|Max Scherzer pitching to Alec Bohm in the fifth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.
The Mets lost a tough one to the Phillies, 2-1 in ten innings, on Friday night at Citi Field in the opener of this big three-game weekend series.
The Mets fell to 73-40, and it was just their second loss on this homestand, as they won seven of the first eight. The Mets’ lead in the National League East dropped to six games over the Atlanta Braves, who beat the Marlins, 4-3, in Miami to improve to 67-46. The Phillies, who are in third place in the NL East, improved to 63-49, and they are now 8 1/2 games behind the Mets.
Max Scherzer got the start for the Mets, and while he wasn't as sharp as his last performance against the Atlanta Braves a week ago Saturday, he went seven innings, and allowed just one run while scattering nine hits and no walks, with six strikeouts. He ended up with the no-decision in this one, but he lowered his ERA to 1.93, while his record remained at 8-2.
Ranger Suarez was on the mound for the Phillies, and he matched Scherzer by going seven innings and allowing one run on just three hits and two walks, with five strikeouts.
The Phillies came out swinging against Scherzer, as Bryson Stott led off the game with a liner off the right-field fence, and he came in to score on a one-out single by Alec Bohm to make it 1-0. Nick Castellanos followed with a two-out single to put two runners on for Darick Hall, who struck out.
In the second, they had another golden opportunity to score, as Jean Segura led off with a single, and then with two outs, Stott drew a walk and Rhys Hoskins singled to load the bases for Bohm, who grounded to shortstop to end the frame.
The Mets tied it against Phillies starter Ranger Suarez in the bottom of the second when Pete Alonso walked, ex-Phillie Darin Ruf hit a double into the left-field corner, and Mark Canha hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Alonso.
Jeff McNeil then grounded one up the first base line for the second out, and he suffered a right thumb laceration as he tried to elude Hoskins. He would leave the game before the third, as would Eduardo Escobar, who was then pinch-hit for by Luis Guillorme because he suffered left side tightness after trying to field a couple of awkward grounders. Guillorme grounded back to Suarez to end the second.
Before the third, Mets Manager Buck Showalter went out to inform the umpire of his changes on defense, as he sent Guillorme to second, Tyler Naquin into left, and Mark Canha from left field to third base, likely the first time he was there this season.
Scherzer retired the Phillies in order in the third, and got the first two out in the fourth before he allowed two duck snorts (as Hawk Harrelson used to call them on White Sox broadcasts) to Matt Vierling and Stott. Scherzer got Hoskins to fly out to center to end the inning, and he then retired them in order again in the fifth.
In the sixth, Darick Hall led off with a single, and he then was erased in a double play hit into by Segura to Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor, who ran to the bag for the first out and fired to first base to complete it. Brandon Marsh flew to center field to end the inning. Then, in the seventh, Stott got a one-out single, his third hit of the night, but Scherzer then got Hoskins to fly to center and Bohm to pop out to first, and that closed another solid outing.
Adam Ottavino came on in the eighth for the Mets, and he worked around a one-out single from Nick Castellanos, who then stole second, before Hall and Segura struck out.
Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado matched him in the bottom of the eighth, as Tomas Nido got a one-out single and then was erased in a double play hit into by Brandon Nimmo.
The Mets turned to their closer, Edwin Diaz, who had not pitched since Sunday (he never pitched in the three-game sweep of the Reds), in the ninth to keep it a 1-1 game. He struck out Segura and Vierling before getting Stott to fly out to left field.
Starling Marte greeted Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez with a double off the base of the right-field fence, and he took third on a fly out to center by Lindor. They then intentionally walked Pete Alonso to get to Daniel Vogelbach, who was pinch-hitting for Ruf. Vogelbach hit a fly ball to left field that was not all that deep for the second out, and Mets third base coach Joey Cora sent Marte for the plate, and he was thrown out by Vierling to complete the 7-2 double play and end the inning.
The Mets turned to Mychal Givens in the tenth, with Stott serving as the "ghost runner" at second base. Hoskins dribbled one in front of the plate that Givens made a phenomenal play on to nab him at first, but Stott went to third. Bohm then hit one to right that Marte caught, and it was deep enough that Philly sent Stott, and Marte fired a beautiful throw, but it got by the outstretched glove of Nido to allow Stott to score and make it 2-1.
David Robertson came on to close it out for the Phillies, with Vogelbach serving as the "ghost runner" for the Mets. Canha opened the inning with a deep fly ball to right field to move Vogelbach to third base. Naquin then struck out looking, and Guillorme bounced out to first to end it.
Domingiuez got the win to improve to 6-3 on the season, while Givens took the loss to fall to 6-3, and Robertson got the save, his 16th save of the season.