The Phillies are heading to the playoffs. The Mets are not. We’ve seen some of the reasons for why that is the case over the past couple days, as the latter squad has been firmly outplayed by the former in this four-game set at Citizens Bank Park. After losing the first two games of the series, the Mets once again fell to the Phillies today by a score of 7-5.
The Mets got the scoring started in the top of the second against old friend Zack Wheeler. DJ Stewart and Ronny Mauricio got on base to lead off the inning thanks to a walk and single, respectively. Brett Baty then hit a ground ball to shortstop which should have been a double play, but instead it squeaked under Trea Turner’s glove. Stewart easily scored from second, and Mauricio demonstrated some heads-up baserunning by breaking for home after the Phillies were lackadaisical getting the ball back into the infield. Thus, two runs scored on a play that should have recorded two outs, and the Mets had the early lead.
The lead was short-lived, though. Bryce Harper led off the bottom of the second with a long home run off José Quintana to cut the lead in half. J.T. Realmuto followed that with a ground ball that Francisco Lindor couldn’t handle to get on first base. A second defensive miscue quickly followed, as Nick Castellanos hit a line drive to left field that Jeff McNeil made an ill-advised dive on, and the ball squirted right past him towards the wall. Realmuto scored and Castellanos made it all the way to third, and just like that the game was tied. Thankfully, Quintana managed to record the next three outs to strand Castellanos at third and limit the damage.
However, the veteran lefty would get tagged once more in the following inning, as Alec Bohm hit a two-out solo homer to left to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Quintana subsequently put up a zero in the fourth, but went on to give up even more runs in the fifth inning. A leadoff single and one-out double put runners on second and third, and Turner then came up to the plate and hit a ground ball to Lindor, who was playing in and thus could have easily thrown out the runner breaking for home. Alas, he bounced the throw to the catcher, and the Phillies had themselves another run. Two batters later—and following a wild pitch which advanced Turner to second—Harper singled on a ground ball to right field, scoring two additional runs to make it 6-2.
To his credit, Quintana did manage to make it through six innings despite giving up half a dozen runs (five of which were earned). He also struck out a whopping ten batters—an unusual feat for him—while walking none. Nevertheless, he finished his outing with the Mets in quite a hole.
After being silenced by Wheeler for several innings, the bats finally got something going in the top of the seventh inning. Baty and Mark Vientos led off the inning with back-to-back singles, and after Omar Narváez flew out to center for the first out, Brandon Nimmo lined another ball to center field. Johan Rojas misplayed the ball, and it went over his head towards the wall. Baty and Vientos both scored, and Nimmo made it to third for sixth triple of the season. Lindor then hit a foul ball towards left field which a running Kyle Schwarber caught, and Nimmo aggressively broke for the plate. He just barely avoided the tag by Realmuto on the play at the plate, and thus the Mets had made it a one-run game at 6-5.
But the Phillies quickly made it a multi-run deficit once more against the Mets bullpen. Reed Garrett entered the game in the bottom of the seventh, and Bohm greeted him with a one-out double and subsequently came around to score on a two-out single by Realmuto. It didn’t end up making much of a difference, though, as the Mets failed to score anything against Gregory Soto or José Alvarado (they did threaten with two baserunners against the former, but Vientos struck out to end the threat). Thus, the Mets fell for the third straight game against their division rivals, who will soon be celebrating yet another playoff appearance (possibly as soon as tomorrow, with their magic number down to two) while the Amazins head home. Sigh.
The Mets will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow. Tune in for the fun. Or just watch some football, I don’t know.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Brett Baty, +15.6% WPA
Big Mets loser: José Quintana, -33.0% WPA
Mets pitchers: -38.9% WPA
Mets hitters: -11.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Brandon Nimmo two-run triple in the seventh, +14.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Nick Castellanos RBI triple in the second, -16.3% WPA