lead.

Marte lost Edmundo Sosa’s fly ball in the sun in the bottom of the third, allowing Sosa to reach on a leadoff triple. An RBI single from Trea Turner tied the game at two, and walks to Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper loaded the bases with one out. Carrasco sweated through the rest of the inning, but eventually left further unscathed by striking out J.T. Realmuto and inducing a lineout from Bryson Stott.

A two-out single from Baty in the top of the third and walk from Omar Narváez set the table for Brandon Nimmo, and Nimmo rewarded the bottom of the lineup with an RBI single that broke the tie. Lindor’s home run in the top of the next inning gave the Mets a 4-2 lead, but the Phillies responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning thanks to Turner’s pressure on the bases. Carrasco left the game after four innings with a lead, but once again leaving the bulk of the work to a taxed Mets bullpen.

A hard Nimmo single off the right field wall put runners on first and third in the top of the sixth, and Marte turned in the RBI opportunity by driving in Narváez on a fielder’s choice. The RBI knocked Phillies starter Zack Wheeler out of the game and gave the Mets a 5-3 lead. Alonso padded the lead in the top of the seventh with an opposite-field home run, his 24th of the season and third RBI of the day. The home run gave the Mets a 6-3 lead and put Alonso only one home run back of the major-league lead, behind Shohei Ohtani and Matt Olson. One inning from Domonic Leone and two from Grant Hartwig got the Mets through the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings without allowing a run, but it all fell apart in the eighth.

Committed to avoiding his best relief pitchers, Buck Showalter handed the ball to Josh Walker in the bottom of the eighth and took it away from him three batters later after Walker walked two batters and allowed a single to a third. New pitcher Jeff Brigham induced a hard ground ball from Alec Bohm that looked like an easy double play, but a muffed throw from Baty to second base allowed a run to score and kept the bases loaded with no one out. Brigham then walked Brandon Marsh to force in the fifth run and hit Kyle Schwarber and Turner consecutively to force in the tying and go-ahead runs. Only recording one hit in the inning, the Phillies still faced three pitchers and scored four runs to take a 7-6 lead.

The Mets found some life in the top of the ninth when Alonso reached first on a hit-by-pitch, but Phillies’ closer Craig Kimbrel recorded the final three outs to seal one of the most embarrassing Mets’ losses of the season. Against all reason, the Mets will continue playing baseball tomorrow night starting a three-game series hosting the scuffling Brewers, with Justin Verlander scheduled to pitch against Colin Rea.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso, +35% WPA

Big Mets loser: Jeff Brigham, -56% WPA

Mets pitchers: -68% WPA

Mets hitters: +18% WPA

Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso RBI single, +19.6% WPA

Teh sux0rest play: Kyle Schwarber HBP, -21.8% WPA