|Mark Canha flipping his bat after he cracked the game-winning home run on Sunday evening. Photo by Jason Schott.
The Mets had one of the most improbable wins of their season on Sunday, as they battled back from 4-0 and 7-4 deficits to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 10-9, powered by two home runs from Mark Canha.
The Mets took three out of four games this weekend in Philadelphia, a solid follow-up after they took two of three against them in New York a week ago. They were an incredible 14-5 against the Phillies this season, which matches the 2015 Mets for the franchise's best record in a season series against the Phils.
With the win, the Mets improved to 79-44, and their lead in the National League East improved to four games over the Atlanta Braves (75-48), who lost to the Houston Astros, 5-4, on Sunday afternoon. The Braves won two of three over the weekend in that World Series rematch after they took three of four from the Mets early last week.
This Mets road trip, on which they are now an even 4-4 after reverse fortunes in Atlanta and Philadelphia, has been marked by injuries, forcing them to bring in new faces each day, like third baseman Brett Baty and catcher Michael Perez, and Sunday's game was no exception.
Jose Butto got the start for the Mets, and it would be the Major League debut of the No. 15 prospect in the organization per MLB Pipeline. In 22 appearances at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Syracuse, he went 6-6.
Philadelphia gave Butto quite the welcome to the big leagues, as they put up four runs in the first inning, as Alec Bohm hit a three-run home run and Nick Maton got an RBI single.
The Mets wasted no time getting back into it against Phillies starter Kyle Gibson, as Michael Perez got a two-run single in the second inning, Daniel Vogelbach for an RBI double in the third, and Starling Marte got an RBI single to tie it at four in the fourth.
That didn't last long, as Bohm hit another three-run homer in the bottom half of the fourth off Butto to make it 7-4 Philadelphia. Yes, to this point, Bohm knocked in all but one of the Phillies' runs.
Butto would exit after that inning, and his final line read: 4 innings pitched, 9 hits, 7 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 5 strikeouts.
The Mets knocked out Kyle Gibson in the fifth inning, as he exited after allowing a Jeff McNeil double with one out. Canha greeted Andrew Bellatti with a bloop single to center field to give the Mets two on base before Baty and Perez struck out.
Jose Alvarado retired the Mets in order in the sixth, notching two strikeouts, before the Mets rallied in the seventh against Connor Brogdon.
Pete Alonso and Vogelbach opened the inning with singles, and then after McNeil lined out to center field, Canha crushed one to left field for a three-run shot to tie the game at seven.
What helped the Mets get back into it was reliever Nate Fisher, who was also making his Major League debut, pitched three scoreless innings, in which he allowed just a hit and two walks, while striking out one.
Trevor May came on for the Mets in the eighth, and he was greeted by a solo shot to left center field by pinch-hitter Jean Segura, his eighth of the season.
David Robertson came on for the Phillies in the ninth, facing the Mets for the second straight day after he threw two innings to close out their 4-1 in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday night.
McNeil led off the inning with a double, his second of the day, and then Canha blasted another homer to left field, this one a two-run shot, to give the Mets a 9-8 lead. It was Canha's 10th home run of the season, and his five RBI on the day also brought him up to 47 RBI in his first season with the Mets. His bat flip as he went up the first base line on this go-ahead home run will be remembered for quite some time.
Robertson then struck out Baty and Perez, but Tyler Cyr came on to face Brandon Nimmo, who launched a blast to right center field for a solo home run, his 11th of the year, to give the Mets some insurance and a 10-8 lead.
That would come in handy as the Phillies rallied against the ultra-reliable Mets closer Edwin Diaz in the bottom of the ninth. J.T. Realmuto and Nick Castellanos opened the inning with singles. Bryson Stott hit a fly ball to right field to move Realmuto up to third base, and he would come in to score on a sacrifice fly by Nick Maton to make it 10-9 Mets.
Segura then walked to give Philadelphia two on and two out, but Diaz struck out Darick Hall to end it, earning the Mets the win and his 28th save of the season.
The Mets take the momentum from this weekend into the two-game Subway Series at Yankee Stadium, which begins Monday night against a Yankees team that had the opposite experience this weekend. They dropped three out of four games to their division rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays at The Stadium, and are 2-5 on this homestand, which began with them dropping two of three to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees are now 74-48 and their once-massive division lead is down to eight games over the Blue Jays and Rays, who are each 65-55.
The Mets will send one of their aces, Max Scherzer (9-2, 2.15 ERA), to the mound on Monday night against Domingo German (1-2, 4.45 ERA) of the Yankees, and while they have their starter listed as TBD for Tuesday, it likely could be their other ace, Jacob deGrom, or Taijuan Walker taking on the Yankees and Frankie Montas (4-10, 3.87 ERA), who has had a rough going in New York since they acquired him at the trade deadline.